New Wenger flaw means itís time to plan for Allegri
By Simon Rose
Allegri is more realistic and successful than Simeone
Timing matters. Everyone knows that Arsene Wenger infamously does not break contracts and that Arsenal Football Club is exceedingly unlikely to sack him. Hence the most genuine time for when his Arsenal future can be up for realistic debate is when a contract is due to expire. Then he is free to walk away and the club have no compensation to pay.
That opportunity arises this summer and there is fresh reason to believe that Wengerís time at Arsenal has finally run its course.
The last time Wengerís contract expired was three years ago. Such was the frustration with Wenger in 2014 that we reached the FA Cup Final against Hull City with a new contract unsigned and the match carrying potential to be his last as manager of our club. There is no doubt about it, had we lost that final there is no conceivable way that he could have signed the deal or that the club should have left it on the table. At 2-0 down, the time for change was almost upon us.
We came back miraculously to land the trophy and that earned Wenger the respect of deserving the new three-year deal, but with what I saw as a caveat: I saw Wengerís new 2014 contract affording him a final three-year window to win the league again. Three more years, after our barren era of serial top-four finishes but no silverware, to give it one last shot to progress to the next level, to land another Premier League title and to challenge for the Champions League.
In year one, 2014-15, we retained the FA Cup and finished 3rd in the league. That is good going in anyoneís book. In season two, 2015-16, we failed to make an impression in the domestic cups and wilted in challenging for a winnable title, while our main rivals suffered and Leicester City accelerated away, only to mug 2nd place off Tottenham in the seasonís last breath. In each of these last two campaigns we flumped out of the Champions League, embarrassingly to Monaco and more understandably to Barcelona. This season is the final campaign of Wengerís current three-year deal signed in 2014. Has he succeeded in moving us on to the next level, of making a genuine challenge for the title? You have to say no.
We are still in this seasonís FA Cup, with a huge chance to reach the quarter-finals, given that our 5th round tie is away to non-league Sutton United. We are still in the Champions League, having squeaked through into the knock-outs as a rare group winner, only to land Bayern Munich in any case. But it is our league form that gives fresh cause for concern and lays bare whether or not Arsene Wenger can still fashion a team of champions. With three months of the season to go, we are a defeat at Chelsea on Saturday away from realistically being out of the title race with three months to go. That cannot be progress.
It is extraordinarily hard to win the Premier League. You have to be the best team out of 20, over nine months. You have to be able to cope with everything thrown at you, while playing every other team home and away, and coming out on top of the lot. Many Arsenal supporters and neutral observers have long labelled Arsenal seasons and key moments as 'groundhog days'. The same mistakes have been repeated for years and not learnt from. We have long failed to maintain title challenges due to the paucity of our squad, a lack of conviction in the transfer market, specific weaknesses in players, our injury record, rigid timing of substitutions, our infamous lack of mental strength despite Wenger often hailing it and a tendency to bottle great opportunities to maintain title challenges.
Not only are Arsenal currently experiencing their usual array of weaknesses, but crucially we are now exhibiting a new strain, a fresh flaw which is so fundamental it is hard to see Wenger meriting another contract if we donít snap out of it. We have recently reached a new level of failure and it is that which makes me feel that we have reached the point where Wengerís tenure can be seriously questioned. Somehow or other, since late December, Arsenal are failing to play the full 90 minutes, by simply failing to perform for entire halves. At times we have got away with it, by managing to beat Preston and Burnley and salvaging a 3-3 draw at Bournemouth after acquiescing to go 3-0 down. But uncontested defeats at Everton, Man City and now at home to Watford are wholly at odds with a club claiming to be title challengers.
It is a new phenomenon for Arsenal to fail to turn up for entire halves of matches. It is a new flaw for Arsenal under Wenger to seem capable of playing only 45 minutes at best, for one half or the other. Complacency has been cited in the past, plus an over-reliance on technique and artistry when ruthlessness was sorely needed, but our current flaw is new and deeply damaging. Wenger claimed before the Watford home match that we were ready. After losing 2-1, following another AWOL first half, he said that we hadnít been ready mentally. Iím sorry but there is no doubt whatsoever that it is basic in football at any level, worldwide, from professionals down to park kick-abouts, to be mentally and physically ready to play. That is a given, a pre-requisite. As professional footballers, it is professional suicide not to contest entire halves. What on earth are we thinking of? What is happening to our preparations?
If a boxer failed to contest entire rounds in a bout, it wouldnít take long before he was knocked out. Arsenal must snap out of this peculiar and unprofessional malaise and fast. Until the season is over, we the supporters and Wenger the manager himself won't know the entirety of what we are looking at or its ultimate impact, but you have to wonder what Wenger himself makes of this new flaw. Can he currently watch a team serially fail to play a whole match and remain convinced that he is getting enough out of these players? Can he preside over this new recurrent flaw and think a) that he remains the right man for this job and, b), that he should sign a new contract?
There is no doubt about it: Wenger canít stay our manager for ever. At some point he has to move on and someone else has to take over. There have been Arsenal managers before Arsene Wenger and there will be more after him. Presuming that we donít win the Premier League or the Champions League this season, there is little current evidence to see why Arsenal should give Wenger another fresh contract. What for? More of the same? In all respect and kindness, there would be no point and we have to acknowledge that at some stage Wengerís tenure closes and anotherís opens.
Quality replacements have been mooted in the last three years and lost to other clubs along the way. Jurgen Klopp to Liverpool, Pep Guardiola to Manchester City, Carlo Ancelotti to Bayern Munich and Antonio Conte to Chelsea. How many more do we want to miss out on? How many more are there? I would suggest that there are possibly only two top-level world-class club managers that could do Arsenal justice, to reach the next level. Diego Simeone and Massimiliano Allegri.
Simeone is the man everyone appears to want and we are not the only club to covet him. A tremendous and successful player at Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and Lazio, he has taken Atletico as a manager from being observers on the outside to participants at Europeís top table. As a player he won league titles with Atletico and Lazio, for seven major honours in total, including four trophies at Inter. As a manager, he has landed five major trophies with Atletico, including La Liga, the Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup, plus missed out narrowly in two Champions League finals. Simeone clearly has massive credentials and itís obvious why so many covet him. But I donít think Arsenal should go for him, if we are to replace Wenger this summer, for three reasons. Again, timing matters.
Firstly, Simeone is already at the club of his dreams in Atletico and he may feel that he has unfinished business there until he lands the Champions League. He could be super-close to achieving that and may feel, rightly or wrongly, that it is worth another two or three years of concentrating on that. Secondly, he has only been a successful manager at one European club. At elite level, he could yet be a one-club wonder: successful at Atletico but perhaps unable to repeat the trick elsewhere. It could just be that conditions are right at Atletico and it works there for him, but it might not at another club. Thirdly, he has openly declared that his next managerial post will be in Italy.
With Inter and Lazio connections from his playing career, it doesnít seem like Simeone is looking towards managing in England any time soon. Some people will always feel that money talks and that a big offer from Arsenal might sway him, but I get the impression that Simeone is highly principled. If he says that Italy is next for him, once his Atletico journey is over Ė whenever that might be Ė then itís Italy next.
Allegri on the other hand is in a different context. As a player, Allegri had a near 20-year career around a variety of average Italian clubs and hence his playing career is no comparison to any of Simeone, Guardiola, Conte or Ancelotti, for following huge success as a player with huge success as a manager. But that is not a pre-requisite. None of Klopp, Mourinho or Wenger had stellar club careers but have still scaled heights as managers, while plenty of quality players have failed in coaching. But it is Allegriís club success over the last six years which I think marks him out as being ideal for Arsenal and, importantly, realistic to land as our new manager. Crucially, Allegri has won league titles at two big Italian clubs.
Allegri steered AC Milan to the Scudetto in 2011, plus the Italian Supercup. Although Milan were starting to wane and lose star players, Allegri led them to 2nd and 3rd in the following seasons. Conte had won three successive league titles with Juventus when he resigned to become Italy boss in July 2014. In the two seasons since, Allegri has led Juve to successive league and cup doubles, plus a Champions League Final appearance. To an extent, Juventus are a juggernaut in Italy. They are Italyís Man Utd, supported everywhere and have rediscovered their United-esque perch of being top dogs after the years of match-fixing punishments. You could argue that any decent manager should lead Juve to success, but ultimately you still have to pull it off and Allegri has.
In 2012 Allegri reportedly claimed that he would only coach for another ten years and would like to coach Italy. That leaves him another five years, but then those comments were from five years ago. Why would he leave Juventus to come to Arsenal? Might he feel he has unfinished business in Turin, to win Juve the Champions League? With little realistic domestic competition (unlike Simeone at Atletico), might Allegri be sated by his Juventus success so far, especially if he lands a third straight double? Might the timing suit him, to come to Arsenal? Might it appeal to him to replace a legend like Wenger and succeed in taking Arsenal forward?
Arsenal is a great draw in world football. Arsene Wenger has raised the club to a higher level than ever. It must be a coveted job. Timing matters. Arsenal Football Club has to ask itself some serious questions. Is a new manager more likely to win us the league? Can Wenger still motivate his squad and focus them sufficiently, mentally and physically, to play full matches and be ready to take advantage of rivals slipping? With Wenger's contract coming to an end, a natural window is available to address who should be managing Arsenal and how the club is structured. If Wenger lands a new deal, that window closes until that expires.
With Wengerís contract coming to an end and fresh flaws appearing, a natural exit begins to feel plausible. This is not about me 'seeing the light', I've been surfacing Wenger flaws for years, but only playing one half when opponents are playing both is a rudimentary flaw too far if unsolved. After three years at Juve and Italy crucially already in a qualifying cycle, rather than a summer tournament having just ended and looking yet for a new manager, elements could be aligning here. What else is there for Allegri to achieve in Italy? Could the Arsenal job be passed up? Allegri might jump at the chance to take the reins at a top English club, one eager for someone with varied title-winning nous to shake things up and to lead it to the coveted next level.
2nd February 2017 07:40:59
Comments and Reaction
User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.
markymark 7:46am 2nd Feb 2017
Err. Simon are we all on the same page at last? Ps: Arsenalknewbest I've just read my post in the previous thread, it suggests that I'm accusing you of drinking Potato Juice. I did in fact mean Jamerson. Glad that I could clear that up. - Post No. 103491
CBee 9:00am 2nd Feb 2017
When he signed that last contract,he said, "I will win Premier League title with Arsenal again inside three years" So mission failed by the looks of it and one more reason for the specialist in failure to not sign another contract. - Post No. 103492
Up For Grabs Now 9:08am 2nd Feb 2017
All very well written and thought out, only one problem, our owner doesnít give two hoots about actually winning the PL or CL! It would be much easier for him to retain Wenger, because like Wenger, the bottom line is more important to him than going all out to be the best! I know that any other manager would be able to get more out of the same players, but chances are he would want his own players, which would cost shed loads of money. Not sure Stan would want that, in fact I am sure he wouldnít, because with Arsenal currently being an obscenely cash rich club, this helps him with his projects in the USA, as a sort of unspoken collateral guarantee, if things get too stretched financially over there. Hope you are right, but having experienced years of my club ripping off its own supporters since the American came on board, he and Wenger will think they can carry on with further groundhog seasons for years to come! Whilst vocal opposition to Wenger remains minimal, a new contract will be on the table soon, and we can all look forward to more of the same! - Post No. 103493
gooner.ed 9:25am 2nd Feb 2017
Welcome to the dark side Mr Rose. It's taken a few years, but you got here eventually! The two domestic cup exits in 2012-13 to lower league opposition should have been the final straw after consistent embarrassments since 2008. - Post No. 103494
Bard 9:27am 2nd Feb 2017
Welcome Simon. Its taken a long time for the penny to drop. You somehow seem to have missed the many other times we havent turned up in the last decade. Roll on Sat. The result will be a game changer either way. I am sure the board want to resign him. the question is how to spin it to us fans. - Post No. 103495
Exeter Gunner 9:50am 2nd Feb 2017
It isn't a 'new flaw', Simon. The team have had matches they thought they only need to turn up to win, then desperately tried to rescue it, for years. You've just seen a concentrated burst of it lately. You're just trying to portray it as a 'new flaw' as the realisation that he needs to go has dawned on you much later than many of us - you're trying to save face. But at least you've got there. Though I do also think you're trying to say 'Allegri or nothing' so if we don't get him, we might as well sign Wenger on again... - Post No. 103496
jeff wright 9:51am 2nd Feb 2017
This Stan Kroenke would have fired Wenger if he had lost the FA Cup final is a theory based on very flimsy, or even wishful thinking. Wenger had achieved what Stan pays him for that season by qualifying for the Champions League cash cow midweek TV show . The FA Cup is just a sideshow there is no way that old Syrupy was going to fire Wenger if he HAD failed to win the FA Cup after he had qualified for Europe yet again this is really just delusional nonsense. Wenger did worse last season than not winning the FA Cup ,he failed to win the Prem from a very favourable position - but he is still with us. I will believe he has gone when it happens. If he wins his top 4 trophy this season it would not surprise me if some excuses are cobbled together to give another 2 years to the malevolent malfunctioning Monsieur. Mass protests at games might work the oracle to get him out but it only needs a couple of good results to renew the faith for committed AKB's and the Arsenal Circulars ,carefully crafted to claim that Arsene is despite all the evidence to the contrary actually doing well, will resurface like turds do in a cesspit. You couldn't make it up. - Post No. 103497
John F 10:13am 2nd Feb 2017
Good and fair post Simon.As for not preforming for the entire match Danny Murphy said yesterday that he has spoken to a few ex arsenal players and they said Wenger never has a go at players for under performing.In my experience if you have a manager who does not pull people up for not giving their best this feeds down to the rest of the staff.It causes division and complacency and you get little cliches forming.I have noticed during the games players having a go each other and as Alasce said yesterday this really does have echos of the 85/86 side before GG took over.The team has no leaders on the pitch and Wenger with his father figure type management certainly can't lead.It is time for a strong manager to come in who gets the respect of the players and Allegri does seem to fit the bill. - Post No. 103499
Bard 10:50am 2nd Feb 2017
I think we are missing the point here guys. Tuesday was a shocker if you care about winning but Arsenal couldnt give a monkeys about winning and havent for years. The goal is to keep the money rolling in so Stan can use the club as leverage to support other projects. Even if we miss out on 4th spot it can easily be spun as a blip in a long a glittering career, so lets give Wenger another chance. All this guff about Allegri is beside the point. If Wenger refuses to sign a new deal they will I suspect move him upstairs and hire someone who will do the same thing. Believing the idea that another manager is going to come in and start chasing titles a is as deluded as thinking Wenger is capable of winning the PL. - Post No. 103500
The Man From UNCLE 11:00am 2nd Feb 2017
The Wengerites are starting to resemble the Labour Party. Rats deserting a sinking ship. However, only boycotting the games will make any difference. I for one will gladly take 5th place if it means getting that old fraud out. Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea, Spurs have all shown that missing out on one season's CL is nothing in the bigger picture. AND.....a new manager will only work if AW is out of Arsenal altogether, instead of hanging around like a bad smell, "advising" the new bod. - Post No. 103501
mbg 11:55am 2nd Feb 2017
The Greatest load of AKB bollocks I've read for a while, way to long and drawn out. A FRESH reason to believe TOF's time at Arsenal has finally run it's course ? so all the others weren't/aren't enough then ? (obviously not for AKB's)it has taken a fresh one. So this new wenger flaw you talk about it's never been there before then ? it's just arisen ? you make it sound like these flaws and reasons have just materialised and came to light, of course you'd have seen your messiah's lucky win in his arse, face, career saving cup final (a cup he and AKB's treated with disdain) as affording him a new contract (what AKB wengerite wouldn't) and another three year deal, and no doubt you would this time too, waffle all you like but you and your ilk would keep him in the blink of an eye again. wenger out regardless. - Post No. 103505
Yes its Ron 11:57am 2nd Feb 2017
Hi Simon. Glad youve seen the light but Wengers teams have rarely played for 90 mins since the so called invincible s. Even that team didnt put 90 min shifts in. They often didnt need to. They had the players to win games in aggressive bursts and then to saunter through. Lets face it though, it was a far weaker league back then. There was only ever Utd and Liverpool who could give us a game really back then. Wengers been deluded enough to think he can do the same this last 10 or 11 years with massively inferior players and a fair few useless players too. Theres no doubt he 'chooses' games in which to put it in. His arrogant players are as deluded as him as hes let them think theyre 'top top' players, when they clearly arent and havent been for years, hence the half baked, half witted performances and surrenders that have gone on for years. Wenger needed sacking 6-7 years back and any other supposed top Club would have given him his cards. - Post No. 103506
TonyEvans 12:21pm 2nd Feb 2017
I love the way Wenger says the team 'wasn't mentally prepared' as if that somehow absolves him of any blame! The excuses are becoming more bizarre (which I didn't think was possible) and I would take anyone over Wenger. As others have said though whether this would be enough (with Yankee Stan still pulling the strings) is debatable. Absolutely nothing to lose though surely. Ron - good to see you back by the way. - Post No. 103507
Gunner Rob 12:28pm 2nd Feb 2017
Bard provides the most depressing yet accurate assessment of what is likely to happen. - Post No. 103508
jjetplane 12:30pm 2nd Feb 2017
Call me plastic but those kids up front for Pep last night are pure sick bro (good for you non-grimers) and can Pep make 2 his at least leaving Totts and Klopp to fight over the other 2 places. i am sticking with serene old man Wenger (plastic passion) coming 5th and no trophies. You know things are heading south when Atwood is leaving Untold for Aussie land until Asano win the PL. Obviously with all the 'pirate jiving' (see dildo) he aims to live along time. Who remembers Mandy who posted here for a week or two. She is totally off the rails with conspiracies and my favourite is that the officials are hijacking Arsenal because they hate the beauty that it is and it is their persecution of Wengo (greatest Arsenal manager ever ...) that is doing us season in and out. Think she is saying Lord Wengo should sacrifice himself at the Ems altar and maybe the refs will leave poor Asano alone. Awwwww ..... Simon - all you have to do is say Wengo is ****e and we will give you your W.O.B. card and a picture of Alexander Waverley as opposed to one of an ostrich in the wilds of Tottersbride. - Post No. 103509
mbg 13:18pm 2nd Feb 2017
And his lucky coming up smelling of roses again win in the cup certainly did not deserve him any respect, let alone a new contract, all respect was gone then, it was way to late for all that then also, even more so now, regardless of what happens, what he flukes or what others gift us/him this season nothing will change (he's still way past his sell by date, and always has been, just three years more with the stench getting worse) he still has to go, it will still be wenger out. - Post No. 103511
Redshirtwhitesleeves 13:32pm 2nd Feb 2017
Unfortunately Wenger is not the only problem is he. We have got a bean counter in Gazidis and an owner in kroenke that are only interested in profit, and another groundhog season will do very nicely thank you for them. I really think they will only consider making a change if the fans make enough noise and create enough uproar. I doubt very much with all the Wenger fan boys and tourists in the stadium that this will happen. I think once 4th place is secured the new 2 year extension will be announced. Like others on here, I would take absolute ANYONE instead of Wenger if only for everything not to be so mind numbingly predictable. Let's face it we can all write the story of every season before it even starts, it seems only Wenger himself and his blind followers expect anything different to happen. Allegri would do VERY nicely for me - Post No. 103512
markymark 13:36pm 2nd Feb 2017
My God Tony (the Walzer) Atwood is off his chump. His latest false indignation is to claim that journalists are insinuating that Arsenal players have been put on medication. All because the Telegraph dared to question the role of the All Blacks Ceri Evans. The guys a Psychologist (they don't dispense drugs) Tony's straw man arguament is yet another pathetic attempt to cover up for Wengo's failings. - Post No. 103513
GazFootballNerd 14:06pm 2nd Feb 2017
It seems that the last two seasons and what we have experienced so far of this one have led to the conclusion that we will never truly challenge for the really top honours again; in fact recent performances suggest regression. I have accepted that the modern game caught up with Arsene a long time ago, and it is starting to feel as if e is now being left behind. I agree wholeheartedly that change is needed and that there would be no point whatsoever in Arsene being offered or accepting a new contract; but along with others who have commented I am not convinced the ownership/ board operate with a major focus on football success. I suspect that only when attendances drop and/ or Champions League qualification isnít achieved will they act as a result of the impact on their precious bottom line. - Post No. 103514
King Jeremy 14:42pm 2nd Feb 2017
Wow, is this Simon Rose, the last great AKB, coming down off that fence? About time you saw the light Simon. Simon, his tenure would be far more palatable is we had actually competed for the league. Instead what we have had for the last 3 years is a flattery to deceive - touching the top spot very briefly before falling gradually further and further away as the same management (yes, management) failings reveal themselves again. Then, usually around Februay-March, when the title remains winnable only mathematically they seem to wake up and rally, which leaves Wengers disciples with the impression that we somehow fought valiantly and were in the title race until the end. The reality is sadly different as the points between differential between us and the eventual champions unquestioningly demonstrates. Even last year, with (bar 2 players) his self-proclaimed best ever group, he could not beat Leicester City to the title, because under his stewardship we again failed to amass beyond our "par" of mid-70's points. His failings are many and varied, but chief among them is his unwillingness or inability to change or accept change around him. Henry was shown the door when his presence threatened to overshadow him. Keown was similarly moved out when he gained credit for the run to the CL final. He has proven that he will not change, and, as a result, neither will our fortunes in the next 2 seasons if he is given a new contract. But I suspect that is what will happen and the board are just waiting for the politically acceptable time to do so. Until then, we will continue to see performances like Southampton away, only to be followed in swift order by those of the Watford type. - Post No. 103515
mbg 15:15pm 2nd Feb 2017
jj, sounds like Ken Dodds diddy woman has really lost the plot since she waved her tickle stick on here, no sign of jamerson, bubble or squeak on there ? or any other site ? he'd hardly keep/use the same moniker, but just like on here it wouldn't be very hard to recognise him and know who it was. wenger out. - Post No. 103516
mbg 18:04pm 2nd Feb 2017
markymark, nice one, that post made me laugh out loud, i'm not kidding, what a complete p***k he is, there's no other way to describe him, if anyone's on drugs it's him and the rest of those moonies. - Post No. 103518
mbg 18:15pm 2nd Feb 2017
GazFootballNerd, welcome to the real world, a lot of us have known and came to that conclusion a long time ago, unfortunately others are only waking up to it now. wenger out. - Post No. 103520
Paulward 18:30pm 2nd Feb 2017
Think Wenger will inform the board of his intention to stand down shortly after we are eliminated by Bayern Munich, my guess is the news will be kept from the fans and players until our top four position is confirmed or not as the case may be.Despite me wanting Wenger out I still believe him to be basically an honourable man, so my take is that he will call it a day, and it won't really matter what the board thinks. I know we've been here before but it looks and smells different this time, and I sense an air of resignation in Wengers post match musings after recent setbacks. - Post No. 103522
CORNISH GOONER 19:35pm 2nd Feb 2017
Well for a Simon Rose article it started very well didn't it? An AKB converted at last? Nah, more like Simon Confused.com! So Clouseau has to go at some point does he? I have inside info.that he has on his very large executive desk a signed photo of DAME VERA LYNN herself & alongside a framed thought "Age is only a number". So, there you have it - only another 33 years to go? Oh, the horror!! - Post No. 103525
RobG 21:46pm 2nd Feb 2017
Fine piece Simon. But the blunt truth is, that this Club/Board is TERRIFIED of change. So they will cling to Wenger regardless, for at least another two years. Yes ! - we should have moved on : and we should have moved on - two or more years ago. But regardless of what is the verdict in May - this club is 'Arsene FC' - not - sadly - Arsenal FC. So two more years it is. And the sheep in the stadium will bleat their approval. We have to fall a lot further before we start to rise. So get ready for the fall ! - Post No. 103526
markymark 7:28am 3rd Feb 2017
RobG / Paulward It's a hard one to call, I spotted on ArsenalTV that people in the background were shouting Wenger out. Ty probably worried for his own safety conducted an interview "blaming the rain" very late into the evening in what was then an empty ground. My personal view is he has said we will win the title in the next 3 years. He is obviously fundamentally failing in this regard I suspect he'll call time at the end of the season. Though I suspect Kronke wants to keep him there is something happening we know that at least one manager has been approached. - Post No. 103528
Redshirtwhitesleeves 8:54am 3rd Feb 2017
Worrying report this morning that the board are genuinely baffled by the fans anger as according to them 'we have never had it so good'. Says it all really. Unbelievable to anyone with a brain yet so typically Arsenal. God help us - Post No. 103529
Arseneknewbest 9:28am 3rd Feb 2017
Redshirtwhitesleeves - "We never had it so good" - the favourite phrase of those who've always had it better. The previous board of old public schoolboys also deserve the harshest criticism for selling their soul and enabling the current money-grubbing regime. Let's face it, the club is in a capitalist quagmire of greed and inequality- no wonder we're hated by others so vehemently. Jeff extreme-right: What's the solution comrade? - do tell. You can't blame this one on ethnic minorities and immigration. - Post No. 103530
GoonGer 9:31am 3rd Feb 2017
Yes agree, very disheartening John Cross's propaganda piece in the Mirror about how everything is all rosey and the club are in a fantastic position!! ManCity and Man U have brought in two top managers who are below Arsenal , he says!! They been in their posts 6 months, Mr Cross. Not 13 years of project failure. Think Kev,your promise that he was offski at the end of the aeason is wrong. Without the banners and protests Arsene is staying! - Post No. 103532
Bard 9:49am 3rd Feb 2017
Comments emanating from the board suggest my previous post wasnt too far off the mark. However although I dont think Wenger can cut it as a manager anymore I agree with the posters who say he is a basically honourable man. He must see that there is no win for him staying on except increasing ridicule and £8m a year !!!!! - Post No. 103533
Arseneknewbest 9:53am 3rd Feb 2017
At least we're being held up as a prime example of what not to do by good coaches. Eddie Jones says in this morning's Guardian (sorry Jeff - I know you don't read centre right papers...) that "if we (the England Rugby team that is) start the game against France like Arsenal did on Tuesday, we will be in trouble". No sh*t sherlock - now there's a perceptive man. No wonder they've been unbeaten for ages. Expect them to start like a train against France tomorrow and keep it going til the 80 minutes are up. I think EJ knows he would not last 5 minutes if he said his team were not ready. Chalk and cheese. - Post No. 103534
Yes its Ron 11:41am 3rd Feb 2017
akb - so very true. If a rugby player at that level went into a game not 'mentally ready', they could seriously be gambling with their lives. These footballers are sickening arent they. The money has rotted Clubs like Arsenal. Its ironic really, as back in those days when Wenger started the rubbish about 'financial doping' and many of the fans followed his daft lead in condemning Chelsea and Citys owners et al they forgot to recognise that such owners rarely allow mentally unready teams to put the Clubs kit on and if they do see it occurring, they do some thing about it. - Post No. 103538
TonyEvans 13:49pm 3rd Feb 2017
I read today that Wenger says he tried to sign Kante twice, one attempt pre and one during his spell at Leicester. No details given at all so I assume it was down to the usual penny pinching, and we end up a pale imitation (Xhaka). No surprise that Chelsea are top with Kante, and we are in the usual battle for a top four spot is it. So Kante joins a long list of quality players that Wenger has 'tried' to sign. Why Wenger comes out with this stuff is beyond me - who does he think it will impress? It's certainly no excuse for the second rate players we usually end up with when he does actually manage to close a deal. - Post No. 103542
jeff wright 14:09pm 3rd Feb 2017
Everything at AFC is controlled by Wenger ,he even interviewed Ivan the lie-spinner for his CEO job . No other manager at any club ,even Ferguson at United, has ever had this sort of power. The top 4 trophy that Wenger and our players once celebrated winning after finishing 4th as though they had won the league says all you need to know about what the priorities are under Syrupy's regime at AFC . Kante given a choice of joining us or Chelsea would, along with any player with any ambition other than to make money, have been aware of this situation at AFC . Wenger can't have done his home work on Xackha who must surely be rated for the money Wenger paid one of his worst ever signings.WHen the next manage takes over from Wengo he first job will be to ry and off-load all the deadwood on long contracts and big wages that Wenger leaves him . At least he only has to deal with the fact that no top trophies have been won at the club since the last time the cows came home. It's not a having to replace super-successful Ferguson at United scenario that a new manager faces at AFC. - Post No. 103544
mbg 14:45pm 3rd Feb 2017
TE, funny how it always comes out that TOF has tried to sign these players when they've been safely installed elsewhere, trying to make out that he worked hard and tried his best, who the f**k does this old slabber think he's talking to ? I wouldn't believe a word he spits out of his mouth. wenger out. - Post No. 103549
RegW 15:10pm 3rd Feb 2017
So Clouseau' s admission is that we couldn't compete with Leicester signing a player from Caen! Like many of his ramblings not really thought through and the reality is we were probably looking at the star of the French 5 a side league!! It's a cock up on so many levels at the Arse! - Post No. 103550
fieldyj 18:55pm 3rd Feb 2017
Yawn and huff - sorry guys but this over the hill waste of time is not going nowhere soon - expect 5 nil loss at The Bridge and a 2 year new contract to put the boot in to us who have had enough - #WENGEROUT - Post No. 103562
Offside 22:12pm 3rd Feb 2017
So Kante decided that the best chance of holding onto his Premier League title was to joing the team that had finished 10th and was bringing in a new manager with no experience of the English league, rather than joining the team that had finished 2nd with a manager who has 20 years of PL experience. That says it all. Even when Arsenal are theoretically in a stronger position, players don't really rate the club as the place to go to win league titles. - Post No. 103566
mbg 14:46pm 4th Feb 2017
There you are rose tinted, you've just seen/witnessed another 30 plus flaws (and their not new ones either)is that enough for you ? or did you miss them. wenger out now. - Post No. 103575
ADKB 8:19am 6th Feb 2017
If you think Wenger will resign at any time or under any circumstances you are deluded. I read a tweet yesterday that he's been paid £100m by the club since he last won the title. He's also totally deluded himself, dismissive of the fact that his methods don't work any more and still believes he can succeed. That aside he makes loads of money for Kronke who doesn't give a toss about trophys or investing in the team. I despise Chelski and Abramovich but I'd take their blueprint right now rather than the Groundhog Day **** we have to put up with. - Post No. 103645
27th April 2017
Online Ed: Arsenal leave it late v Leicester in front of subdued crowd