Tired of Arsenal – Wenger Out or Wenger to Make Sweeping Changes?

“The Nile”: A Case for Change

*** The Nile, located in the northeast of Africa is generally considered as the longest river on planet Earth.

*** Change is defined as “the act of making or becoming different”.

Many of you are probably wondering what does one have to do with the other. The simple answer is absolutely nothing. However, “The Nile”, when pronounced phonetically, sounds like “Denial”, which according to some definition, is “a refusal to believe or accept something as the truth”. This “Denial” absolutely has everything to do with “Change”, for one can easily refuse to accept change when one is living in a constant state of denial.

Forced Exile:

I used to be somewhat of a regular on this Arsenal blog (and others) but decided to take a much-needed sabbatical from blogging a couple of years ago when it became apparent to me that my love for Arsenal and my desire for the team to perform well to the highest standards were not been met and were actually starting to cause trouble in my personal life. You see, back then, every time Arsenal played awful and lost, it deeply affected my mood for the day or for the week, and I was inadvertently taking it out on my family. My son (11 years old at the time) pointed this out to me in the most honest way one day after another poor Arsenal performance. All he simply said when my wife and my small daughter came in the room was: “Arsenal just lost again. Here goes our weekend. Papa is very angry and is going to be in a bad mood all weekend.” He is an Arsenal fan just like me, and has been for the past 10 years. When I heard what he said that day, I decided right on the spot to still support Arsenal and Arsene Wenger, but to take a break from blogging, go into a “semi-retirement” and let results of Arsenal matches speak for themselves. Basically, to not let bad results and bad performances dictate my life. I still follow Bergkampesque and read every comment (some I agree with, some I don’t) as much as I can, and it has been quite an experience willing myself to not participate in any given debate.

Temporary Return:

So, why then am I breaking my silence to write this post? Well, the simple answer is that after much soul searching and internal deliberations, I have come to realize that I was delusional, I was living in total denial, in believing that Arsenal can achieve the utmost success in winning the Premier League and maybe one day, even the Champions League. Meanwhile, teams like Chelsea and Manchester City (granted their unbelievable wealth and financial doping) have surpassed us and left us in their rear-view mirror. And now in the past couple of seasons, teams like Liverpool and Tottenham have done the same, albeit they are not that far ahead at all but still ahead nonetheless. This has led me to wonder what the hell exactly is going on with Arsenal as a football club. How did we allow the team to regress instead of progressing? How did we allow superstars like Sanchez and Ozil to run down their contract to now 5-6 months and now hold the club to ransom?

Tipping Point:

A few days ago, I asked my son (now 13 years old) if he was excited about the start of the FA Cup and if he thought Arsenal would be able to mount a successful defence of their title. I also asked if he would like to watch the match. His answer shocked me. He said: “why even bother, they are going to lose anyway, against a Championship side because they don’t play well anymore, they are just not good enough anymore. They suck!” That answer both hurt me and woke me up from my fantasy land at the same. Have we become that bad that even a 13-year old diehard Arsenal fan can clearly see it? And if he (and other young fans like him) can see it, why can’t we? Why can’t Wenger? Why can’t Kroenke? Why can’t the B.o.D.? With the vast influx of money now in the Premier League, competition will be fiercer than ever before. Every single team can now attract quality players to complement their squad. Now is not the time to hide. Now is not the time to be in denial. Now is the time to wake up, remain united, and demand accountability from Stan Kroenke, from our B.o.D., from Arsene Wenger, and especially from our players. If we do nothing, we will look up every end of season and see at least 5 teams ahead of us. That is not acceptable. Something’s gotta give one way or the other.

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My Solution:

Either Wenger completely remakes the team with a whole bunch of dedicated fighters full of heart and passion for the game (not whinny average primadonnas simply happy to collect their bloated pay checks every week). Or, he calls it quit at the end of this season (waiting until the end of next season when his contract expires might be too late to remove the toxic aroma and negativity surrounding the club, I worry). This is where change, though risky, can be good for the future of the Club. Leaving Arsenal would in no way, size, shape, or form diminish Arsene Wenger’s stature within the Club. He is and will most likely remain one of the best (if not the best) managers Arsenal will ever have. His love, loyalty, and achievements speak for themselves.

Unfortunately for him, we don’t live in the past. We live in the NOW and we hope for the FUTURE. And right now, that future looks pretty bleak and uncertain. This Arsenal ship has been listing badly over the past several years and because of the unbelievable trust, fatherly love, and sound fondness that Arsene Wenger has for his players, he can be totally blind and gets betrayed by his players too often with average performances followed by great performances followed by mediocre performances, etc. Some say Arsenal are so inconsistent. I say that’s wrong. Arsenal are consistent. They are consistently inconsistent. It equally pains me and annoys me whenever I hear match commentators (after a tough loss or a fantastic win) utter the phrase: “Typical Arsenal”, even though I know they are right. We need to somehow reverse this bad trend. In my humble opinion, a new approach is needed, a new direction is needed, new personnel are needed, a new Captain is needed at the helm to right this ship. CHANGE is needed. It will not be easy sailing. It will require our patience, our determination, our total commitment, and our profound support.

Change is the only constant thing in life. We must embrace it, not fear it.

And remember, there are no rewards without risks. I hope our just reward will ultimately be a swift return to the top, as it should be and must be.

As supporters, we all have differing opinions on these very sensitive subject matters. Please attempt to make constructive arguments, and do not belittle or hurl insults at the writer or at a commentator. Let’s share opinions and agree, disagree, or agree to disagree with each other but remain civil.

“Victory Through Harmony”

Thank you.

Written by: Gino92

45 thoughts on “Tired of Arsenal – Wenger Out or Wenger to Make Sweeping Changes?

  • Welcome back Gino!

    Thank you for a very good post based on your son’s wisdom. Really good to see how you let his opinion influence you in your thinking and the way you support the Arsenal.

    Like you I have a lot of respect for all that Wenger has done for the club. I don’t believe he is the right man for the job and it would be best for the club, fans and manager if he were to leave. This will only happen if Arsenal fail to qualify for the CL at the end of the season. He may well succeed although it is looking less and less likely. This is out of the fans’ hands as the BoD will decide and they have different success criteria than us. The risk is that more and more supporters will switch off and get disillusioned.

  • Hey Gino… Welcome back… I disagree with just a LOT of what you’ve written, but every opinion is as good as every other one and I appreciate that you’ve given your time to putting yours out there… One thing however…as the father of a 15 year old… Teenagers don’t always tell the (whole) truth… And sometimes they’re (pretty much dead) wrong. 😉 What would your son’s prediction have been for last season’s semis and finals of that same tournament, I wonder… (For example…And, I agree with TA, taking your kid’s opinions seriously is a very good thing…)

    Anyhow, I just posted to the previous thread (so some of my responses to other folk’s comments might be out of place…) but you’re welcome to carry it over to this thread, TA, if you like. I’m pretty sure that my views aren’t so popular these days, however, so if you choose not to, that’s fine too…

    Like Gino, I can’t waste too much time (at least for the rest of the day) on a subject that (from most of what I read, at least) makes me sad…

  • I also like your analogy of ‘The Nile’. Wenger has been for Arsenal what the Nile was for mankind. It is where modern history starts, well at least from a ‘European’ point of view. The river annually fertilised the land around it which meant healthy crops and good life for all who lived there. Wenger has had that effect on the club as well. The difference is the Nile is timeless and tireless but Wenger is not.

  • Seventeenho wrote earlier:

    The point I was really trying to make is that if we’re headed towards being a “small” club (rather than one trying a very different way of keeping up with the biggest ones–see JW’s post above…) we need a change in perspective. (And let me say, I’m VERY appreciative of those here who can see that, i.e, anybody who still reads my drivel…) Also, I want to give you props for expressing your feelings about the FA cup match when you saw the team sheet…instead of waiting for the result. Frankly, I thought the gamble was worth it and could have paid off. Forest played extremely well, maybe with players trying to impress during their coaching change…
    Likewise, I thought we’d come through the festive period without quite so many draws and be in better shape heading into this part of the season. Ramsey’s injury could almost have been predicted; Missing Giroud, Nacho and Kolasinac (all of whom had been adding goals and/or assists) has been tough–not to mention Ozil, who I pray is only Weng-jured and may just look at his options and re-sign with the club. He’s had some very good games, and, with his standing ovation at the NLD, even some of the ‘ardest of the fans might be (finally) realizing his value.
    I also think, with Europa League football, most Gooners believed we could get by with fewer experienced players and enjoy watching some youngsters shine in the autumn cup play. (And they did! Eddy, comes to mind, but so too Nelson, not to mention, AMN. If anything it’s been the more experienced guys–with the exception of Jack–who have disappointed.) The injuries, I fear, put paid to that notion, while the contract hold-outs, esp. Alexis, we hoped would help us do better in the league matches. My sincere hope is that taking gambles in these domestic cup matches allows (here in the past week…) for a bit of a winter break for at least a couple of guys. We’ll see when the team sheets for Bournemouth and CP come out…
    Mostly, I’ve got to agree with JW when he says, “The only aspect about these last two years that sticks in my craw was the haphazard way Wenger’s contract unbalanced the rest of the club’s dealings.” Too true, I fear, BUT, once the decision to keep him was made we won the (fecking) FA Cup AND came within a point of making the top 4(!!) If we’d dropped to 6th or 7th AND gone out of the cup AND gotten rid of Alexis and Ozil (and the Ox), maybe a new manager would have gotten some goodwill as well as some rebuilding money. The top of the market–i.e., players with agents who can shop around for the biggest money deals, would have been out of our reach. Maybe we’d unearth some gems, maybe not. Most likely those sorts of players would only become “wanted names” a few years down the road, at which point the silly money teams could wave the big money in front of them (see Coutinho in these past two windows, and maybe the likes of Salah, Kane, Dele, Alderweireld and maybe even Eriksen and Son in upcoming ones). I believe Wenger can still attract big name French talent (see Lacazette and maybe Lemar) so I think Pony Eye is dead wrong when he talks about Arsenal scrimping for pennies…and Jnyc is also off track using other words to describe AW’s spending practices then criticizing us for not selling for bigger money earlier(!!) You can’t have it both ways… In my opinion, that is…
    So, in the end, like it or not, if management (which serves at the pleasure of ownership) is not willing to get into the silly spending business, keeping Wenger–disruptions and all–seems the best route for keeping Arsenal up (or getting them back up, in terms of CL relegation/promotion). It’s an entertainment business of course, so maybe change (dropping lower, getting a new manager) would have been a better tack (results be damned…) and, of course, we can always dream that a new guy would’ve led us to the quadruple. That seems a bit wishful… Again, in my opinion.
    … which is just as good as any other… And not nearly as pithy and to the point as many…

  • Hey Gino I have been around for s few years now and I don’t think I have seen your posts before, so welcome back. I have to say I think this is extremely well written piece and I am pretty much in agreement. I know everyone doesn’t agree with words like passion and fight but I certainly do. Simply translated to words like Vierra, Adams, McLintock whoops showing my age again.

  • Wenger have not been the man for the last 5 years. Winning the Fa Cup. Whoopi. I am tired of his failure and excuses. Arsenal can’t challenge for the league under him. All our best players are leaving. And no big names coming in

  • Very nice to meet you Gino92. Myself, a relative newbie to BK. About 2 years now.

    I do, so get, your self-imposed exile on a personal level.
    Had been more than hip-deep in online opinion-shaping in US politics for as long as there have been websites about politics. Until Donald Trump was elected. I quit cold-turkey the day after– and have not posted since– on the site where I was a member since its’ founding in 1999. The stress from battling those supposedly on the same side? Who were like-minded– in the run-up to our elections in 2016 snuffed out my desire to continue.

    Things I’d worked for politically– for 40+ years– were made unobtainable by a generation of post-literate, video-mesmerized, smartphone-addled rubes– who would spend $800 on an iPhone 8 so they can have a ‘talking sh^tpile emoji’ talk smack in their stead when texting.

    Politics? I’m done with it.
    (And much easier to get along with now.)


    So here I am. A died-in-the-red-fan of Arsenal circa 2018 (since 2005).

    Who thinks there is more than meets the eye– to what has happened behind the scenes at the club. Whether that’s important for anything more than cutting some slack to the everyone in decision-making positions? Is for each of us to decide individually.

    But I do. Because I have what I think is an inkling at what has been tried; likely failed. Direction then changed, with mixed results. Then either discarded (hope not), or is taking longer than planned to come to fruition.

    In any of these scenarios? Simplistically put? Silence from the decision-makers is the only route. Which is why the public image of the club suffers. And will continue whether the front office is eventually justified by measures of success– or vilified justifiably for descending into a chaotic morass.

    In either outcome? Using effort right now? To stanch anything from a PR perspective at this point– is energy wasted.

    What I do think is a great sign? Is that Sven Mislintat and Raul Sanllehi have joined. Why on earth would either, both luminary in their spheres, voluntarily walk into a disaster?

    If anyone is interested in why I think they both come to London?
    Read this 2014 article from Bleacher Report:


  • Hi Gino! haven’t had the pleasure of reading any of your previous blog posts. But if they are anything like this one, its my loss. I have a couple of questions for you (and the other BKers) on this need / desire for change. Must change be wholesale (like clear the team) or impactful (change the entire coaching staff) in order to bring about change?

    I think that we have often observed that we are one or two players away from being an awesome team. Clearly we have not obtained these one or two players. Might the arrival of Sven Mislintat and Raul Snallehi be the change needed to bring this about? Is that the positive impactful change needed rather than get rid of not just the coaching staff, which besides being disruptive to the first team might also change the way of playing that we have from academy to first team? Why do we think that we will not be another Leeds or Forest or M’brough through such wholesale change?

    I am not trying to be a Wenger-loyalist, but often it seems to me that we are picking a solution and then figuring out our reasons for picking it. To the best of my knowledge everyone acknowledges that Wenger has tremendous knowledge of the game, he is ultra competitive and wants to win, is loyal, and players always say they love his man-management skills. Why would we discard all these positive qualities abruptly with no plan?

    Most of the grumbling appears to be focused on the players brought in – yes Wenger played a role – but isn’t that what the two newcomers are now going to be focused on? So, could huge change be underway…and we are just not yet aware of it?

  • Some terrific reading on the site today, both the excellent post and comment at 17.37.

    Gino. I never listen to my son, why would I? The man is chief financial editor of a large TV brcaster yet still expects me to buy the first round and then pay for dinner. I admire you parenting skills 😀

    As to The Arsenal. Like many I am suffering from a surfeit of football which is reflected in my ennui.

    We can still play exciting football and have seen a few crackers recently (Chavs/Spurs and even MU). What bores me is the attitude of other clubs and managers who have forgotten that millions pay to watch football to be entertained. Watching all but half a dozen teams come to the Emirates and committing 10 men behind the ball is what is killing football.

    TA. HNY to you and all your bloggers

  • St Henry

    Third paragraph is a good one. There are better managers out there now and it is about time, after 21 years, that we try one out, don’t you think? And why be worried about becoming a ‘Leeds’ etc? This is highly unlikely and a bit of courage and adventure are required to reinvigorate the support and to go onward and upwards! 🙂

    We are rich, have a great support in the UK and across the world, a fab stadium, a great youth development system, fab reputation and culture. I know of a few managers who could build further on this and bring us new successes.

  • I’d love to hear the names you’ve got, TA… For me, in terms of consistency AND keeping the culture of the club intact (spending what you make AND trying to play an attractive brand of football) I think AW has still got it. Another part of the club’s culture is to prioritize results above change for change sake. As I try to argue, for me (and for the BoD) Wenger still seems the way. That said, it’s an entertainment business… As such, I try to take mine from what I see on the pitch–and not what I hear (ad naseum) from the Wenger out folks… (On that front, Gino, Big Raddy, Red Arse/Henry B and others drawn to this post…please come and join me/us for the live-blogging efforts I/we try with most of the matches.)

    To me, we’ve also been showing grit and fight–the late Bellerin goal being a case in point, (though I prefer a perfection like Ozil over a talented yet unwilling to learn kinda guy like Alexis; there are different types of “fight,” IMO…) Do we have the depth (right now) to truly play with style, grit and toughness? Not in all comps, I fear. There are some promising youngsters coming up and I think this element will improve. We’ve also got some older players we’re probably counting on too much (and remembering their best play through rose-tinted glasses). I’m hopeful about the new guys from Dortmund and Barca. We should also not forget that being out of the CL hurts us in that regard. In a World Cup year there’s a reason guys like the Ox (and maybe Theo or Gabriel or Le Coq and others who can’t make our first 11) would seek CL and other first team opportunities elsewhere…Same as Alexis and Ozil… In many ways, though it’s the ultimate team sport, it’s also very much every man/player for himself, I fear. (In those ways, the Moneyball analogy is a good one, JW. When’s your post coming… 😉 )

    That’s just one element of how the game–and the marketplace for players–NOW works… (Glossing over the new influence of MEGA money simply doesn’t wash for me…) Wenger’s early success raised expectations which are now going unfulfilled (in other words, for many Gooners, including Werner Nel above, winning FA cups matters not a whit, I hate to say)… I kinda tried to explain my thoughts on those sorts of subjects in my comment carried over from the previous post, so maybe I’ll take a pass on trying to explain them once again.

    Finally, I don’t think we’re going to become “a Leeds” for the reasons TA explains. We might however, sink down to the level of say an Everton, which means even more quality players go out and fewer come in. Give a good coach a chance to rebuild and likely we’ll be back in the money and maybe we’ll even overachieve. If, however, that coach loses a few in a row (see Koeman and Martinez at Everton; or what if they “only” win an FA cup like Van Gaal at United?) then you have to fire him and start over.

    For better or worse (now I’m echoing JW again) I’m “married” to Wenger. (And I hope I can quit this blogging shite–cold turkey–if the Twitteratti and Le Grove folks ever manage to get him fired…) Is it as exciting as having a series of girlfriends, each of whom I (truly…) believe will be the one to make my life fantastic? Probably not… Still, for me, it seems like the right thing to do… Just like in real life… Am I in denial? Or, to paraphrase Wenger, do I just have the prettiest wife at home?… 😉

  • As TA– also agree with St Henry’s 3rd graph. And this ought to warm HT’s cockles too.

    Believe that Arsene isn’t ‘leaving the club’ when a new manager is named– but transitioning to an executive role. With an idea (after two PepCity seasons) it will be Mikel Arteta returning to the club to take the reins.

    Arteta was here when everything I’m envisioning started 4+ yrs back– he’s respectful of the culture and tradition of the club. Astute. Bright. Loves Elvis… Ok, ok.

    Arteta fits the mold of a young good manager– having learned under two of the best in the business. He knows the PL. He knows Per well, and I get a good feeling about he and Jens.

    Not exactly as I see it– but a good read on Mikel Arteta’s time at City– and possibility of coming back to North London:


  • Take a walk on the wild side, Seventeenho 😀

    I appreciate your loyalty and belief in Wenger and I trust you appreciate that others see it quite differently. A change would be very welcome to many of us. I don’t feel the need to give you names of my managers who could succeed Wenger; suffice to say there are a few.

  • Welcome back Gino92.

    My take on this is two options: Make wholesale changes to the squad (which we obviously cannot afford) or make changes tactically, and away from the predictable footy that we play.

    We can win games like this the last time, but the footy has evolved so much that relying on the same tactics meant that the opponents learnt them and countered us with their own.

    If we do not have a plan B or C or Z, we cannot win. The past 2 years had been like this and i can tell you how bad it is for me to watch the lads play like there is no eagerness in them.

  • OK, TA, I’ll let my (real life) wife know about the advice you’re offering… Like AW, she’s been less than perfectly good to me lately… More Smileys…

    I like that article you linked to, JW, though I’ll caution that the writer is just a teenager and I stick by what I said about teenagers and the truth… It’s a lovely notion, however. Bergkamp as “first team” (i.e., non-traveling) coach might also be nice, I think… Henry, I fear, is having too much fun on TV (and don’t get me started on Lee Dixon)…

  • Caution is good HT– but no kids here my friend.
    On this planet to observe– for a lifetime.

    The opinions the young man expresses are founded with facts he presents. I’ll go a step further– in stating that Arteta would be coming in eyes-wide-open– as did Mislintat and Sanllehi. He would also be patient if the mechanisms to reboot aren’t quite-yet-finished processes.


  • Guys,

    Thank you for your comments and and especially for your candor. I appreciate it. Unfortunately, I don’t have a whole lot of time to reply to every comment (I am a sailor and currently at sea, therefore limited internet access and time), but I will just make a general comment. Please note that I may not be able to respond to subsequent comments. My apologies in advance.

    My son has been an Arsenal fan since he was 3 (mostly due to me). In this span of time (a whole decade), he has been privileged enough to see some fantastic performances from Arsenal and some really awful ones as well. Just like any fan, he has his own opinions and he wants the team to do well. Over the past 2 or so months, he hasn’t been very happy with team performances. Sure, we’ve won some, lost some and drawn a lot. During this time, the team’s best performance according to him was the 1-3 loss at home to Manchester United. He thought that we actually played very well but just were just unfortunate not to win, and he was hoping that we use that performance as a launchpad regardless of the opponent or personnel on the pitch. When this did not happen, he made up his own mind that unless “something” changes, Arsenal will not progress, and he won’t waste his time. That was his right and his opinion which I valued, not as a father, but as a fellow supporter.

    And after some deep soul searching, I unashamedly happened to agree with him. I realized that just because I am his father or I am much older than him or I have been a supporter much longer than him, doesn’t mean his opinions should simply be discounted or that he is dead wrong and doesn’t know what he is talking about.
    Sometimes (not most of the time, but every once in a while), we, as adults, can learn a lot from kids or young people. We just have to leave our massive ego and know-it-all attitude aside and be willing to do so. We do not have monopoly on truthfulness. We do not have monopoly on facts. We do not have monopoly on opinions. So I chose to remove my red and white tinted Arsenal glasses, and see our team performances through my son’s eyes (mine were clearly biased) and this is what woke me up and prompted me to write this post.

    I fully understand that some of you may disagree with it but you cannot infer that because of his age, he cannot be listened to or be taken seriously. We all just need to open our eyes and see for ourselves. If we honestly like what we see from the team on the pitch, then we should continue to support the whole setup and be proud of what we’ve got. In contrast, if we don’t like what we see, it is our obligation, as supporters, to speak up and demand some sort of accountability, some sort of change. Whether that is convincing or encouraging the Manager to step aside and leave at the end of the season, or through personnel change, or through tactical change, something needs to be done. This ever-present status quo can no longer remain because we are losing grounds on other teams and the gap is slowly growing.

    Regarding wholesale change, no, I am not advocating that. We need some of our core veterans and core youngsters to stay and fight for the shirt. A few quality additions (especially in defense, at the DM position, and a game changer in attack) are all that’s needed in my opinion.

    There was Arsenal FC before Kroenke, Wenger, Ozil, Sanchez, myself, etc. There will be Arsenal FC after Kroenke, Wenger, Ozil, Sanchez, myself, etc. We mustn’t be afraid of change whenever the subject comes up, otherwise we may never evolve and progress…

    Again, thank you all and keep it going on Bergkampesque, the best Arsenal blog site.

  • 17, it does bother me, that i have been correct all along, and you and some others misrepresent what I have been saying for the longest time. I haven’t been right just in hindsight, I’ve said it from last season … before the disastrous summer transfer window..that the Ozil, Alexis thing is a disaster happening in slow motion.. Sign or sell….. Everyone said don’t worry, and you can’t force them to Sign. Correct, but they would have happily agreed to get out early, middle, or late last summer window. Prices were skyrocketing … And they were losing value every day.

    Their likely, and assured departures were never going to do anything but bring bad feeling around the club. Some here were in such denial. Blaming the press and the fans is wrong, this time.
    The end of the window was humiliating, being turned down by still unproven Lemar, while his whole team was being dismantled around him, and also losing a load of cash for Alexis. For what return?

    Someone here comparing, Mata, Ashley Young. Blind,—- to Ozil and Alexis our only 2 world class players…. I responded to let me know when Pogba, De gea, and Lukaku walk away to English rivals for free, or almost nothing of their true value.
    No response.

    When I said we should sell in the summer, there was plenty of time to use proceeds to try to strengthen.

    I love Wenger, but I wish he left about 2 years ago.he had a couple of seasons to try and win the league, while having some money at his disposal finally. I’m very sad that it didn’t pan out. But the decision making, planning in these 2 years has been horrendous.

    I said we needed another midfielder because of Jack and Cazorla not being dependable.

    Then when Jack was playing great in Europa, I said to use him to spell Ramsey, week after week I said to give him a shot in league games.
    Then when Ramseys hamstring took it’s annual long holiday (which I perfectly predicted here in the summer when calling for a new midfielder), Wenger finally begins using Wilshere 3 times a week out of necessity.
    And I was right that El Neny, Iwobi, Welbeck are not good enough for Arsenal.

    I’m not always right about Arsenal or anything, but we are a rich club, with rich owners, and I don’t know if the miserly, handrubbing behavior is more down to the owner or Wenger, but if big changes and investment don’t come very soon, this will be a club in decline.

  • Wenger is always one or two players short which makes it so difficult to come to terms with it considering the long years of the same. Sometimes I wonder if he is a masochist. Well, if he is, too bad for us long suffering fans. We will keep suffering with him until he leaves.

    I’d not be surprised when Alexis goes, for Wenger to talk up AMN for the MF so Jack would move up to Alexis’s role so he (Wenger) can keep enjoying his suffering.

    Sorry folks it’s time for me to free myself from my indebtedness to Wenger for all he has done for the club. I’ve paid off what I owe with enough dashed hopes, enough troubled sleep, enough sarcasms hurled my way by gooners around me who had given up on him a long time back. Am I free? Am still hoping, that he redeems himself, especially with his time nearing its end.

  • Jync: Someone here comparing, Mata, Ashley Young. Blind,—- to Ozil and Alexis our only 2 world class players…. I responded to let me know when Pogba, De gea, and Lukaku walk away to English rivals for free, or almost nothing of their true value.
    No response.

    That was me, Jync, (give a man a break; it was a matter to do with the last thread and I didn’t even see it until you posted the above 😃 ) and I wasn’t comparing, just stating the fact that these things can happen at football clubs, these days. Those players will find it a tad disrespectful that you don’t rate them as ‘class’ players, even dispensable; but I am sure if the club thinks they are dispensable, they won’t be offering them extensions.

    At the risk of sounding like I trivialize the issue, how do you think Pogba left United in the first place if not by running down his contract? In the summer, Everton valued Ross Barkely at £60m, only to let him leave this window, for £15m and unlike what we got with our world class stars, he hasn’t even played a game since for Everton. You have also ignored the few ‘stars’ I named who forced their ways out of United.

    We can be mad with the club for recent transfer failings and decisions about players and of course, we are free to express those feelings, but we have to agree that we don’t have absolute information about all that transpires and the underlying considerations before decisions are made. While you wanted the club to sell early in the summer and replace, there were many who derided the club as a “selling club” in anticipation of the departures; even more challenged the club not to sell those players as they represented our only route to the CL places. I can’t say how the club read it but somehow, we retained the services of both to the chagrin of most pundits. Some said “their hearts won’t be in it” but what we’ve seen have been top level contributions from both. I will rather give the manager credit for sticking to his guns and also getting value out of those lads; even if they are likely to leave now or in the summer. As for the financial loss on the sale of the players, if anyone should rue that, it should be the owner and board but we don’t hear them complain (they showed that the club isn’t all about money/profit as we have been told). There’s a lot more to this story than is being put out there, I think.

  • Eris, to put it simply, we had one out. We need one in midfield that can be the Vieira type. Youngsters nowadays are a softer bunch, and you can see how they suffered in our cup loss.

  • Seventeenho, the thing is I don’t think the analogy of the manager as a wife is right. We don’t pay our wife for a start and a club doesn’t enter a relationship with a manager ‘till death do you part’. So dumping is fine if the time is right 😍👁

  • Before Christmas, I’d been teasing about an article (for publishing here at BK). Then my much-better-half and I were brought down by the flu for a week . The period prior to the the January TW– where the piece might be most relevant– sped by.

    However, with Gino’s thought-provoking post having brought forward so much depth in so many responses– I’m going to offer up some of the research (in the form of linked articles) I’ll be using in that piece (if ever it coalesces).

    Know that I’m not looking for converts. I’m trying to present an alternative reasoning for what the vast majority feel are a great many incompetent moves and thinking– by a group of very intelligent and very successful men.

    Reasoning based on a timeline that hasn’t paralleled the needs of the club or match the demands of the fanbase. And there’s not a lot that can be done to advance it any more swiftly.

    So where I’d love to be seeing some great football while this thing gets sorted? I’d much rather have the entire organization working toward a stable operation– that can be sustained.

    For that possibility? I’m willing to offer my patience to the men in position to make it happen.

    Yesterday I posted this link about Arsenal’s StatDNA involvement. An article from 2014.
    ( http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2269196 )

    Here is where I ask you take a leap of faith. Something I’ve witnessed and experienced up close.
    With the professional baseball team in the city I live– the Houston Astros.
    So if you will read this– and know that I feel that Arsenal– IMHO– is in the midst of a similar period as described in this article (also from 2014). The fashion in which Houston’s front-office went about their business as far as the public’s opinion (which was dreadfully dismissive toward the men in this article)– has an eerily familiar feel to it.


    As was predicted to occur 3 years later (in 2017) in this article– the Astros became World Series Champs last November.

    And why I’ll continue to be patient with the process.
    Either the idiot. Or idiot savant.
    So suspend your disbelief. Have a read.


  • Hey Gino… There was absolutely no intent to say that you or you boy or anybody (for that matter) can’t make their own conclusions based on their observations… That’s why I put up the winky face… I am very (very, very) sorry if that was not understood…

    The tide keeps turning against our manager, with each game a(nother) referendum and nothing proven nor enjoyed (it seems) if the bounces happen to go our way. I hope everybody gets the change for which they’re lusting. In the meantime, being “right” must suffice, it seems. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow, but swimming against that tide (and actually trying to make a case–just about totally ignored by just about everybody…) seems a pretty worthless exercise. Or at least it has got me down…

    Time for a break…

  • Gino, thanks for your post and follow up comment. Love it that we have a sailor on the blog and it makes me wonder which waters you are gracing right now (and what the purpose of your sailing is)…. ⛵️

  • 17HT I cant help but think you are taking the a little to personally. Wenger has indeed been great for Arsenal in the past, but I think the majority would like to see a change, just to see something different. I have little doubt the new guy will struggle initially, but that is to be expected. Dont forget when Wenger arrived the side was looking pretty good. I dont know the full details of Bruce Riochs short reign, but buying Bergkamp wasnt to bad a piece of business, In fairness I think Wengers successor will llikely inherit a weaker squad than Wenger inherited.

    Anyway stick to your guns and keep posting. It would be a boring old world if we all agreed all the time.

  • Retsub1, it is to be noted that it was (then Monaco manager) Wenger who recommended to buddy David Dein that the Inter Milan forward, Dennis Bergkamp, would be a good signing to usher in a new era at Highbury. Rioch helped ease the brilliant Dutchman into the hurly-burly of the Premier League during the 1995/96 campaign, which was the one season in which Bruce Rioch held sway at the club. Arsenal began their life under Bruce Rioch’s management fairly well but were never in the hunt for the title. With the likes of David Platt, Dennis Bergkamp and the ageing Ian Wright, we scored enough goals to improve over the previous season’s 12th place. The legendary “back five” of David Seaman, Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn, Steve Bould and Tony Adams also showed little sign of aging.

    Arsenal went out of the Coca-Cola Cup to eventual winners Aston Villa in the semi-finals, while a 5th place in the final table was enough to secure a UEFA Cup place.

    I have great respect for the achievements of Arsène Wenger at this club, turning it from an inconsistent side (with occasional league and cup wins in between long periods, except for that period of dominance in the 1930s) to one which first broke the dominance of Newcastle and Blackburn and challenged Fergie’s United for the title and FA cups, getting to 2 European finals along the way. His powers appear to have waned, these days (I say that tongue in cheek, because he still loves to win and still has passion) but I am all for allowing leave on his own terms and not rushed out, like it seems is being advocated, at times.

  • Goonereris whilst I have little doubt that the paragraph above is correct (where is it copied from?). I am not really sure what the message is? It seems too be praising Rioch for improving upon the previous season by scoring more goals and having a defence that showed little sign of aging. Also Wenger was managing Grampus eight by now, so any recommendation to Dein would have been around a year earlier?

    Surely it Is also saying that Wenger was more successful with Dein at his side than when Dein left. Which most people believe anyway.

    You also said he broke the dominance of Newcastle and .Blackburn? Other than one crazy season under Keegan where they wilted, Newcastle haven’t won anything for donkeys years, unless I am greatly mistaken.

    Lastly I don’t think anyone here is advocating he is kicked out. But if it is left him I fear we may be waiting forever.

  • Eris–
    ‘Mutiny On The Bergkampesque’? Is a production performed in good taste (at the very least!).

    Appreciate the snapshots you provide for context.
    Then ‘pick-a-nit’ over Wenger’s ‘powers appear to have waned’.
    With advent of those PL OILigarchies in the ’00s– it was available opportunities that have waned.
    What Wenger did in achieving CL places– mostly with mirrors between ’06-’10 was barely short of amazing. Winning 3 FA Cups of the past four comes close.

    Spuds or Pool fans– would give up the one nut they have left– for either of those sets of accomplishments during the same period.


  • 17HT,

    No need at all to apologize… I totally did get your initial comment with the winky face. My comment wasn’t directed at you or anyone in particular at all. If anything, it was more directed at myself, for my first reaction to my son’s comment was that of incredulity, of dismissiveness. That is why I made my comment “general”. I am sorry if you felt that this was directed at you. I assure you that it was not.

    You are a staple of the Bergkampesque blogging community and it wouldn’t be quite the same without your constant presence and participation. Most of us enjoy reading your posts, comments, and live comments during matches. By all means, feel free to take some time off if you so choose but please don’t let my previous comment influence your decision and drive you away. We all appear to be divided on the issue of the future of the Club right now but sharing various ideas and opinions on this site (and others) is what shows that we all deeply care about our beloved Arsenal, in our own way. We all don’t necessarily have to agree with each other, all the time. Right now, a lot of people are just fed up with the direction of the Club and are clamoring for a change. They want something new to excite them again and to unite them again going forward. The Club has been languishing performance and result-wise for a long while now. Unfortunately, Arsene Wenger right now, represents more of the “same old, same old…” and therein lies the big problem. How do we reconcile all this positive and all the negative vibes inside and outside the Club without incurring further regression?
    Anyway, like TA said, Arsene Wenger ain’t going nowhere any time soon 😉. So please keep posting your differing views if you so wish and don’t throw in the towel so easily. This site needs you!

    In other news, I am sad to see Francis Coquelin go, but this was something that needed to be done for his sake and also for ours. A decade with one club and at 26 years old, is no small feat. Best of luck to him in Spain. I hope he does us all proud.

    Thanks for your reply. I am a Chief Mate/Officer (commercial shipping) on a drilling ship and we are currently in the US Gulf of Mexico.

  • Retsub1, I read up on Bruce Rioch’s years (mix and match) and the purchase of Dennis and that’s in response to your comment (excerpted): “I dont know the full details of Bruce Riochs short reign, but buying Bergkamp wasnt to bad a piece of business, In fairness I think Wengers successor will llikely inherit a weaker squad than Wenger inherited…”

    The point being made was that Wenger had a say in the recruitment of Bergkamp, while he was at Grampus, with the knowledge he will be coming to Arsenal when his contract ended (he always sees out his contract, you see). Rioch improved on the previous season’s placing but hardly came close to challenging.
    Forgive me on the reference to Newcastle’s “dominance” (or lack thereof) but the point I was trying to make was that along with Blackburn rovers, they were one of the club-sides with designs for the title where Arsenal. Wenger has been successful with and without Dein, to be fair. Dein left in 2007, 3 years after our last league trophy; we’ve since won 3 FA cups, and been in 2 league cup finals, so …..

    It is presumptuous to state that if it were left to Wenger, he’ll not leave. We all know that the Board keep extending his stay because they find him a good fit. I feel he won’t stay beyond this particular extension, though. Surely, he must have had enough.

  • Hear, hear, jw1.

    I stand corrected on the reasons for our lack of league success after the invincibles season. The advent of the “OILigarchies” 😆

  • Cheers Gino, that sounds v exciting. I gather your son doesn’t travel with you when you are drilling out at sea? I love it that you take his unfiltered, purist views so seriously. We have all become excuse-seekers to explain the slow demise away because of compassion or a strong sense of loyalty, but a 13 old says it as it is. The truth is still the most important virtue for them (I have a 13 year old too).

  • Some interesting comments on here, shame I’ve been too busy to contribute fully other than have a quick read. Nice post Gino, from out of the mouths of children comes the truth eh?

    17tino, I know that you are a staunch supporter of the manager and when you look at the financial figures it’s easy to understand why Wenger continues to hold sway over Kroenke and the investor in him, he is after all an investor first and foremost. The recent reports that suggest that Arsenal are the 2nd wealthiest club in world soccer must be music to Stans ears as they enhance the position of KSE during this period of huge expenditure on his real estate investment at Inglewood, the shops and stadium for the LA Rams.

    When Arsenal are raking in the dough without making any impression on the Premier Lge, the CL or spending zillions on players then why on earth would Kroenke want to change anything’s?

    Gazides almost certainly takes a different view, maybe longer term, because he is on site, he is aware of the general mood, he can see the disillusionment among fans who have seen a general decline from Champions Lge finalists in 2006, to losing 10-2 on aggregate to Bayern Munchen 10 years later.

    Your support for Wenger is admirable 17tino, you have not wavered and I respect that.
    For me though, change is imperative because Arsenal are becoming a figure of fun and that is worrying. When we are not only no longer seen as contenders but as something to laugh at, to almost feel sorry for, then time for change simply has to come my friend.
    A change of management isn’t going to bring success overnight, we may experience a few more seasons in the doldrums but we need rebooting and that will only come with a different man at the helm.

    That’s my 50 cents, I shall now retire to the kitchen, boil the kettle and make another cup of delicious tea.

  • No matter how thin I winnow the number of click-baity sites I see in my NewsNow feed?
    Still get headlines for the credulity-challenged:

    “Sanchez’s family touches down in England ahead of Manchester move.”
    (To do the packing up? Did they bring boxes and tape too?)

    “Mahrez to Arsenal: Leicester wantaway prefers Gunners over Liverpool.”
    (Finally putting to rest rumors of Karim Benzema always being linked.)

    “Eddie Howe brought in Thierry Henry to inspire his squad.”
    (Did Thierry stay for lunch? Augmenting wages of sub-par punditry?)
    The French FA asked Henry to visit with countryman Lys Mousset– Howe took the opportunity.

    Another day on the digital Road to Apocalypse.


  • It ok JW, I’ve never done time in a penitentiary or tried any rapping, I’m more of a Beatles, Pink Floyd, Hendrix and Cream fan tbh

  • Concur Kev.
    (And Roxy, Eno/Manzenera/801, King Crimson/Fripp …)

    Rooney scores/offside vs Spurs.


  • Blimey fellas we seem to be making hard work of things at the moment! All because of a nil:nil draw with the Chavs? Hopefully not. Quite a few things to pick up on here for me.

    Firstly HT, don’t think you are alone in your line here. I’m very largely with you on most things Arsenal. I’m pro-Wenger, though not to the extent that he can’t be criticised. I’m sceptical about the easy alternative choices that are so often offered or argued for. My one issue perhaps is that I’m less down on where we are than you seem to be at the moment. But thats probably because you’ve been trying to keep spirits up by actively blogging on this, whereas I’ve been largely silent. Anyway, don’t go anywhere; I don’t think anyone on this site wants that.

    To stick or twist with Wenger? Clearly we will have to twist at some stage; time will make that inevitable. The question is whether sooner is better. The answer would be yes if we felt we would get a better manager or be able to attract better players – be that through spending more or having a manager that more players wanted to play for. Clearly there are alternative options out there. The spuds have landed on a good one I think most would agree. But they’ve tried about 10 others before they arrived at him. I’ve lost count of the false dawns promised by friends who follow the poor spuds, every time convinced they had the man to revive their fortunes. Those that want change must accept that for every Poch that turns up theres probably 5 AVBs. And when we twist then the odds are we will have spells with one or two of them before we get anything better.

    Will we spend more with a new manager? I don’t subscribe to the view that Wenger is tight and thats simply why we don’t spend. Yes we have cash reserves, but anyone thinking a new manager could just come in and spend them all is in fantasy land. The reason we have the owner we do is because he is playing the long game when it comes to finances. He isn’t going to change his business model for a new manager – the manager will have to conform to the current one, or else he won’t be appointed. To be clear, we are rich in cash reserves. But less so in turn-over and still less so in terms of potential financial backing.

    Clearly a fresh manager could be more attractive to young talent and bring better players in. Klopp is perhaps the strongest test of this theory. And he is unproven as yet in my view. He is spending and has a good attacking team. But he is not shopping at the very top of the market (I wouldn’t even count VVD in this space). What Liverpool are doing (as with the spuds) is buying well in the B league – young players on the up, or those that haven’t fulfilled their potential. Salah a fine example of a great buy. But would he have gone to Klopp on the back of a season like this? I doubt it, his sights would have been higher. Our buying has been more mixed in these areas over recent years. We have just overhauled our transfer team. Will it fix what looks like a weakness? Time will tell, but I don’t see it as all down to Wenger.

    And finally then, is our team actually a disaster? As I’ve said periodically, after watching Arsenal for over 40 years now I find the assessments of this team as rubbish quite laughable. Believe me there have been some really poor Arsenal squads! But this isn’t one of them. Its not as good as the northern oilers lets face it. But if thats the benchmark of success then we (and most other supporters) are in for a lot of disappointment in our lives. I don’t think our squads are weaker than Pool or Spuds – though both can play with more panache than us of late, and the latter really look like a team. In fact I think I would rather have ours than either of their squads. The Chavs and manure both have squads that should be better than ours, and probably are, albeit with weaknesses as well.

    That all puts us below the top 3 and in the mix of the next 3. Thats just as it is folks. The world has changed since it was just between us and manure. There are now loads of clubs all chasing the best players, several of them able to offer far more cash than we can. The best we can hope for is something along the lines of the spuds – a stable squad of young talent who are coming through together. We have more cash to put in the mix for one or two stars. But stars are a mixed blessing as we are seeing with Sanchez – I would squarely be rid of him, replacement or not.

    Our position is a healthy one. Much of that thanks to Wenger. Should we stick with him beyond his time because of that? No. But equally we shouldn’t be unrealistic about being able to match the period that was his prime – with him or anyone else. We’ve been privileged to have had that invincibles squad; their like won’t come around often.

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