It cannot last much longer… surely?

By Ian Henry

Some can see the end in sight

It’s just a matter of time now, isn’t it? How many more abject defeats or dismal draws will it take for the penny to drop with either the manager or the board? The longer Arsene Wenger continues as manager of our club, the more the spiral of decline will continue; but how fast will the decline be and how much further has it got to go? After the international break, we have a run of Man Utd, Dortmund, WBA and Southampton. Honestly, I cannot see a win there, four draws at best, but even that would be clutching at straws. Ok, maybe WBA away we might win, but if results against ManU and Dortmund are what I fear they will be, then winning at the Baggies will be beyond this team.

The league is beyond us (not that it was ever within reach in my opinion) and as for the Champions League, although we will probably still qualify for the knock-out phase, we’d have a 50% chance of getting one of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or one of Barca or PSG. I can’t see us getting past any of them, nor Atletico Madrid, another likely group winner for that matter. I’m hoping for Real myself as it will be the last time for a while that we’ll play them if things continue as they are.

Along with our esteemed editor, I have long held the view that another tactically more astute manager, one who pays appropriate attention to defensive organisation, would do better than Wenger even with the current players and imbalanced squad. If the top four is the limit of the club’s real ambitions, then the board had better wake up and smell the coffee and do so fast – because at the current rate the top four will be way beyond this team.

At some point, even from his hideaway in Denver or wherever he lives, Silent Stan will realise that it’s not working anymore. And when he realises that the coveted fourth place trophy and the accompanying CL revenues are really in danger, he will have to provide some more of his strategic advisory services and tell Ivan to get rid of the manager. He’ll only put up with Wenger as long as he delivers fourth place; but without fourth place and the CL, selling club level and the boxes will be a tough gig, never mind pushing through another ticket price rise which he will need to fund his next strategic advisory payment.

I find it hard to believe that Wenger has not yet lost the dressing room, although he may well have done and news has yet to emerge. However, if the results in the next four games go against us, which is more likely than not, even this over-paid, pampered bunch of players will realise they are not going to win a trophy under the current set-up. I want Arsenal to win, but I don’t want Arsene Wenger to be mis-managing our club anymore; it’s just a matter of what how bad it needs to get before he goes.

Although the surgery required to rebuild this squad can’t realistically begin before January, a few things could be done before then. Take a look at the battle-hardened, experienced defenders who are available on free transfers for one (there must be someone out who could do a better job even on a short-term basis). And/or play Chambers at centre back for two, because one thing is sure, he is no more a right back than Monreal is a centre back. The longer the farcical idea of playing Monreal at centre half continues the more we will concede headed goals; moving Chambers there may not solve all the problems, but it would be a start. Square pegs in square holes and all that; and this would mean giving Bellerin a chance. He can’t be worse at right back than Monreal is at centre back surely? But above all, please Mr Wenger, let someone who knows about defending coach the defence every day. You have Steve Bould there, give him some responsibility, or bring in Martin Keown.

Something has to change because the longer nothing changes the more we will witness collapses like those against Anderlecht and Swansea. A similar approach to what has gone on in the last two for the next four matches will be suicidal, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Rooney and RVP will do more damage to our defence than Alexis will do to theirs, Klopp (for all his current domestic failings) will set his team up to frustrate us and catch us on the break, Said Berahino will prove too quick for our lumbering defence, and in all likelihood Southampton will arrive as full of confidence and brio as they are now. And what comes after Southampton? Stoke and Galatasaray; we know what will happen at Stoke, and if we lose at home to Dortmund, we may even need a point in Turkey to go through in the CL, depending on the result of the Anderlecht-Galatarsary match.

This season is heading for a car crash before it is half-way through, in fact almost even before it is a third of the way through. And that is why I am more convinced than ever that a change is coming. Arsene Wenger you have done wonders for this club, and we are in your debt. But your continued presence at the helm is not helping, nor will it help get us out of the current spiral of decline.

11th November 2014 09:00:00


Comments and Reaction

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DW Thomas  12:20pm 11th Nov 2014

This pathetic season began this summer with transfers. While our season was flushed down the toilet before it started, Wenger played beach soccer and we watched Germany win. His dereliction of duty and continued arrogance and lack of planning is enough to say enough is enough!! Last year w,e bought Kallstrom who couldn't play for weeks. What this year? He can't be trusted to right the ship when he thinks all is rosy. To capitulate already before December, I've never seen that with him. When greed is your goal, trophies are a disinterest. - Post No. 64444

Red Member  12:26pm 11th Nov 2014

as much as I want the manager gone you have to face facts - he has a 3 year contract and he is going nowhere. 2014 has also been the most successful year for the club for 10 years with an FA Cup win. Wenger has got out of bigger problems than he faces right now - Post No. 64445

Ron  12:26pm 11th Nov 2014

Trying to coach a defence in the Bouldy mould under Wenger cant work as i see it. Defence in modern football is ateam thing. Its done from the front of the team. The classical idea of defending died years back. A defensive unit cant exist in isolation from the rest of the team now. As Wenger has his 'philosophy' of lightweight interchangeable middle men buzzing about and serving mobile attackers, it by its nature leaves defenders exposed. Its a risk that Wenger is more than happy to run and has been for years. His major fault-lines in the grand 'plan' are that his middle and front men aren't near effective or class enough to insure against the risks and the defenders arent good enough to cope with the added exposure they face hence you ll see yr collapses that the Club is now famed for continuing time and time again. Wenger and Bould doesnt work, their respective ideas on football are poles apart. Bould on his own and Wenger out? Do me a favour mate. Keown? Never an Arsenal legend in the Adams and Dixon et al sense though since he retired hes fostered such a recall of himself quite cleverly. For me, as a pundit he seems to love himself and talks BS a lot of his time. Hes no remedy for Arsenal in my view. Made for TV and thats as far it goes for him i reckon. - Post No. 64446

Paulo75  12:27pm 11th Nov 2014

Less than 6 months ago we had won the FA Cup and optimism was in the air. One half arsed pre season and a few predictable injuries later and we've taken 2 steps back. Struggling to bring anything new to the debate as the major issues here i.e. lack of defense and defensive midfield personnel and a failure to implement a tactical gameplan are so blindingly obvious to (almost) all that care about the Club. So frustrating to have had the makings of a top team for a number of years now but been too tight and principled to go out there and put the icing on the cake. Mourinho's no nonsense purchases of Matic, Cesc and Costa a lesson for our current hierarchy. - Post No. 64447

Tony Evans  12:27pm 11th Nov 2014

Well said Ian - we need that car crash to happen ASAP in my opinion. Although it goes against every fibre in my body I hope we lose big time now to see if that finally shifts Wenger out. Surely short term pain, if the result is a Wenger free Arsenal, has got to be worth it. After all what is the alternative? Another 2 or 3 years (or more) of this torture? - Post No. 64448

Ramgun  12:35pm 11th Nov 2014

A couple of years ago I stopped posting because I knew, and wrote at the time, that Wenger was going nowhere. He has Kroenke in his pocket and Gazides is powerless. Wenger is paid between £8 and £11 million per year and will never walk away from that. He will only leave if he is sacked or carried feet first - and there is nobody to sack him! In 1966 the supporters got the sacking of Billy Wright by boycotting matches and that can't happen now because thousands of people who detest what Wenger has done to Arsenal no longer go and those that do are either rich and uncommitted or mad-as-hatters Wengerites who most resemble the followers of David Koresh in Waco Texas. The Texan lunacy was finally got rid of in a hail of machine gun bullets and that is as likely as Wenger walking away from power and money. Ian Henry, stay optimistic if you wish but I tell you bluntly what I told this site years ago - Wenger is going nowhere. One last point regarding Steve Bould. He has decided to take the money for doing nothing and if the glorious day ever arrives when Wenger is gone then Bould has to go to. - Post No. 64452

John  12:44pm 11th Nov 2014

Wenger don’t read games he reacts and analyses games when the game is over. He only makes offensives changes when his team is down. He does not have a clue on how to closeout games which is very common with Jose and Ancelotti. He is not working out different scenarios why on earth can’t Hector play the right back and move Chambers to assist Par at the back. Or move Chambers to serve as a defensive midfielder to protect Monreal and Par. All these scenarios should have been worked out in training. - Post No. 64453

Roy  12:55pm 11th Nov 2014

Ian, sadly, if I had to bet on it, I think it will last much longer. Good news only for the masochists among us, and the opposition, of course. - Post No. 64456

Lord Froth  13:03pm 11th Nov 2014

I don't blame Wenger I blame the players. What must the manager be thinking when they can't even be bothered to stop getting injured. I don't even believe that they're injured I think they are just lazy wasters. They are all professionals and should know their jobs. If you are a midfielder then stay in midfield and play, you shouldn't need coaching because it's just football innit. If you're a defender then just hoof it and clatter the man to let him know you're there. In my day a player would run off two broken legs. Tactics are for nancy boys not our Wenger. He does the right thing and tells our team of muscular hulks to bladdy well get out there and play. - Post No. 64457

jjetplane  13:06pm 11th Nov 2014

Know what you mean RON on Keown. He is all over the media like a semi-itchy rash. He will go far as a pundit and no doubt at some point he will be doing crisp adverts. He has the same over-controlled articulation as his new spud buddy. Arsenal need a complete clear out and that includes the hair stylists whose work is now more visible on the pitch than Bouldie's input. Why would you want to head a dirty ball in the rain when you have splashed out so much on yer barnet. I ask yer fellas. The sooner we offer Koeman zillions the better though I imagine he will make Saints a better football club than we presently are so like Fabregas would say to himself (one look at Stan) a 'thanks - but you are having a laugh.' IF plastic rumours are correct and Hummels turns up in January then we may have to wonder about his desires as a player. That is how questionable this regime is. - Post No. 64458

Gaz  13:09pm 11th Nov 2014

Nice article but we can't ever suggest 'he needs to do this/that' anymore because he just isn't for changing. He is exactly what he is and as fans we now only have two very simple choices. Decide we want rid of him or simply put up with more of this crap for at least another two and a half years. And whilst I'm uncomfortable with protests I can't help thinking its the only way to get rid of him. After all if we just wait until the summer we all know that most fans will take a step back and decide to give him one more chance....again! I'd also say by not effectively 'striking' until the summer it wont matter where we finish as long as we win our last few games. Its a bloody mess and I just wish he'd been graceful and honest enough with himself to go last summer when the fans would have given him the great send-off he richly deserved. Sadly the clock is now ticking down on his career and its going to get real messy... - Post No. 64459

kilkenny cat  13:11pm 11th Nov 2014

The first thing that needs to happen is a new board. This should include a couple of ex players who are respected,but will also question the new manager. Secondly all the coaching staff need to go and be replaced by younger vibrant coaches who are not under ogl,s influence. Thirdly new medical staff something is not right there,its pretty obvious. Fourthly players need to know this is Arsenal. 2nd best is never acceptable. This will take time as the current squad is very average. Only Sanchez is world class,and 5 or 6 are at the level required for our club. Unfortunatly why the club make money out of the fans,nothing will change. I do think though the protests will get louder and bigger before to long. This season is turning very sour. - Post No. 64460

WeAreBuildingATeamToDominate  13:14pm 11th Nov 2014

When are you lot going to realise that we can buy four or five hardended, tough-guy defenders no problem, but it won't matter if they're told to play the same way as the current incumbents. This season has the feel of 1994-95 to it and we all know what happened then don't we. - Post No. 64461

maguiresbridge gooner  13:18pm 11th Nov 2014

Ian it's certainly close alright closer than it's ever been, it's just a matter of time now not if, and we'll be finally rid of the shackles/shackle that's been holding us back and dragging us and this club down for years now. Then we can get a proper manager in one who knows what he's doing and not have us the laughing stock that we've be thanks to this one, and that shouldn't be a hard job to do. Any manager with half a football brain who knows his tactics, and how to defend and coach one, and knows the difference between a player and a cart horse will do. Good Article Ian. - Post No. 64462

Paul  13:41pm 11th Nov 2014

Sadly spot on. Time for Mr W to go (well, it was that at least 2 years ago) - Post No. 64463

chris dee  13:51pm 11th Nov 2014

The level of application,character,nous,bravery,tactics and game management is truly appalling. Cast your minds back to the FA Final,two nil down against a moderate team,we clawed our way back to 3-2 in extra time. With 2 minutes to go Arsene allowed 7 players to charge upfield to get the 4th goal,what happened?A quick counter attack from Hull a slip by Mertersacker ,Fabianski running out of his goal and Gibbs clearing of the line.Total mayhem ,all avoidable.What explanation would Arsene have given us then.More s**t no doubt. - Post No. 64464

Bard  13:58pm 11th Nov 2014

Ian I agree with everything you say but I dont think its quite as simple as getting rid of Wenger. Like Ferguson at Utd his leaving will create a seismic shift at Arsenal. He has been there so long his influence is everywhere. Putting new structures in place will take time and money. I dont believe it will be an easy transition. My view is that he should stay on till the end of the season, hopefully with a 4th place finish and then leave. By then the board will have identified a successor. There is no quick fix,. I would expect it to take 2 or 3 seasons for a new man to make his mark. Whatever we think of the boss he will be a hard act to follow as Utd have found. - Post No. 64465

Ron  14:00pm 11th Nov 2014

MG - The question is one of asking whether this Board are capable of appointing the right Coach. Theyve never done it before and im sure they dont fancy doing it. They ll be cluttered and hamstrung by their own mode of financing the Clubs 'sustainable model' and maybe by Wenger's wondrous 'philosophy' - whatever that's still supposed to be these days? It doesn't bode well for the type of Coach we need to be smoothly and seamlessly appointed in all honesty. I truly think the top calibre men will look twice and long at that job before going there. I dont think it is a dream job basking in Wengers 'legacy' as the media and some posters think. The Club might end up with a puppet Coach, compliant with Wengers and the Boards dictat. That means a low level man whos just happy to be associated with the Club. The Club needs SK,AW and his back room staff all to be moved out ideally. Its not going to occur though. SK makes too much easy money from the mugs who keep turning up on match days and commercial revenue, unless the need to dispense with Wenger makes him review his real business intentions and leads to him selling up? Rightly or wrongly i think Usmanov knows this else why has he hung about with such a shareholding and no Boardroom place? Hes waiting like a big lion in my view.He knows he ll be the only possible buyer and he ll pay over the odds in my view to seize control.SK will know this and when opening the wallet time comes, SK would sell to the devil never mind AU. Wengers departure will lead to fur flying in my opinion and lets face it Arsenal havent seen any excitement like that on or off the pitch for donkeys years so it might make for great typeface. Either way, if AU gets his hands on the controlling shareholding, the lot of them in that Boardroom will be ousted smartish as well as Wenger. AU has sounded very concilaitory in recent times. Its all false. He wants ownership and it means he wants his people in plus he wants scores settled with the mob in that Boardroom whove insulted him and Wenger is tainted by his association and closeness to them. The Clubs as stale last last weeks burger baps. Appoint a lower level man and that back room staff all stay there happily nodding their heads and taking the money as Ramgun has said,(though Ramgun - a good poster who i recall well - hiya mate!) is being unkind to Bould - he does do a great head in his hands act, pretending to care as each daft goal is conceded and the way he covers his mouth as he whispers 'can i kiss your arse and suck yr b---s at full time Arsene' is truly magical. Ramguns right, he needs to go and manage Dagenham and Redbridge or some thing when Wengers gone. PS JJ - Hummels ? this Germanic crusade and love in that Wengers on derives from Wengers Alsace origins. Theyre never sure where their loyalties and cultural leanings are supposed to be from there, Fr or Ger? They pays their money and takes their choice. Wenger is very pro Ger and always has been. Nothing wrong with that and it explains his hybrid type persona maybe? - Post No. 64466

Sad Gooner  14:05pm 11th Nov 2014

Mourinho sees a weakness in a team, exploits that and manages to win, even if he doesn't have the greatest team, or if his main strike force is under the weather. The problem with Arsenal is that we all see weaknesses in every department, except the manager. I know I would be crushed if Wenger gets the sack. But he does need to listen to what you all have to say, or loosing him will begin to look like the inevitable. - Post No. 64467

Spurrina  14:17pm 11th Nov 2014

Heareth the seer: Poor performances continue, Sanchez begins to over-kiss the badge after scoring the only Gooner goals while his agent unconvincingly denies ‘exploratory talks’ with Man City, January transfer window promising big signings actually delivers John Barnes as a free agent and Real Madrid smash an Arsenal team 13-0 with Walcott in goal. ‘Caesar! Beware the Ides, February.’ - Post No. 64468

declan burke  14:33pm 11th Nov 2014

Of all that has been said and written on our state, this is the finest piece. A manager who won't budge, a board who are failing the club BLATANTLY. and the fans fighting amongst each other, Herbert Chapman must be turning in his grave. It is all very sad. - Post No. 64469

Angry & Frustrated  14:47pm 11th Nov 2014

Wishful thinking Ian, although I agree with every word you have written. As I and others have said before, until it gets ugly inside the stadium no change will happen. Stan is not for moving, because he has seen people like us huff and puff before, but Wenger always secures the golden ticket in his eyes, which is that damned fourth placed trophy. So unless the "Wenger Out" chants start and more importantly continue, even if they start winning, then we all have another 2.5 years of this sh**e to look forward to, and who knows even maybe beyond that! Remember this is effectively a dictatorship and hence its action via vocal protest that's required, not keyboard warriors like you and me. Easy for me to type I know, as I don't attend games anymore, but that is what it comes down to if you want change, end of story. - Post No. 64470

jeff wright  15:02pm 11th Nov 2014

Wenger's mental state must also be added to the equation Ron when assessing will he stay or will he go. I believe that he was on the cusp of doing so last season ,if he had lost the cup final.He sat there in his seat trembling with fear grim and tense pale faced when we were 2 goals down , after a typical Keystone Cops shambolic bout of defending by our defence . Indeed had Hull's third chance have gone in after they had sliced us open again in midfield and at the back then I reckon it would have been a case of goodnight from him,and goodbye from us.God though is said to protect babies and fools and Hull missed their third goal chance . Wenger was saved in the end by having a stronger set of players and was able to use this to his advantage in extra-time as the weaker Hull side's players faded . Also it helped Wenger when ,as he had to do against Wigan to steal a draw in the semi,he ditched his beloved tippy- tappy and went 4-4-2 , with two big lads up front.This simple E change of tactics caused ,along with tiredness,the Hull players big problems and won the cup and saved Wenger's job for him. Now anyone else ,with even a modest amount of savvy , would think perhaps it's time to give this tippy- tappy malarkey a swerve ,but not our stubborn Herr Wenger from Alsace , he always thinks that knows best and displays all of the traits of that regions petty bourgeois mentality . Arrogance being a predominate feature, along with the know it all attitude there is also smug complacency. I suspect that more intelligent types than Wenger in the hierarchy at AFC make jokes about him behind his back,but as you say Ron money talks and also I must add it never sleeps either at Arsenal Holdings. Personally my view on Wenger staying is that it now depends on him qualifying for the Champs League,if he finishes outside the top four he goes. Last season he had to win the FAC to justify his tenure continuing after royally ****ing up the title tilt, he did that with the fortuitous Cup win and got the 9 years without a trophy monkey off his back. So as I said at the time that means now that 4th place is once again a trophy and the pressure to actually win anything on him is gone with the wind and washed away in the rain and time goes on and on and on.... yawn.... - Post No. 64471

Unchives  15:04pm 11th Nov 2014

I too fear the worst with the regards to the upcoming fixtures, however I now sense change is in the air, and if as we fear, results are disastrous, change will happen. The press & the media have cranked up the pressure....Wenger must be relived that there is an international break as his shirt is getting very tight around his neck at the moment. - Post No. 64472

Graham Simons  15:14pm 11th Nov 2014

Wenger's job is the safest in the league. If the 8-2 didn't shift him, why would any other result? Mark my words - he will see out his contract and then probably sign on for another three seasons but by then Sanchez will be back in Spain, Theo will have signed for Chelsea and Ozil will be at Bayern. We'll have a whole heap of cash but nothing else to show for it as we tighten our purse strings due to advertisers deserting us in their droves. Happy Groundhog season everybody! - Post No. 64473

maguiresbridge gooner  15:24pm 11th Nov 2014

WeAreBuilding, spot on, we keep hearing we need this one, we need that one, we need his strength, we need his power etc, etc, but it wouldn't make any difference if we signed two or three of the best players in the world because it's the manager that's the problem when are fans calling for these players going to realise that, the past it pensioner wouldn't use them properly (he doesn't know how to) he'd be impressing his philosophy on them before they even had their boots laced up and putting it into practise on the pitch during games trying to convert them into something their not or never will/would be with the inevitable outcome not only with results but with the players, he'd set them back years or destroy them. - Post No. 64474

jjetplane  15:48pm 11th Nov 2014

Two interesting points and one is the Franny Jeffer's interview and the other an editorial comment 'saying' 'he (Wenger) needs to makes his mind up real quick.' Media writing on the wall and the BFG quite like after the Chelski match talks with that Arsene acquired grin on his face as though 'accident' has now become 'whatever.' Could you imagine Adams smiling through another capitulation. Not on your nelly Perry. Talking of Grovsey - has he got a coach bad? ... - Post No. 64475

Anti-Wenger  16:14pm 11th Nov 2014

In my opinion,The board seems much more clueless than the manager, i really doubt they'll know what to do when Wenger laves. Abunch of people who do nothing to improve the side on the pitch, rather are only interested in the bottomline cannot be trusted to progress the club. - Post No. 64476

Finsbury Boy  16:47pm 11th Nov 2014

Hot Arsenal news. Arsene's master plan revealed. Diaby fit after xmas for holding midfield role and Gallas pursuaded to come out of retirement. - Post No. 64477

maguiresbridge gooner  17:03pm 11th Nov 2014

Ron, yes there's no doubt that's the biggest problem we're going to have SK, TKOS, and the rest, appointing a new manager and of course if OGL has a say or indeed the final one on someone that's going to carry on in the same vein as him. Like I said i'd be quite happy with any one (as long as we're rid of wenger) with a decent pedigree not necessarily high profile as long as they knew what they're doing coaching, tactics, defensive wise, getting the best out of players, playing them in their proper positions, the list goes on, if he has those attributes and is allowed to put them into practise with no outside interference with these players at his disposal surely he can't go far wrong, and surely he can't be any worse than we already have. I haven't even mentioned his tired old backroom staff a complete clear out there is needed also, but it would be very interesting to see how they'd perform under a new man and a new coaching regime with newer brighter more up to date ideas although i'd suspect they're to indoctrinated into his ways and cult now to change and like OGL past it. Your right about AU he's waiting to pounce and if/when he does there'll be big changes, ideally it would be when OGL's still masquerading as a manager and we wouldn't have to rely on the above mentioned regime and him to appoint his successor and we could be sure of getting the right man with the credentials mentioned. And the board room AU would go to town there, there would certainly be big changes a complete gutting of all the old farts. One things for sure mate, changes are coming sooner or later hopefully sooner and when they do (and it may not be nice)it's going to keep the news channels busy along with the sports journos for a couple of months, they're going to have a field day, and a few hundred more trees may have to be cut down in the rain forest to keep the newspapers supplied. Maybe they'll unearth a lost tribe in the process and OGL can sign a couple of them for his new team. - Post No. 64478

blair207  17:15pm 11th Nov 2014

I think this will be the season too far for OGL. The defence is a rabbit in the headlights and every team in Europe knows it. Until Kos or Debuchy are fit there is nothing Wenger can do about it and another injury or straight red for a defender would be a disaster. Once the smaller teams think your defence is there for the taking it becomes hard to win. That is what did for Moyes last year and it may well be Wengers downfall as well. - Post No. 64479

Pete  17:26pm 11th Nov 2014

Have to expect a few knock backs as Wenger never does parking the bus,gamesmanship,diving and hoofball like the other premiership sides, so we have to accept it's harder to win.Still would prefer Arsene's way of playing any day and it's all the more sweeter when success comes and it will,just be patient.Remember the last two trophies have both got our name on them. - Post No. 64480

Carlos  18:27pm 11th Nov 2014

Do you think A Walsall moment is approaching? - Post No. 64481

jeff wright  18:37pm 11th Nov 2014

Dear Jamie, you of the patronizing sermons , come on now once again after a defeat you vanish off the radar faster than a flock of seagulls who have flapped inadvertently into the Bermuda Triangle. - Post No. 64482

Ramgun  18:48pm 11th Nov 2014

Hello Ron. Until the Gigantic Gallic/Germanic Ego departs I cannot see much point in posting. Despite my age (first Arsenal match was August 1955 - taken by my Sister and it is still the best thing she ever did for me) I have one Gunners related ambition left and that is to be at our first match after Wenger is no longer at The Arsenal, wherever and whenever it takes place. Meanwhile the suffering will continue I fear. - Post No. 64483

maguiresbridge gooner  19:30pm 11th Nov 2014

Ian, I also find it hard to believe he hasn't lost the dressing room, and have suggested on more than one occasion that he had but apparently not, what will it take? surely they can see what's happening, are they really that loyal to him? or just dense (you can bet your last pound they'll not be as loyal to the next manager especially if he's more ruthless and drops a few of them) it can only be because they're in the comfort zone and he's gave them over inflated contracts it's certainly not because he's making them better players, (quite the reverse) there's not another team in the premiership or top leagues in Europe where it wouldn't have happened a long time ago, but you need men for that men with ambition to speak up and say what needs to be said, not pampered pansies who are in the comfort zone who spend more time on they're hair and taking silly selfies and who know they'll be picked and play no matter how crap they are. - Post No. 64484

Big Andy  19:37pm 11th Nov 2014

Wishful thinking, Mr Henry. The truth is that Wenger is going nowhere. Even though we are pretty awful, we are in a very weak Premier League; that means that when the injured players come back we should have just enough to secure that much coverted fourth place at the end of the season. That should be enough for OGL to survive for at least another year. The Yank doesn't give a damn about trophies or the traditions of this club. - Post No. 64485

600NER PETE  19:39pm 11th Nov 2014

If and when Wenger leaves, what a brilliant day it would be. No more slow torture season after season with the same clueless decisions on the pitch and in the transfer market. Problem would still be with the board though. However, I would still definitely try and get a ticket for the first match afterwards. It would hopefully be like old times again win or lose, I wouldn't care. - Post No. 64486

Ron  20:05pm 11th Nov 2014

Rangun - very good to see you back too. A few of us have gone a few months without posting, me included. Its a poor yet interesting Season now and it brought me back ha!! How sad, losses, collapses and strife now serve to make Seasons interesting don't they at Arsenal. It definitely has a mid 70s feel to it. The drab mid 60s was at least full of Baker Eastham Armstrong and Strong magic to accompany the collapses. What is there now? Little to excite is there mate? Who would have thought so many would be of the same mind as we see on here, yet really the writing was on the wall by 2005/06 really with hindsight to guide us. Wenger and the Board would i think have known that the chickens would come home to roost eventually as a result of the policies they've followed for so many Seasons. The surprise is that its taken so long really. - Post No. 64487

maguiresbridge gooner  20:10pm 11th Nov 2014

6OONER PETE, it will be a great day alright a weight lifted off our shoulders, imagine the excitement around the club again, and among the fans the spring in the step on match days and you can bet it'll be a full house with real expectations. I don't know what the AKB's will do though probably be on lock down waiting for news where their messiah is going to end up so they can get tickets, at least it will mean more for the supporters who are ambitious and want success. - Post No. 64488

Wibblefish  20:11pm 11th Nov 2014

Spot on article. It is like the famous scene in the film Train-spotting, " it's ****e being Scottish and it's a ****e state of affairs". Well at the moment it's ****e being an Arsenal fan and the people running the club are in a ****e state of affairs! (Apologies to any Scottish Gooners!) You would like to think the man will walk if the results go against us in the next month, but the reality is he won't. More worryingly is who at the club is qualified to appoint the next manager? Sir John Chippendale chips? Kroenke Jnr and his fabulous knowledge of soccer? Or maybe Kroenke senior with his extensive football contact list? This is potentially a disaster 10 years in the making. The sad reality is Wenger has been given too much control at our club and now there is a real void in the board room as well as in the back room staff. We have to be prepared for life after Wenger and realize we are likely to spend a few years in the wilderness. The longer this situation is allowed to continue the longer and harder it will be to come back. Others have mentioned the cost of sacking the manager, but the board are probably more concerned with the cost of removing his image and name from every inch of the stadium. You might think it's trivial, but nothing is past the bunch of incompetents who are currently managing the club. - Post No. 64489

Ron  20:30pm 11th Nov 2014

Wibblefish - at risk of sounding extreme, its crossed my mind more than once that we have a Tony Blair situ upon us. The theory was that for the last 2 yrs or so of his leadership he hung about deliberately allowing things to become so bad and rundown so to ensure Brown took on a poisoned chalice and woudnt win an election. Are we seeing a footballing version? Any precedent for this? Well, Ferguson? A team ran down, tired and aged and then a selection of a dead duck Coach to follow. All to make the Club feel that they were missing what they once had? Its all in the ego isnt it.Like you, i don't think things will be easy for some years post Wenger, such is the depth of the indifference at the Club. Any new bloke will need patience from the fans as a large section of this squad will need shifting for sure. Its takes time and money, plus a Club willing to take losses on moving players on. The Board at Arsenal must be bricking having to do it. - Post No. 64490

Hiccup  21:05pm 11th Nov 2014

Guys, these wenger obituaries at the club have been done in seasons past. The disastrous August 2011 certainly springs to mind. And I've heard "it's different this time" before too. I'll be perfectly honest. Come May I see similar celebrations to what we saw up at Newcastle when a top 4 finish was sealed. Who is going to stop us? Maybe United can regain some form? Can the Saints keep it going? 50 bloody points will probably do it this year. While we waver around 4th, there will be no mutiny in the ground. The whole stagnation and carefree attitude has spread to the terraces now. Let's be honest, from a fan point of view what difference does it make if we finish 4th or 6th anyway? Are fans going to get upset because it's £50m of revenue lost? Zero ambition from the fans has got us to this state, and zero ambition will keep us here indefinitely. - Post No. 64491

Ron  22:02pm 11th Nov 2014

I hear you Hiccup and youre right its a poor league really as much as its good that Hammers and Saints are up there, I do think its different though mate. I think its a more careworn Wenger now than back on 2011 and its definitely a team thats able to beaten by more teams of the level of Swansea, which hasnt been the case in these years past where hes limped into the great 4th spot. I d say as well that even if 4th is reached, the force of sentiment now is such that more and more fans are seeing through it and realizing what a load of nothing s---e it really is given that getting into that CL is from a fans point of view, a totally pointless waste of time exercise. People are catching on now i think. The myth that its 'success' has been debunked to a degree. - Post No. 64492

AMG  22:37pm 11th Nov 2014

A good piece Ian. I don't however think that we are in Wenger's debt, he's been paid very handsomely for his mediocre performance. Arsenal have made him a very rich man. I'd like to believe that a run of crippling results would see hi off, but I don't see it. He'll use Pardew as inspiration and think that if he hangs on long enough all will come good. I still believe we will finish 4th under Wenger, which will be enough for his acolytes to come crawling out from under their rocks proclaiming him a genius and miracle worker again. Same sh.. different season. - Post No. 64493

jeff wright  22:43pm 11th Nov 2014

Judging by recent signings of top players , by sides not on the Champs League magic roundabout, it would appear that just playing in it to make up the numbers is not the big deal that Wenger the master of illusion has claimed that it is, saying that the first thing that players ask me is are you playing in the Champions League ? The reality is that the first thing they ask is what wages are you offering. This story about Marco Reus a German star would appear to show that the other factor for some players is also ,as was the case with Fabregas, joining a side with a manager who has some ambition to win trophies other than his own mythical 4th place Prem one, or even a consolation prize FAC tossed to him after 9 years of failure by Wenger to win a top trophy ,like a bone to a starving dog by City , who had bigger ambitions and had already won the League Cup, after 9 years of failure by Wenger to win a top trophy . "Arsenal are one of the sides who have taken an interest in the German star, and the 25 year old was reportedly interested in working with his international teammates, like Per Mertesacker, Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski. However, he is now set to snub a move to north London, with the fear that if he joins the Gunners he will not win enough trophies. A source said: “Reus wants to win titles and he is worried this would not happen at Arsenal.” However, he is now set to snub a move to north London, with the fear that if he joins the Gunners he will not win enough trophies. A source said: “Reus wants to win titles and he is worried this would not happen at Arsenal.” - Post No. 64494

Lee afc  22:55pm 11th Nov 2014

Jeff right.....I disagree with your anti wenger stance as you well know. For the record, when the manager leaves, its far too easy to ring the hindsight bell....give me the name of his predecessor. Along with all of your chums who can criticise till their heart is content. Name me the next manager when Wenger leaves..????? - Post No. 64495

Nick T  23:03pm 11th Nov 2014

Some day in the future when AW reflects back on his time at Arsenal I really hope someone asks him why he ripped up the blueprint and changed his philosophy post 2004. Im most definitely biased when it comes to Arsenal, but I honestly believe that was the greatest side in English football history. It had everything, could win every type of game, should have dominated for years and won many more trophies (this current chavs side remind me of them in a lot of ways? Please someone beat them just once!). I accept the stadium move got in the way and financial matters had to take priority for a period but since the purse strings loosened why has he never returned to that winning formula....especially as the interim period proved beyond doubt that his latest philosophy wasn't working and not suited to the physical demands of the EPL. Aside from all the other issues regarding Wenger, Ill never understand that. If it aint broke...... - Post No. 64496

Roy  23:11pm 11th Nov 2014

If you were a board member, and you saw quotes such as those by Reus, wouldn't it bloody infuriate you ? Of course it would but not this lily - livered lot. They're sh*t scared of life after Wenger so will put it off as long as possible while the rest of us suffer. With great power comes great responsibility and leadership starts at the top, hence the malaise on the pitch. If you're not up to the job, just f*ck off. Well, we can dream. - Post No. 64497

maguiresbridge gooner  23:12pm 11th Nov 2014

Wibblefish, good post, and that's something that hasn't been touched on for a long time, any manager with any self respect would have resigned long ago, the list of occasions to do that is endless, but not this old arrogant has been he hung on, his massive ego would allow nothing else. - Post No. 64498

jeff wright  23:28pm 11th Nov 2014

lee kfc, I love your sooo seroius approach !Anyway, to answer your pub quiz night question, Wenger's predecessor was Bruce Rioch ! Do I win a prize >? Of course though any proper Arsenal supporter knows that. Unfortunately however I don't possess a crystal ball to see who the future next manager will be - any-more than I knew that Wenger would take Rioch's place when he was dismissed . Managers are always found when needed by clubs,honest it's true ! I presume that Wenger will be treated with a bit more good grace than poor Bruce and others , such as Don Howe, were. As I have said before I hoped,along it seems with many others,that Wenger would retire at the end of last term after he had again made a right old mess out of a good title winning position. Not that on past recent evidence that this was any great surprise to moast of us shall we say less deluded supporters that the likes of your uber self. The belated FAC win was a good position from which he could have departed with some grace and decorum with it being obvious that he is no loner up to pace in the modern game . I predicted that his staying on had disaster written all over it - and hey I stick by that view. You are entitled to think otherwise of cause but it would help if your posts made some sense regarding why you take a stance that flies in the face of reason .You couldn't make it up. - Post No. 64499

A Cornish Gooner  23:33pm 11th Nov 2014

Lee. Wenger's predecessor? I'm sticking my neck out here, AGAIN, but what about Bruce Rioch? Think you mean successor. If Wenger resigned tomorrow, who would YOU want? - Post No. 64500

jjetplane  23:46pm 11th Nov 2014

In the last nine years without Wenger we would have won two Pls, one CL, couple pints of lager and a packet of crisps ..... I bet he just sips a little wine for the spirit and than makes a little cough and then 'nurse!' oh you haven't again ..... RAMGUN you are a giant! Mine was 63-2004 .... PETE bit worried you are going a bit softly softly now - you obviously realise the pain will soon be over along with the meaningless passing. - Post No. 64501

jeff wright  23:52pm 11th Nov 2014

Okay lee kfc, I will give it go regarding Wenger's successor,there will be one you know,sob sob.... it will in my view due to the selfies taking ego types that we have in the squad who have been brainwashed into thinking they are better than what they are and overpaid to boot as well, by Wenger , someone with stature in the game and experience in the Prem, someone who can at least finish 4th in the league for the next decade or during his 3 year contract , so come on down Ancelotti ! The Italian has scores to settle in England ,not least with Jose,so bring him on say I ! Next question please? - Post No. 64502

Gooner72  0:01am 12th Nov 2014

A Cornish Gooner....from a devoted gooner also from the south western shores dont forget this is Arsenal so the managers queuing up to take the hot seat would be long and not just the previously mention few, Martinez, Klopp, Guardiola et al, hell I'd have Paddington Bear at the helm if it would do any good, one day in football I dont have but blimey I can see what everyone of us pro and anti OGL can see, quite simply everything comes to an end chinos, maestro vanden plas, gold top milk, alas poor Yorek I knew him so well....... - Post No. 64503

andy1886  6:09am 12th Nov 2014

Lee, your question is the usual one trotted out by Arsene's loyal band, but the appointment of the man himself makes your very question redundant. If you'd have asked "Who could replace Rioch?" in '96 how many would have said "Arsene Wenger"? Not you or any of the others I'll bet. Remember the 'Arsene Who?' headlines? So by your logic we would never have employed Arsene in the first place and wouldn't be having this discussion. - Post No. 64504

Smithy  6:53am 12th Nov 2014

I'd go for Diego s from athleticism or klopp. If they want to keep in house I would go for overmars, bergkamp and big tone! Unfortunately we've got arsene until he sacks himself. - Post No. 64505

Mathew  7:33am 12th Nov 2014

Stan never tasted success with Arsenal or he never felt the need for it. His books are balanced by the Economist and the spirit of Arsenal The Football Club is of no interest to him. Hence he has been contempt with a 4th place finish for the last 10 yrs and a CL spot. Change is inevitable, but the real question is from where. What kind of an inspirational leadership are you talking about when you renew a 32 year old for another year. I have never been a fan of Arteta and will never be on. He is old, lacks pace, plays backwards and doesn't have any tactical ability to tackle an attack from the midfield. Probably he is way past his best, but sentiments shouldn't allow us to renew his contract. Flamini on the cheap was a good addition last year but Wenger should mould Chambers as his successor soon. I am expecting stop-gap solutions like Kallstrom in January window, no other major replacements can be expected. Really sad to hear Campbell and Podolski leaving us next year, sending Sanogo at the final moments was a disgrace to them. - Post No. 64506

Reg  8:00am 12th Nov 2014

Lee afc - Take your pick from Simeone, Klopp, Conte, Garcia, Martinez, Emery, Ancelotti, Frank de Boer, Bielsa, Prandelli. Personally I'd go for Simeone and finally get some balls back into the side. - Post No. 64507

WeAreBuildingATeamToDominate  8:41am 12th Nov 2014

Reg: Bring back George Graham. Enough water under the bridge, and he knows how to organise a defence. - Post No. 64508

Tony Evans  8:55am 12th Nov 2014

Frightening to read Wenger's responses to the completely justifiable criticism he got from the pundits for Arsenal's gung-ho approach to defending that has been even more evident than usual in the last two games. He just doesn't see it does he and as usual resorted to his what do they know jibe. We really are going to hell in a handcart with this stubborn, blinkered ego maniac in charge. - Post No. 64509

Lee afc  9:24am 12th Nov 2014

No Cornish..I meant predecessor. It's a tongue in cheek Swype at Jeff who claims to support Arsenal. Every single comment from him is anti Arsenal and hate filled for the manager. Incidently, Carlo Ancelotti's managerial record in the premier league is a league/cup double and failure to retain the league. Sounds familiar???? - Post No. 64510

Stuart  10:22am 12th Nov 2014

"I want Arsenal to win, but I don’t want Arsene Wenger to be mis-managing our club anymore." That is the whole issue in one sentence. Get him out now. - Post No. 64511

jeff wright  10:55am 12th Nov 2014

I can't really see anything tongue in cheek about your 'who is Wenger's predecessor' question to me lee kfc .It was just an open goal inviting a tap - in . I suggest you stick to your 'I'm a uber fan who gets behind the team' theme. Team being in reality your tongue up Arsene's arse... You are on safer ground there then when venturing into your paranoid Don Quixote like tilting at Windmills in your mind abusive rants. By the way I can't recall Ancelotti ever losing a 4-0 or 3-0 lead -then again very few managers ever do . In fact I do believe that only one manager has ever lost a 4-0 lead in the Prem . Even Oneday at spuds never managed that feat. - Post No. 64513

Pete  11:17am 12th Nov 2014

It's very unlikely much will change by replacing the manager.jeff wright and his pals will be on here spouting the usual drivel after the new mans first defeat.Within a few weeks the new manager will be getting the same treatment and on and on and on and on they'll go.zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. - Post No. 64514

jeff wright  11:43am 12th Nov 2014

Pete,I have always cut our managers plenty of slack I even thought that Rioch was hard done by,as was Don Howe who deserved better than a clumsy attempt being made behind his back to replace him with the Chelsea supporting Venables . Wenger himself came in through the bathroom window at the expense of Rioch potless and discredited after having been fired by Monaco and ending up in Japan . I8 years of him is enough for me and also the current footbal that is being served up would embarrass a Sunday pub side . I actually only started calling for Wenger to go after the League Cup final fiasco in Cardiff v Chelsea after Wenger went on his youth project that was obviously doomed to fail and he had also obviously lost it with his stubborn refusal to admit that Almunia was not good enough. No sane person can justify that nonesene with Almunia .At any other club with just a glimmer of ambition Wenger would have been shown the door long ago. Personally I think you are a Chelsea supporter who loves Wenger because he doesent threaten Jose 's position , either that or you just like arguing lost causes for the sake of it .It's not just about winning trophies either Wenger is an insufferable arrogant bore who keeps embarrassing AFC with his stupid comments and ludicrous performances on the field of play that a club of our stature should not be producing season after season. - Post No. 64517

Unchives  12:49pm 12th Nov 2014

@ Pete, "It's very unlikely much will change by replacing the manager" its Wenger PLC then, without him it all collapses? Is it surprising that we cant move on as a club when you come out with comments like that. "Wenger Cryonics PLC".....Frozen until the after Arsene life! - Post No. 64525

jjetplane  12:55pm 12th Nov 2014

Does anyone really ever think of Wenger as a football man? I had my doubts the first time I saw him and the first time he spoke. For a supposedly educated man he is hardly one of incisive articulation. Mourinho sounds a lot better, as does Martinez and Koeman. And guess what - they talk football, not repetitive abstractions regarding 'mental strenght' and 'spirit'. Maybe the kind of rubbish Stan would lap up in that motivational American bull**** stream and perhaps Wenger watches more of that than he does opposition football. SMITHY nice thoughts there - OVERMARS now! - Post No. 64526

magiresbridge gooner  12:59pm 12th Nov 2014

WeAreBuilding, now your talking I bet we'd see the difference in the defence in a week he'd sort it, and those primdonnas wouldn't know what hit them. - Post No. 64527

Wenger the Clown  13:19pm 12th Nov 2014

What kind of incompetent clown spends £70mil over a summer and makes his team significantly WORSE? Answer: Arsene "Specialist in Failure" Wenger. No tactics, no clue. Every season we start with this fraud at the helm is a 15 point deficit. Conceding the title IN NOVEMBER FFS. A total joke. I blame the sheep who pay big cash to watch rubbish... - Post No. 64535

maguiresbridge gooner  13:35pm 12th Nov 2014

Pete, as I've said before the new manager will have our full support, he'll have to get the length of his contract to try and put things right (and that's certainly not going to be an easy job) probably three years unless he's a complete imbecile (and one of those was enough)but one things for sure he won't get ten years even from you and the rest of the AKB's - Post No. 64540

maguiresbridge gooner  13:46pm 12th Nov 2014

jj, rumour has it OGL was commentating for an American channel at Wembley for the American football game, maybe he thinks he's an expert on that too. - Post No. 64541

jjetplane  14:28pm 12th Nov 2014

He's probably teaching Stan all about defense (you could not make it up) when they can get away from the spreadsheets, forecasts, family portfolios, property assessments and any other corporate new age mumbo jumbo **** they can rustle (sic) up together. See a future for OGL on the corporate/college circuit giving speeches on mental strength and spirit and how 'I turned football into a sports section serving the greater cause of capital.' Go Arsene Go! - Post No. 64548

allybear  16:37pm 12th Nov 2014

Well said Ian great article,but I fear that one or two good results will once again paper over whats been happening. Ogl's disciples will still defend him to the hilt no matter what. If and when Wenger goes then Bould will as well. - Post No. 64559

TJ  16:47pm 12th Nov 2014

Funny post I saw from someone else earlier (I don't take the credit): Alexis: "I don't speak enough English to understand and appreciate all that he [Wenger] says." That explains why he's the only one playing well! - Post No. 64561

Mattybr  16:49pm 12th Nov 2014

Ian, fraid the answer is yes. No incentive from the Board to change anything while 4th place is still in reckoning. Only when Wengers blown that might we see some change. And not that I expect it to be a manager who will rock the boat either. Sadly depressing. - Post No. 64563

maguiresbridge gooner  17:42pm 12th Nov 2014

TJ, god one, post of the day to whoever. - Post No. 64567

Aaron  0:57am 13th Nov 2014

"I find it hard to believe that Wenger has not yet lost the dressing room" Wenger has facilitated a culture of accepted failure. Half the players are not worth anywhere near their salaries, they're stealing a living and musn't believe they're getting away with it. No repercussions no matter how abject the performances or mistakes. Alexis Sanchez must be wondering what the hell he signed up for and hoping for the first flight out - Post No. 64605

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

16th February 2018

Frozen North Provides Relief For Arsenal

Rare comfortable away win for Gunners v Ostersunds