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

Managers, in general, are treated like dirt.

Failure is in the eye of the beholder! 😉

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By TotalArsenal.

The Special Horse Fails at the First Hurdle: Arsene v Mourinho

One little comment was enough to get the 'Special Horse'  to rear its ugly head. :lol:
One little comment was enough for the ‘Special Horse’ to rear its ugly head. 😆

These days nothing makes me spring to Arsene Wenger’s defence quicker than absurd comments which call his managerial ability into question. This week, I felt compelled to defend him on a forum where people who were ostensibly Arsenal fans were criticising Arsene and various players – including name-calling – following our ‘disastrous loss’ to Manchester United (you would think from the vitriol that we had suffered a repeat of the Anfield aberration). I think that you have to accept that some people just aren’t as intelligent or considered in their opinions as others. That’s one reason I am sticking with BK.

But to see the bile spewing forth from the mouth of Jose Mourinho on Friday has really made my blood boil.

Now, I get frustrated with Wenger reasonably regularly. I admit that I was one of those calling for his head on a fairly regular basis recently, probably blinkered by my own frustration and the team’s perceived stagnation over the years since we moved to our shiny new multi-million pound home. I still find it frustrating to see the occasional inexplicable rigidity with which he approaches in-game tactics and the prickliness with which he handles the media.

This is what the Chelsea manager said (according to the BBC):

“If he is right and I am afraid of failure it is because I didn’t fail many times. Eight years without silverware, that’s failure. He’s a specialist in failure. If I do that in Chelsea, eight years, I leave and don’t come back.”

To me that smacks of a billionaire’s spoilt brat suggesting that a self-made millionaire is a failure because they don’t have the same resources at their disposal as the child.

Mourinho, after all, has never really wanted for anything managerially; at least not in the last decade, and he has no qualms about playing dreary football. He was handed a blank cheque book at Chelsea, so of course he wouldn’t have been allowed to not win anything for eight years.

Let’s contrast that with Arsene Wenger who has had stewardship of our great club for long enough that he has fielded a player in the first team who wasn’t even born when he took the reins. He may have benefited from some of Danny Fiszman’s money but it was nowhere near the level of “investment” that Roman Abramovich has made in Chelsea; in fact Abramovich has put four times as much into his hobby than some estimates of Fiszman’s overall net worth (£236m according to Wikipedia).

He has won the league three times (still more than Maureen’s current count), overseeing some breathtaking football in the process, continuing to stick to his footballing as well as his economic principles, and ensuring continued qualification for the Champions League on a shoestring, often being compelled to sell our best players, while waiting for improved sponsorship deals to kick in.

Now, who thinks Mourinho, a mercenary, would have the application (let alone the managerial nous) to pull off a feat like that? His return to the English game has seen him become even more charmless than before, in this instance repaying a compliment about the position he has got his team into (with no mention of the silver-spoon used to get it there) with vitriol. You evidently can’t buy class.

In my own failure to see the bigger picture, I often accused Wenger of myopia but now we are seeing the possibilities his prudent financial management over the years can facilitate going forward. My brother (an accountant, not a Gooner) has been telling me for years that Wenger was doing amazing things at Arsenal and I just needed to have faith, wait, and see. I have seen the light my Toffee brother preached to me for years, and even I can see now that, while it may not be this season, great things are in store.

It’s never been a more exciting time to be a Gooner.


23 December 2013: the day Arsene mastered and embarrassed Mourinho

Arsène Wenger will listen to constructive criticism about Arsenal but not opinions based on hunches

Wenger turns Machiavellian to expose Maureen’s Achilles Heel

Last month’s game against the Chavs was one of the most boring we have seen in a while. Many fellow Gooners felt we should have made a ‘statement of intent’ by giving our all to smash Maureen’s Chelsea at our 10th attempt. A win over him at the Emirates would indeed have been a very welcome early Christmas present, but it was unrealistic to expect it.

Furthermore, for any top team to beat a Maureen-team, they will have to take a lot of risk by attacking in numbers and leaving the back exposed, and it could all have ended up easily in disaster. It is exactly what the self-adoring one wants and many have fallen for it in the past; and so have we. Last month,Wenger showed he has learned his lesson as he was able to contain himself; and for that I salute him.

Despite having produced some very fine footballers over the years, the Portuguese are not renowned for spectacular football. They are, for example, the nemesis of Dutch football, both at club and national level. They love to defend and absorb pressure and then beat teams on the counter, and, as we all know, Jose Mourinho is the management-embodiment of this style of football – and AVB is made of the same cloth.

It is all fine as long as the opposition is prepared to play along: to attack – and therefore take risk – and take the game to them. If they don’t, but play safe themselves as well, the game will turn into a boring Chess game. If all teams play like Maureen-teams very few people would still enjoy football. As such, Maureen lives of the goodwill to entertain of others, especially against the top teams – pretty similar to a parasite.

Last month, on a ‘special Monday’, hundreds of millions of supporters and neutrals were treated to a horrible, double-antler of a footballer game, and the main culprit for this is Mourinho. He has been under pressure for a long time to play more attractive, attacking football, with the only exception – unsurprisingly – during his Inter spell. Against the top teams, Maureen is totally dependent on others wanting to play attacking football in order for a game to turn into something watchable. The Chelsea stinking rich owner wants him to change but fat chance for that.

For once, Wenger decided not to play along with the Chelsea manager and by doing so the game turned ugly: slow, unimaginative football with very few chances and little to cheer about. It was a price we had to pay for the greater, long term good of the club in my opinion. Mourinho’s comment that Arsenal had been boring must have been music to Arsene’s ears: it showed he had finally gotten under his skin. With accusing Arsene of playing boring football Maureen had made a fool of himself.

Wrongly, Arsene is often accused of lacking behind in the tactics department compared to Mourinho. The Frenchman does not rate game-specific tactics as highly as the Portuguese does, but it does not mean he is not capable of applying it if required. Arsene has his team(s) play a style of football that should conquer all without having to adjust much, if at all, to the opposition. The aim is to play attractive, winning ‘total’ football that inspires football fans around the world. And Wenger will always be remembered for this ambition and ability; unlike the current Chelsea manager, who will end up with more medals but shall never be remembered for his lasting contributions to the beautiful game.

Arsene has not got a team right now, or at least they are not ready yet, to play such football against the bigger teams and come out victoriously every time. And against a Maureen-team he will need a super team, especially when he puts three defence-minded midfielders in front of his back-four with the aim to kill us on the counter (the most basic ‘tactics’ in football).

Beating Chelsea before Christmas would have been brilliant but the risk of losing was too big this time. And had Giroud been just that little bit more sharp and lucky, we might have done just that.

I reckon when we will look back at the end of the season, we will all recognise the significance of Arsene’s tactics on that day. It was short term pain for long term gain. Well done Arsene.

Written by: TotalArsenal.

The (self) Happy One Returns: How Will Arsene Respond?

Prepare yourself for Maureen's continuous shenanigans next season!
Prepare yourself for Maureen’s continuous shenanigans next season!

The self declared Special One returns. It was inevitable he would return to the PL this summer, and whether we like him or not, the PL will quickly find out he is back.

I remember a ‘rug-sack holiday’ in Portugal in the early nineties. My mates and I were eating at a seaside restaurant in Sesimbra, not far from Lisbon. My mate, Ron, detected a large fly in his soup. He was quite shy and was not going to say something about it. We spurred him on to get the waiter and when he arrived, Ron said: ‘there is a fly in my soup’. The waiter, who had a large, red, shiny boil protruding from one of his cheeks said without a care in the world: ‘you can eat it with the fly in it, or I can get you another one’. Ron wanted another one, which arrived 10 minutes later, handed to him with utter disdain by our Portuguese friend. It only took two seconds for Ron to cry out: ‘there are now two flies in my soup!’ Ron realised he was not going to win this, and as he was very hungry he ate the soup, which apparently was delicious!

Back to Maureen – our PL fly in the soup – and what his return will mean for Arsenal.

A bold statement: nobody will be able to win the PL conceding 43 goals in the process, like MU did last season, any time again soon.

We all know what Mourinho likes best, and it’s what he has done at Porto, Chelsea and Inter: being lean and mean at the back and very efficient up-front.


After the departure of Maureen in 2007, Abramovic has desperately tried to get Chelsea to play more attractive football, but since then, all seven managers have not been able to satisfy him; and their heads (except the interim ones) have rolled one after the other stuffed with lots of banknotes in them.

It looks like Abramovic wants stability (is he looking to sell the club in a few years, maybe?), and as he has seen and held the CL trophy in his own hands now, he appears to be willing to compromise on style in order to repeat the experience. Maureen’s ego is very low on strokes right now, and with the departure of Ferguson he will be bullish about his chances to become the dominant force in the PL.

There is little doubt in my mind that Wenger will now face one of his biggest challenges in his life, despite being in a better position than in any of the previous eight years (financially and no departures from his core team).

Will he continue towards developing another free-flowing, attack-minded Wengerball team next season, or will he adjust his plans in order to stop the exhibitionist from winning the silverware we so desperately want for ourselves?

If we want to win something next season, Chelsea will be our toughest competitor. Ooh, I want and need Wengerball football again, but I reckon we have to focus and invest first and for all in being a lean and mean defending machine next season, if we want to have a good chance. We have become one during the last quarter of last season, and by adding the much discussed beast of a DM, and a PL-experienced back-up GK, we can nail down that machine even more firmly.

We will also have  to continue with the disciplined double-DM pivot approach, with the main tasks of keeping it tight in midfield and  protecting our defence as much as possible.

And finally, we will need  the sort of players in attack who are very efficient, as in not needing many chances to win a match for us.

We will need to be solid and safe at the back, play with patience, discipline and maturity throughout the entire team, and be able to grind results out on a regular basis.

Is this the sort of football we want? Or should Wenger just go all out and aim to beat Maureen with a more adventurous and attractive style of football?

Not easy to answer, me thinks, but as per the anecdote of Ron’s soup with the fly in it, Maureen is back and, one way or another, we’ll have to overcome him. We are famished for silverware and it’s our time to shine now: time to decide how we’re going to do it and stick with it after that.

Let’s wipe the staged, sickly smile of the self-declared Special One this season!

Written by: TotalArsenal.