Arsenal player ratings: Only two players deserve credit

Six losses in seven games (PL and CL) have gone beyond a statistical blip. With the quality of players in the squad this is unacceptable. Against West Bromwich it is indictment galore.

OSPINA : Terrible. Not in sync with the defense.

BELLERIN: Hardworker, but his whole strength seems hinged on his speed only. He should improve his playing poise. Too one footed.

MUSTAFI: Great heart but too excitable particularly for a defender.. Why doesn’t he just concentrate on defending?

KOSIENLY: Not exactly same Kos. Still fine enough but looks like he is beginning to slow and also he is totally unable to organize his men.

MONREAL: The wrong side of 30 has started announcing itself.

XHAKA: No high press from West Brom suited his game. Composed distribution of passes. πŸ‘

RAMSEY: Hollywood would always elude him, until he learns how to play serious (tactically).

CHAMBERLAIN : All the ingridents are there but he needs to bring them nicely together by adding the use of space without the ball to his impressive repertoire.

WALCOTT: Now you see him, now you don’t. That’s not good enough for top flight.

WELBECK : Sits between two stools. Half a midfielder, half a striker. He should make up his mind. Sub role only for now as he is obviously still coming back.

SANCHEZ : Against a team sitting deep, putting him out wide is a misuse. Credit to him, he still made the best of that misuse. πŸ‘

TEAM : So poor without the ball that they are a pain to watch when the opponent are in possession.

WENGER : Is he defense blind? More pragmatism is demanded of him. Is it now too late in the day?

REST OF THE SEASON: We must keep fighting if not for any laurel at least for our pride!

By PE

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41 Responses to Arsenal player ratings: Only two players deserve credit

  1. TotalArsenal says:

    Fair review, PE, and all agreed. Welbeck and Walcott were clumsy and ineffective, and Rambo and Ox are just not reaching the level required at Arsenal. Also feel that Mustafi and Koz are too similar in defence, especially against the brutes teams. We need a new Sol Campbell.

  2. Goonereris says:

    Fair assessments all round and I agree, totally. I particularly like that someone else has noticed Bellerin’s limitations as well, which reduces his options when he is on the ball with opponents bearing down on him. He is also not all that, if you ask me; admittedly, he is just over 20years, but if you (wish to) earn a man’s pay, best you deliver a man’s performance.

    I still hurt and fear for us……

  3. Goonereris says:

    Maybe, an announcement should be made about Wenger, whether he is staying or going and for how long. I feel that will help get the players back on-side, one way or the other.

  4. Ogban says:

    Good review. Spot on comment on Xhaka . World class pass for Sanchez’s goal. Highlights the need for a truly defensive midfielder (not Coqelin please) in the team

  5. 17highburyterrace says:

    I think you’ve got the (narrative) ratings just about right, PE…Good job…

    I gotta admit that I feared the worst when I saw that Ozil was out and that Giroud only got a bench seat. It might also have been a match to rekindle the Mertesacker/Koscielny pairing but that was a never-in-a-million years kind of proposition if the tall defender couldn’t get in vs Liincoln City the week before. IMO, some bigger bodies might’ve helped at corners. The deliveries, however, were strong enough that it might not have…

    retsub, previous thread, is right that our crossing is poor and, in truth, we got a goal the only time their defense went slack and Xhaka delivered the fine pass in. His corners were hit and miss (our next best chance was DW’s header off the bar from one of them) and I would have preferred Ozil (plus the taller targets) in there for our set pieces. Is he (Ozil) really hurt or just being protected to avoid taking even more heat from the support? The bigger targets (Giroud from the start) would have helped seeing how the WBA defenders kept backing off our players with the ball. Alexis had nobody to chip towards, for example, and thus had to try and do it all himself or try those little pull back passes…

    So, a weird set-up given how the tactics played out, IMO, as well as all the poor performances noted…

    Ah geez… Spurs up a goal early vs So’ton… It just gets grimmer…

  6. Admir says:

    Excellent description of yesterday’s game.

    Van Dijk would be a great addition to our defence as he has height and everything else a modern center-back should have.

    Xhaka seems to relish the games in which opponents sit deep and don’t put a pressure on him. However, we still need a better ball control when the opponents are biting our ankles all over the pitch and that’s where Ozil might get a new chance to shine.

    When it comes to the attack, we have too many incomplete forwards who can’t score against the run of play. Maybe my suggestion from the last thread (Lukaku) isn’t the one that would change it but we would at least have a striker who has all three components: finishing, strength and pace. Welbeck has 2 and 3, Giroud has 1 and 2, Alexis and Perez 1 and 3.

  7. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hi Admir… As much as I loathe the immediate (over-the-top) blame you toss out in the heat of the moment (during and right after poor matches), you always speak a lot of sense in the cold light of (the next) day.

    The Wenger era should be coming to a close here very shortly. Frankly, I think there would be a bit of a motivational boost if, over the int’l break, he announced that he would not accept a new contract. At that point, players would need to start auditioning for their new manager, whomever he might be, at Arsenal or elsewhere.

    In my view we’ve got a few players who are good enough to want moves away to better clubs and a bunch who probably belong at a lower level. Of course, Arsenal might very soon be amongst those teams. Like A-kev suggested (previous thread), on current form, we might not make the top 6, let alone top 4. I’m watching the (English) football today and our recent play is quite a bit below what I’m seeing from the Manc Clubs, Pool, Spurs and even Southampton, though the last team lost a couple of their best players to injury today and lack depth… We’ve already lost to Pool and we have to play all the others in the run in…Gulp…

    Gael Clichy just got whistled for a pen…even if Lee Dixon (commentary) thinks it wasn’t one. Milner converts… Let’s see if City can battle back…

    All those teams, just like ours, have their flaws, but at least they seem to be working hard for their managers…

    Are Arsenal’s best players? Alexis seems to think he’s a one man show, Ozil might be sick and/or hurt, but maybe he’s already jumped ship or Wenger is protecting him. Koscielny can’t do all the defending all the time. At least Xhaka seems to be doing better but he’d better not try a tackle or lay a hand on an opponent now that he’s got a reputation. Giroud and Theo, who both might not make it at any kind of top 4 club besides ours, look determined to not muck up the works with too much action–when they get to play at all these days.

    Theo probably rates even lower with a lot of Gooners (as might Ollie). IMO, the roster restrictions re: home grown players put a BIG kink in AW’s ideas. Buying very young guys and English players was a good way to get better value (and maybe loyalty), but was also forced upon him, especially with the big money poured into the game at City and Chelsea, and imitated by the more adventurous American owners at Pool and United. We (finally) entered the game (buying more expensive players) with Ozil (then Alexis and now Mustafi and Xhaka) but much later. Are guys like Theo, Ox, Ramsey, Wilshere (not to mention Jenkinson)–the figures on the Britcore, side of the stadium banners–actually top players? The only one with any international success has been Rambo…and the others would only play for (woeful) England. To me, they’d look more comfortable at mid-table clubs… Let’s not forget that both Ozil and Alexis (and Welbeck, it could be argued) were cast offs themselves, albeit from richer and/or bigger clubs. If these assessments ring true–and you add in the poisonous atmosphere from the high ticket prices and “boring” results–it’s a miracle that AW has held out as long as he has, IMO.

    I was always hopeful for a happy ending, and to see a real intellect and “company man” who gave his life to the institution (or project or cause) is all too rare these days (in favor of not so bright ego-maniacs, see Mourinho–or Trump–as examples) but alas, it seems it’s not to be.

    Finally you’re right about the pretty football. There’s been little on display (esp. since Santi’s been hurt) and it’s been a ton of route one. I was surprised at yesterday’s tactics, but the criticism that AW doesn’t do them (tactics) rings hollow for me. Beyond kicking it over the MF, we’ve also played a lot on the break this season, including in our last league win (over Hull at home)….

    El Kun equalizes from DeBruyne… Foreign players doing more of the English style…Pace down the wing from the Belgian, and then a pinpoint cross to the streaking Argentine… Game on…

  8. 17highburyterrace says:

    Whoa… What a choke from Lallana with the goal at his mercy…

    Other end, Cabellero (good all day) just beats Sterling to a sure goal… End to end, this one is…

  9. 17highburyterrace says:

    Game ends 1-1… Probably a good result for Arsenal but moot if we can’t pull our act together…

    Enjoy (what’s left of) your weekend…

  10. retsub1 says:

    Lots of good points. One factor that I don’t think has been raised is would a new manager bring out qualities we haven’t seen in players . In my opinion one of the big problems is Wenger has total power. If a player has a bad game does he give them a hug and say never mind? Or does he give them a kick up the rear and tell them they are out of a job. I sense nearer the former. I mentioned it yesterday but Theo really annoyed me when he suddenly sprang into action.. I am convinced he had seen his number on the sub board and decided to prove that it was a mistake. I didn’t see anyone on or off the pitch attempting to give him smelling salts prior to that

    I don’t think anyone played well yesterday, but it must be very difficult when you have lethargy all around you.

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    I don’t agree with the notion that the players did not try yesterday at all, or that they are not good enough. For sure, we can improve on the squad but we have a lot of very good players. They worked as hard as the Brummers but they were not effective and lacked the confidence when things went wrong. It never stops amazing me how fans look at somebody to blame rather than accept that sometimes things just go wrong, luck is not on our side and shit happens. For me, Wenger has not been able to get the balance in the team right, especially in midfield ever since Cazorla got injured. Now he is also struggling with getting the right balance up front and even at the back. Sooner or later he will get it right again of course, but the atmosphere in and around the club is soooo toxic now that even he may not be able to turn this ship of shite back round again anytime soon.

  12. 17highburyterrace says:

    I think it might turn around if he announced he was done sooner than later…for this season only, of course, and for the reasons outlined in my earlier comment. In general, the idea of the collective (including the support…) being bigger than the sum of its parts is falling apart in spectacular fashion…which, for this guy (me), with similar socialist leanings, is very (very) sad. It seems to be heading that way in a much more global fashion, but that’s a topic for another blog…probably…

    The atmosphere, I fear, is driving a big wedge between me and the club, which, it could also be argued, seems like it is nothing but a money making machine–an attitude that MUST trickle down to all the relevant parties. The main shareholder is the biggest culprit, of course, but so too are the remaining (silent?) board members and all the employees–CEO, Gazidis (75K/week) and AW (160K/week) as well as the (well paid) players. On the other end, the tickets cost beaucoup, so why shouldn’t the customers complain…

    WHEN Wenger goes down (I think “if” is no longer on the table, in truth…) the pressure will be relieved and the support (all but the most bitter…) should rally around the man and his players, and, possibly, the boys can get up for a top 4 spot and a good showing at Wembley. TA, you’re absolutely right, there is a massive amount of luck in the game of football, but when EVERYBODY is against you, it’s harder to get lucky. In other words, when ALL the loudest voices want to see a certain narrative (Wenger falling upon his sword) the fates tend to line up that way… If he takes the mortal wound, I think, it could be a decent couple of months…

    So, I think Wenger announces, “no new contract,” the team does better in the run-in and then (hopefully) he takes over at PSG or for the French National Team and wins the CL or the WC in Russia (both of which aren’t beyond the realm of possibility, IMO). Certainly it would be a great test for me personally: am I loyal to the club or more to the manager himself?… At this moment, given his current treatment, the general culture of the club, and how I can still enjoy watching some “neutral” football… I’m finding it hard to say…

  13. retsub1 says:

    That’s very interesting 17HT and explains a lot to me of your deep thinking. To me it’s unthinkable to support a manager over and above the club (unless you are related). No matter what happens I will support the club. Personally I think he has run his course. But I bear him no bad feelings and would like him to go gracefully with the majority of fans honouring him. He will always be a hero to me. The trouble is this is going from bad to worse. The players looked clueless yesterday, other than the Wellbeck header all I can remember is countless square balls leading to nothing. pullis must have been in his element.

    You may not remember the great Brian Clough. He did the nearest thing to a Leicester with both Derby County and Nottingham Forest and won two European. Cups with Forest ( which became the champions league). Probably one of the greatest managers of all time, but he stayed in the Forest seat for two long and his last game before retirement was to see them relegated. I don’t want to see Wenger suffer a similar fate

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    You could be right, Seventeenho. The fans may reunite, but I am not sure whether the players would benefit from knowing Wenger is leaving. They rely heavily on his leadership and support as that is the sort of club he has build. Will they fight for him even harder, or will the sadness of his departure take over? Hard to tell imo.

  15. allezkev says:

    According to MotD, Tony Pulis has admitted that Arsene Wenger told him that he was staying at Arsenal…

  16. 17highburyterrace says:

    retsub… It could be time for a(nother) version of my “how I became a Gooner” story. Suffice it to say (tonight, at least) that it was in 2006 (when I lived at my screenname) and first saw (on TV, at the pub…) some Wenger “coaching” of Emmanuel Eboue, the quintessential opposite of the ‘ard English player (and,not to generalize, but my image of the happy–and skilled–African player). That AW was trying to bring that sort of player into the English game was amazing to me… and probably to a lot of other folks too, but for (very) different reasons… Near brawls (also in the pubs) over who was a “real” gooner were also, uh, interesting… esp. as the most heated, er, discussion, I witnessed was when we were beating Liverpool 3-nil…

    Anyhow, for another time… Maybe, after the guillotine is dropped…

  17. Admir says:

    @17

    Speaking of cast offs… The best Arsenal team of all times was built around cast-offs from Italian clubs (that had been back then what Real and Barca are now): Bergkamp, Vieira and Henry. You may even add Kanu to that list as Welbeck might be the closest thing to him from the current team.

    Then again, there are cast offs and there are cast offs. It’s one thing when you sign Vieira and completely another thing when you get Silvestre. We lose players we don’t want to sell from the football point of view but from the financial one and that’s been our thing since the Highbury days (Anelka, Petit, Overmars) and it become worse since the move to Emirates was arranged (Cole, Fabregas, Nasri, RvP…). It was all good as long as we could find the right replacements but now everybody knows the trick.

    In a hindsight, the Suarez casr was the last chance for Arsenal to get the game-changer. He looked interested in making the move but Rodgers managed to manage him. If we had Dein on Board, we’d have broken the bank for Suarez and…who knows. Maybe we would all hail the Uruguayan biter as the Arsenal legend. To some extent, Kante was another missed opportunity to make a top signing.

    I fear we will do a Milan and sell Ozil and Alexis for peanuts like they did with Thiago Silva and Ibrahimovic five years ago and never recovered from that.

  18. njk84sg says:

    From what I see from reports, there were actually contradictory ones. Some say Wenger is preparing to leave, some say he will stay.

    I think he will be staying. Knowing his style, he is not someone who will jump off a sinking ship. He is someone who tries to take the buckets he can find and scoop the water out of the broken hull.

    And whether he is able to gather his crew and manage to empty the ship of water before it gets worse, I think he can. But emptying of water at strategic locations is needed. So, if he can make his tactics right, the ship will be buoyant again.

    JK

  19. geoffchase says:

    PE,

    Broadly agree… Something is just not right! The big question is how to fix it. What is most distressing to me is lack of defense. You can always draw 0-0, but if you don’t score (enough)??

    cheers — jgc (in Brussels and Liege au moment)

  20. Goonereris says:

    17ht, interesting to see the set tone in your posts looking like Arsene’s Nunc Dimittis. Not surprising as the groundswell of opinion has moved against the gaffer, whether he can be trusted to turn it around or not. But then, the world is changing and tending towards victory for the loudest and most (ubiquitous) populist views; which the media is in control of, thus shaping opinions.

    To my mind, and on record, this is the worst losing run of Wenger’s Arsenal, in the last 20 years and I feel he should be trusted to fix it; it is in poor taste to hound that man out of the club and I hope the board are calm so as to take the right decisions for the club, in the circumstances. I am convinced this state of affairs originated from the Alexis and Ozil contract saga; then onto stories of training ground bust-ups and now, divisions/distrust in the team. That could not have been helpful for the boys. We all know they are much better than they showed last Saturday. So, it is down to a drop in confidence level which can return with a good win in a big game. Let’s see if City give us the break we need.

  21. allezkev says:

    Interesting that Arsene has downplayed the importance of finishing in the top four, due to the increase in TV money, you have to give him his due, he’s quick on his feet when it comes to moving positions to suit his situation at the club.

    Interesting also that we no longer hear Ivan Gazides comparing Arsenal with Bayern Munchen in any shape or form. In fact we don’t hear from Ivan at all…

  22. AB says:

    I’m not sure I’ve ever known this site so down. I know it’s bad but come on guys we’ve bee mid table for years before. This isn’t disaster even while it’s well below what we are used to and expect. I don’t think we have a rubbish squad. I think we have a squad that’s better than all bar perhaps two in the league. The oilers if anyone is in doubt. But they are not playing at the moment. I don’t know why. But it happens. Too many players are under performing and the collective confidence is shot to bits. We will turn it round I’m sure. Whether that will be soon enough to get back to the top 4 I’m not sure. Probably not I fear. But a year out isn’t a disaster. Whatever it may feel like. We need some steel in the squad. A new striker and perhaps a young left back. Apart from that and the squad has what we need. When it plays to its ability. I’m not being rose tinted here. Come on guys this site stays more positive than this.

  23. retsub1 says:

    AB gotta be honest the thought of finishing below Spurs horrifies me. Most of my wife’s familty and my dog walking crew are all afflicted with Spurs addictions and it’s going to be painful. In the past we have always relied on them losing their bottle and one time we even fed them a dodgy lasagne. In the past when we have lost important matches, we have complained about referee decisions, hit the bar 3 times in the last five minutes etc. Unfortunately the current team just seems to roll over. They don’t seem to be able to change their tactics and I think that is why people get so frustrated

    I am sure there are multiple reasons this is happening, but I think one of the main reasons is we are lacking leaders on the pitch. I can’t believe that the team didn’t have a plan to stop The West Brom set pieces, but I don’t remember anyone trying to organise things. They just seem to look at each other and say “whoops”

    If Alexis really did have a smashed up ankle, why was he allowed back on the pitch in the 2nd half?

    Have to be honest I don’t ever remember seeing such a slump in form before and don’t see an obvious way out of it. The last time I remember a slump being reversed was when Coquelin was recalled from Charlton, but he seems to lost any form he did have.

    The answer? I dont know.

  24. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hi AB…and I meant to say Hi when you popped in last week… Hi also to Geoff Chase, currently in Belgium… I’ve missed you both and wish you guys would pop round more often…

    I’ve got nothing but respect for the people who’ve been following the team for decades and know the ups and downs of Arsenal before the consistency of my (single) decade of being entranced by Wenger and his team(s) of (quality for money) misfits (cast-offs…) and youthful up-and-comers (i.e., potential)…

    I come from a different background (watching US sports), however, so I was totally entranced by the big conflict I saw at Arsenal–Wenger’s efforts to bring a traditional (and locally-based) team (and game) into the modern era of (televised and global) sports. CL participation seemed essential (and Gooners were buoyed by the close loss in the ’06 final, while David Dein presided over the G-14 and maybe the beginnings of a European Super League)… I still see it this way for a variety of reasons (probably better fodder for a longer post…) so I’m totally shocked by Wenger’s maneuvering to suggest it’s not so important, even if the much improved (domestic) season being turned in at Chelsea could be cited as an example.

    But, what does Wenger really think? I’ve noted before that he lies–usually to protect his players by taking ones with delicate confidence out of the firing line (Ozil, at the moment, perhaps…) by way of what I call Weng-juries (trade mark pending)… So, maybe he’s lying now… In truth, I can’t tell what is even real news coming from our camp. The (usually reliable) Guardian reported that the board was in contact with the Dortmund Manager AND that AW was hoping to stay on…on the very same day!! That said, the Guardian, the US online version at least, seems like it is working quite hard to become an antidote to the Fox News–and worse–media outlets in our Trumpian age of hard-spun and/or mysteriously leaked–if not outright fake news–all the time…

    Anyhow, this is all to say (Hi also to Goonereris…) that it appears I was (very) wrong about my upbeat scenario for the run-in based on (massive) pressure relief by way of Wenger announcing no new contract and the reasonably talented team (and reasonably good set of supporters…) rallying around the man–and (selfishly) playing hard for their would-be new manager(s)…

    Luckily, we’ve got a break in the action (aka our current run of very poor results…) so I’ll hold off until I hear more or some news gets verified… This past Sunday, our next opponent, Man City, looked strong but only drew vs Liverpool so maybe that’s a cause for hope? Spurs–without their goal scorer–looked good enough edging Southampton, and, I have to agree with retsub, they seem well poised to finish ahead of us, an NLD (at their place) notwithstanding. Who knows, if we’d been given housing further north–and I had been forced to become a Spurs supporter–I might even be relishing that one…

    Ugh…

  25. allezkev says:

    Retsub, I’m sure if you cast your mind back, you can remember a few seasons that were right stinkers…
    Off the top of my head, and my worryingly thinning hair, what about that Terry Neill season when Arsenal went a record run of games without recording a win?
    I can’t recall the exact season, but I’m sure you remember Terry Neill saying, as only Terry Neill could, that his players couldn’t beat a team of dustbins… lol
    I laugh now, but it wasn’t funny at the time, it was dire…
    The trials and tribulations of being a Gooner eh?

  26. retsub1 says:

    kev I totally remember some pretty poor Arsenal sides? Bertie Mee and Don Howe had a decent team in the early seventies and Stroller built a decent side. But other than that we were regularly md table. Thing was that was our standard at the time. Then came along a certain Monsieur Wenger and we have never looked back. That’s a great compliment to him, but I don’t remember a run has poor as this in his dynasty.

    The stadium has always been a factor in the Wenger success story. If you took the last 10 years as a yardstick ( i.e. Forget the invincibles). I suspect most of the other top sides would have changed managers. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but Chelseas hire and fire system has bought them a great deal of success.

  27. allezkev says:

    I can’t disagree Retsub, not only Arsenal, but football in England has radically changed, it’s a very cosmopolitan league we have in Blighty now, the rewards are enormous, the cost to the fans is also-reaching unsustainable levels…
    I have a very good friend, born and bred in Liverpool Road, been a massive Gooner all his life, goes with his wife and invests around Β£3,000 pa on two season tickets. Great seats, excellent view, but that a lot of dough to invest year in year out, I wouldn’t do it…
    Where he sits there are around 9 or 10 regulars who he chats to, been there since 2006 and before were season ticket holders at Highbury, all of them have said they won’t renew if there isn’t any change at managerial level.

  28. njk84sg says:

    Allezkev, Retsub,

    I know lots of people are seeing other clubs and making comments about the difference between them and us, myself included.

    However, if you see the history (just look since the start of PL until now, I think about 17 years), you will see who is good, and who was bad before the Oligarchs and the Oil-rich guys bought the clubs. Chelski was a mid-table side, Manc Citeh was a mid-to-low table side. Even our lifetime enemies, spud, is also a mid-table side.

    If you put that into perspective, the clubs with consistency with or without money throughout the PL were the Manu**, Liv and us. Recent years all three of us were not that good, and the best was us for the past seasons.

    I understand that this season the supporters’ reactions were due to how we lost games that we should have won. I myself are disappointed, just like everyone, but, looking at history and now, we were just travelling along a straight line, sometimes veering a little off.

    So, if Wenger decides to go, it would be a bad call for the fans who grew up with Arsenal. Not saying that the rest of the people are plastic fans, as each of us have our preferences.

    JK

  29. Admir says:

    “Chelski was a mid-table side…”

    I’m sorry… What?

    Chelski won CWC 1998 and European Supercup 1998, were 4th before the Russian both them (the myth of Gronkjaer’s goal in a direct clash for the CL place against Liverpool) and were always around the top after their Italian revolution (Zola, Di Matteo, Vialli etc). Yes, they hadn’t won the league for 50+ years before Abramovich’s billions but they were already among the best teams in England when he arrived.

    Man City are something else though.

  30. retsub1 says:

    J K I think the crux of the matter is how you define success? Prior to the Champions League, we had the European cup. This competition was only open to the Champions of each European League and the previous seasons winners. It was a straight knockout tournament . At the time it seemed like a very difficult trophy to win as you had to win your own domestic league the season before to even qualify. That said English clubs did very well and as well as the big boys, Nottingham Forest (twice) and Aston Villa managed to win it, in fact Celtic were also successful in the 1960’s.

    From memory (if I try to google it I invariably lose this note) Arsenal only ever qualified a couple times, certainly one year losing to the then Mighty Ajax (T A did Dutch football purely decline because of lack of money?). I know at one time English teams were banned because of the Heysel disaster and I think George Grahams side may have missed out because of this.

    Anyway I ramble on, but following the introduction of the Champions League, up to four team from the major European nations automatically qualified for the champions league and the associated revenues. I hear figures of Β£40 million being the reward for qualifying. As you know we only ever reached the final once where we lost to Barcelona. Although one year we did lose to Chelsea in a semi final when we were I believe a far better team.

    So over the Wenger years where we have always qualified many people see a top four finish as almost winning a trophy. If the Arsenal board define champions league qualification as success, then Arsenal Wenger is undisputedly the most successful manager in Europe. The problem is if we are honest, although we qualify every year it’s only on a few occasions we have looked capable of winning it.

    So when we finish 4th every year, is Kroenke happy? Didn’t he make a classic remark about Arsenal being a business and we didn’t need to win trophies? If the board are happy with this I suspect we are going nowhere. What I find frustrating, is as much as Wenger is a big hero of mine, he seems to be making all the decisions. He seems to be deciding if he will stay or not. Surely that decision should be made by the board based on performance?

  31. njk84sg says:

    Retsub1, what I have to say is that Wenger makes most of the decisions as the board manages the other aspects of the club, which is not always on the pitch.

    I agree that businessman looks at profits rather than results, and that might not be suitable for running a club like that.

    So, should we get a multi billionaire to come in and bring in better players or get someone who is not rich and manages the club with a footballing mentality?

  32. allezkev says:

    84, I do wish that I knew exactly what our Board indeed does, because to me they seem to fulfil an almost decorative existence.
    Gazides is the manager, CEO, the guy who does the sponsorship deals and oversees the office, meanwhile having little or no authority over his subordinate Arsene Wenger.
    Is there another major football club, sports club even, anywhere else in the world that runs this way?

    Retsub, with my anorak hat on you’ll be thinking of 1971-72 when we were ‘robbed’ by Ajax. πŸ˜‰

    We should have been in the 1989-90 European Cup, but thanks to Liverpool fans killing those poor Juve fans in Heysel in 1985, English clubs were banned from Europe, a kind of reverse Brexit.

    1991-92 we made the cup with big ears again but got mugged by Benfica at Highbury 1-3 after initially leading through a Colin Pates goal.

  33. retsub1 says:

    Wow Kev great memory. I remember seeing Cruyff at Highbury, but I think that the semi final of the 1969 Fairs cup.

    Colin Pates??? had long forgotten him, probably because he was ex Chelsea. I don’t remember him being to spectacular.

    I am going to have to revert to Google to check out the Ajax robbery, those brain cells have obviously departed

    J K at the very least, if Wenger is staying we need to get Wenger some support and make sure he delegates responsibility. Obvious things are contract and transfer negotiations. We have so many players who are nearly out of contract which has not yet been resolved by a manager in a similar position.

    I don’t know a great deal about the Russian guy on the board, Usmanov, other than he is very rich and appears to have had some brushes with the law in the past.

  34. TotalArsenal says:

    Good morning fella and fellinis πŸ™‚

    Great comments and banter over the last few days. Will write something at the weekend. Keep truckin’! (and not just Kev the cabbie!!) πŸ˜€

  35. retsub1 says:

    Speaking of cabbies
    B
    Some of my black cabbie friends were telling me that some black cabs were taking people home for free yesterday . Meanwhile Uber raised their rates.

    Well. Done London Cabbies we are very proud of you

  36. njk84sg says:

    I am not so old to remember Colin Pates. It was the Wenger era that i started watching us play good footy and hooked by it. Other teams made me sleep.

    Retsub1, agreed with you. But, who to bring in for the position of director of football? We need a good contract dealer. Last few seasons were just bad. Maybe let Sir Chips do that part. Or, let Usmanov do that part. He will be a good person to act like a mafia.

    JK

  37. retsub1 says:

    I was watching something earlier today, where it was suggested that Wenger should reach out to some of the ex greats to form a management coaching team.

    Names like Henry, Bergkamp, Pires and Vieira were mentioned. I seriously doubt it would be possible to put the dream together and they would probably end up fighting each other anyway

    But……….I would like to be able to buy the movie rights

  38. 17highburyterrace says:

    Retsub…That’s an amusing thought… ^^^

    I wish I could participate in the memory exercises of the long-termers, but alas, I cannot…Keep ’em coming for us kids, however… πŸ˜€

    It sounds like the club is taking a break and maybe making like an ostrich and putting its head in the sand re: leaks that Wenger has already signed a new deal… Even for me, AW’s biggest fan, it seems a form of madness and doesn’t bode well for the run-in. Of course, the manager has done it before, but, between the fixture list and the poisoned atmosphere, this time seems (by far) the most difficult…

    Meanwhile, there are the Int’l matches. Was there any Gooner participation last night in the Germany-England friendly? I saw most of the first hour and it was the Deli and Lallana show, though you’ve got to beat both the goalie AND the post for them to be counted… I also noted (highlights only) that Koscielny’s forward run gave Pogba the space to blast the lone goal that beat Holland in a qualifier… Today, Ospina (our new #1?…) plays for Pekerman’s coffee guys (gotta love the names…) vs Bolivia then the Argentinians MUST beat Chile tonight to resurrect their qualification campaign. Will Alexis play? What about the Man City players–El Kun and Otamendi? It’s not the most exciting stuff but it’s always good for my Spanish to listen to the commentary… And at least it’s not as bad as watching our team (in current form) try to play…

    I dunno, based on the latest news (nothing, except small noises of player support for the manager and made-up transfer tittle…) we might be best served for the break to go on forever…

  39. retsub1 says:

    17ht. When I was a kid 400 years ago I used to get excited about international football. I am even old enough to remember England winning the World Cup in 1966. Sadly no Arsenal players in the team, although I think George Eastham was in the squad. Good player Eastham but he looked about 10 years older than he was. Somebody stole the World Cup and it was saved by a dog called Pickles!

    Frankly I find international football reallly boring these days and rarely watch it. I find it really frustrating when there are no club matches on because of the interlull. Seems a lot of people think like that over here.

  40. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yeah…I don’t get too deeply into the international football except as a chance to watch (current and future…) Arsenal players. That said, the South American games often have some interesting players and it’s just such a different culture. I’d probably enjoy the AFCON if it were on television (for us) in much the same way. I can hardly be arsed to watch our games on streams (on the rare occasions when I must) so no way for any others…

    I’m just too old, I guess–barely alive for the 66 WC, and with early and very vague memories of watching Brazil WC football in 1970. You have to realize that we really had very little access to ANY pro football over here, though there was an uptick when the US hosted the 1984 WC…

    Maybe it’s from their tragic failure in that tournament and then my (much more recent) travels there, but I’ve definitely got a soft-spot for Colombia, a country ravaged by war and the drug trade. Their team contains all colors (Native, Spanish and African blood all mixed together) and everybody wears the shirt and watches whenever the national team plays.

    Anyhow, it’s half-time in their match and nil-nil though they had by far the better chances. Ospina hardly had any action but it’s amazing how he stays rooted to his line unless there’s no doubt he’s got to leave it…

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    New Post πŸ™‚

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