Arsene is like an online troll

By Kevin Whitcher

Online Ed: Alexis dropped, Arsenal sunk as Wenger’s team Klopped at Anfield

I was asked to answer some questions for a Liverpool website in the build-up to yesterday’s match, and predicted a 3-1 home victory, explaining that defensively, Arsenal were currently too disorganized. I’d like to claim insight, but in truth, the loss at Anfield was highly predictable. Arsene Wenger’s teams rarely win away against the other members of the top six, a draw the best one can hope for. It’s a big part of the reason why the Gunners have not competed for the title past early spring since moving from Highbury.

The numbers don't look good

So, if the defeat was no great surprise, the team selection was. Mesut Ozil apparently had flu, because Arsene Wenger never drops a player, although I have to take that notion back immediately, because he did drop Alexis Sanchez. The reasoning was that his team would need to counter Liverpool’s pressing game with a more direct style, so both Giroud and Welbeck started. Ok, but then were Iwobi and the Ox seriously going to create more danger than the Chilean? One suspects there is more to this than meets the eye, because Arsenal did not play long balls up to their forwards and suffered accordingly as Jurgen Klopp’s side showed greater hunger and desire in their appetite to get the ball.

Arsene Wenger was agitated in a recorded pre-match interview with BT Sport’s Jake Humphrey, saying he believed he was the right man to take Arsenal to the next level. Humphrey asked him to define what that was. In other words, he was trying to make the manager accountable, to put him on the spot by forcing him to make a concrete statement about what he was trying to achieve. Wenger – not pushed like this in a normal press conference – did not like it. Eventually, it was prized out of the manager that the next level was winning the Premier League.

However, how many more seasons does he need to actually take Arsenal to ‘the next level’? Wenger wouldn’t answer why he couldn’t manage it this season. The one thing that recent matches and displays have demonstrated is that he can no longer motivate or organize his players to get the required results to make his side contenders.

And so it was in the first half against Liverpool. Sanchez, one assumes left on the bench as punishment for not committing his future to the club (everyone knows he is off in the summer), dropped in the same way that David Beckham was by Alex Ferguson in 2003. Only Ferguson was able to get results and so leave his superstar on the fringes. Arsenal were so poor in the opening half at Anfield that the manager was forced, at 2-0 down, to bring on Sanchez at half time.

On one level, fair play to the manager for at least trying to do something different with his team selection, except that his players did not actually carry it through. Was this a miscommunication? Or have all those years playing tika taka become so inbred that Arsenal can no longer adapt and play a different style even when they are under instruction to? Assuming of course they were. Maybe not enough preparation for the change on the training ground.

Defensively, Arsenal were all at sea, with players not tracking back and all too often losing their one-on-one battles. They had no attempts on goal for the entire first half. When Sanchez was introduced, they performed better, and the second half was more even. Despite that, chances were fairly rare. Giroud had a good header well saved by Mignolet after Sanchez crossed, and when the latter put Danny Welbeck though, he finished well. But the two goal deficit was too much to make up, and in injury time, the home side wrapped things up with a third goal on the counter attack.

Aside from the lack of tracking back or adequate marking by the attacking players, Arsenal’s other obvious huge weakness is the porous nature of the midfield. Coquelin is not up to the job. Xhaka can be good in distribution, but defensively is undisciplined. None of the other options are any better as far as stopping opposition attacks is concerned. As a consequence, the back four are exposed far too often.

It needs sorting out on the training pitch, and Arsenal had eleven days between the Sutton win and the visit to Anfield to work on the solidity they would require in this fixture. Shkodran Mustafi tweeted a photo of himself having a break in Monaco. Wenger, after the game, claimed the long gap between matches put his players at a disadvantage. He has previously used fatigue through playing too often as a reason for underperformance. Make your mind up. He’s become like an online troll switching his argument just to get a reaction.

For those that still believe the club should persevere with the manager past the end of his current contract, ask yourselves this. Do you seriously believe another manager would not get more from the players that Arsenal have on their books? Look at the upturn in performances at Chelsea and Swansea and when they recruited quality men. Look at the transformation in the attitude of the players at Leicester now they have made a change. It looks to me as if Arsenal’s players, with the odd exception, aren’t really bothered.

Yes, Emre Can should have been sent off for the last 15 minutes, but that does not excuse the no show in the first half. Once again, Arsenal need a minimum of 45 minutes before they start performing to anywhere near the level they are capable of. In isolation, a defeat at Liverpool is no great surprise or disgrace, but in the bigger picture, it’s all too representative of a trend. Arsenal have lost four of their last six matches, the exceptions being against relegation zone Hull and non-league Sutton United. Victory at home against non-league Lincoln next weekend will at least give Wenger a visit to Wembley for an FA Cup semi-final, but before that there is the potential embarrassment of the second leg against Bayern Munich.

Before that game, fans who would like the manager to step down are marching from outside Highbury’s old East Stand in Avenell Road at 6pm to the roundabout outside the Armoury. One can understand their frustration, and the need to try to do something to influence the stasis that is gradually making Arsenal a standing joke. Supporters of the other top sides almost uniformly hope that Wenger will stay on, and there is a good reason for this. As long as he does, the Gunners are not going to be a significant barrier to their own side achieving glory.

So the board needs to be pressured into making a decision that is in the best long term interests of the club if the aim of the club is to compete with the clubs they should be on a par with, given their income. No-one expects them to win more trophies than Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but they’d like to believe that Arsenal can at least give them some kind of a game and occasionally beat them in a knockout tie, as less affluent clubs with better managers have managed to.

The lack of spirit shown by the Arsenal players in the first half was worrying. The team are in a comfort zone that is not showing any sign of being disrupted, and yet that is exactly what is needed to get the best out of this squad. There is no indication that Arsene Wenger is going to do that because he is the one responsible for the creation of this situation. At home matches, the stadium has been designed so that the players do not have to even see the great unwashed when they make their way in from the team coach, with its blacked out windows. It’s probably nice for them, and the irony of it is that they are not even trying for the manager who has given them this luxury and – in many cases – wages way above their market value. Hopefully the consequence will be that a new man comes in and makes them earn their money, although I suspect there will be a huge clearout of deadwood if Wenger is replaced.

I do get the feeling the manager wishes to hang around for another two years, under the delusion that he can bring the trophy winning glory days of 1997-2005 back to the club. And that is why he has not announced he will not renew this summer – a move that would probably galvanise the team and certainly the support for the remainder of the campaign. However, the board have to be strong and realize that now, with the Premier League TV income so huge, they can afford to take a risk on a new man in the pursuit of greater things, and to make Arsenal matches really matter once more.

And if Arsenal fail to finish in the top four, which is entirely possible, then the last remaining reason to continue with Wenger will have been washed away, just like the club’s title hopes have been for the last 13 seasons. More of the same in the Bayern second leg? I wouldn’t bet against it, but at least there’s nothing at stake for that one. It’s a bit late to worry about salvaging pride.

Recovering addicts say that you have to hit rock bottom before making changes. It feels like we’ve been here more than once. Just maybe, for the board, rock bottom is not qualifying for the Champions League. Time will tell, but even Ivan Gazidis must be getting fed up of going to opposition ground directors’ boxes to witness Arsenal habitually fail to show up. Arsene has been indulged for a long time on significant wages. However, top clubs remain competitive because they know that sometimes, ruthlessness gets better results than sentiment.

If the decision has been made by the board that they are not going to continue as they are, and Arsene does not want to publicly announce he has decided to step down (and the story will be that he has decided to leave rather than any notion that he is not wanted coming out), I can see a statement being made when the manager is on his summer holidays, away from the media glare. Because one thing about Arsene Wenger is that he doesn’t do humility. More and more fans though, are getting tired of seeing the team humbled. I received a text from an occasional contributor last night after the game. He has always been pro-Arsene. He wrote, “Time to go, I regret deeply to say. You’ll get no more articles in defence of Arsene from me.”

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5th March 2017 08:50:44


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.

Paulward  9:08am 5th Mar 2017

If the first half yesterday was indicative of next season without Sanchez and Ozil, but with Wenger still at the helm, then we should be very worried indeed. Will be lucky to finish in the top 6.Out Out Out! - Post No. 104720

RobG  9:14am 5th Mar 2017

Time to go. But will he. Never undertimate Wenger's hubris, which is planetary and the Boards sloth and indifference to change compared with generating revenue, which is all Kronke cares about. Good luck with this protest. It needs to make a big impact. - Post No. 104721

Mathews  9:20am 5th Mar 2017

@Paulward, even I felt the same, its a hindsight of what is to come next year. If Wenger stays in helm, then expect a replacement for Sanchez who wont play in PL until he eases him to it. Sanchez is carrying the whole team on his shoulders, his entry made the difference and the whole team were uplifted. I wont blame on his ambitions as he doesnt deserve to be here, tbh, he needs to play for the best and Arsenal arent anymore. I was in tears yesterday, this club is sinking with the arrogance of Wenger. - Post No. 104722

Deighty  9:25am 5th Mar 2017

Didn't expect anything else from that game. You could say it's another nail in his coffin but unfortunately the old fool isn't gonna lay in it. He's a deluded old man and will continue to take over 8 mil a year for the easiest job in football in the fact that he doesn't have to answer to anyone - Post No. 104723

KC38  9:40am 5th Mar 2017

Another big away game which sees us concede for fun. Kevin spot on regard the midfield it's slow and not up to standard. The defence if you can call it that was losing headers to a team that has three of the shortest strikers in the league. So so predictable you become numb to it. The only way Sanchez could stay us if Wenger leaves. Such arrogance to bench him i think Wenger was sticking two fingers at the fans with that as well as having a pop at Sanchez. Just simply no football argument to drop him. Ps could all the Wenger out contributors on here go to the march on Tuesday, it will make a bigger impact than hitting the keyboard. - Post No. 104724

John F  9:58am 5th Mar 2017

Kev good report.I thought playing Ramsey as a left winger with a dodgy toe against Utd would not be trumped as far as crazy decisions go but you can always rely on Wenger to go one better.I have a crackpot theory that the reason for the deluded one delay in the signing has nothing to do with the fans but more to do with the length of contract offered.He has stated that he could do four more years yet the board who normally put together a three year offer are only offering two. The board who are completely misreading the situation might think that two years is a good compromise but the giant ego might just feel a little bit insulted. - Post No. 104725

Paulward  10:06am 5th Mar 2017

Mathews : Too right, other than Sanchez, who would anybody bust a gut to keep? Bellerin as a young player maybe? Possibley Koscielny. Make no mistake the club is in a bad place right now,and unless those at the very top get a grip on this as a matter of urgency, things will get a lot worse, very quickly. - Post No. 104726

GoonerRon  10:10am 5th Mar 2017

A very fair report. His excuse of dropping Sanchez to play a longer ball seems bizarre given he could have played number instead of Iwobi. Ironically, it was early in the second half AFTER Alexis' introduction that I noticed a few passages of play where we went long. Aside from Southampton in the cup, I can't remember the last time we played well for 75-90 minutes in a match. Feeling demoralised and hoping that change comes in the summer. - Post No. 104727

The Man From UNCLE  10:22am 5th Mar 2017

I did mention this before, but Birmingham City used to have a fanzine "Tired And Weary." Sums up our predicament very well. Daily Express reporting this morning that Allegri has a verbal agreement to take over at the end of the season - my understanding is only on the basis if the Fraud doesn't sign a contract extension. Lincoln must be licking their lips for next week. I'd take that if it meant that chancer gets shown the door. - Post No. 104728

Seven Kings Gooner1  11:03am 5th Mar 2017

I don't believe the protest will make much difference now, the dressing room has gone - so the results will get even worse. This is the real beginning of the end, a "dead rubber" of a game mid week and possibly the worse kind of game our "neutered" team could ever face in the cup tie next week. Lincoln will play the game in 15 minute segments, they will try to turnover Arsenal in certain areas of the pitch and will exploit fully our woeful ability in the air to defend. However you don't need to be an expert in football to highlight our weaknesses and lack of collective fighting spirit. Wenger this morning stated he thinks we could still finish fourth - not win a cup or challenge for a title. Part of his legacy unfortunately will be this dreaded "fourth place trophy" but in years to come he will be remembered for eradicating Herbert Chapman blueprint of what a proper football team should be. All AW early great work will sadly be forgotten - the best that can happen is that he announces that this is his last season. - Post No. 104729

CBee  11:14am 5th Mar 2017

The media are now starting to circle like sharks, they can smell blood. But I'm worried that being the deluded obstinate s.o.b. that he is,that will make him even more determined to stay on. Lets hope the board come to the conclusion that income will decline if he stays and withdraw that offer sharpish! - Post No. 104730

Up For Grabs Now  11:42am 5th Mar 2017

Struggling to write anything new about yesterday’s game because it’s all been said thousands of times previously. Just hope we are finally witnessing the end game, but even now it wouldn’t surprise me in the least, if the club announced that the old fraud has signed a new contract. It’s a start having a protest prior to the Bayern game, but why prior to the game? Surely any protest will be more effective inside the stadium, for the world to see, and specifically for Wenger to hear, bearing in mind his sky-high ego and hatred for anybody having the temerity to question him! - Post No. 104731

jjetplane  12:02pm 5th Mar 2017

Main point about yesterday was that Liverpool have had a pretty poor year so far though they always seem to turn up against the top 6. You would expect for any team to really go at them after the Leicester result. Except of course Wenger's Arsenal. I imagine Klopp was suprised at just how poor Wenger's team were because Liverpool were good in the first half but they have room to be better. Things we hope are changing when you have a look at Untold where Atwood cannot stem the flow of those wanting Wenger out. If he deleted these posters there would be hardly anyone on there. AKBs left right and centre look as though they are drifting (oh the politics) to WOBism and once the uncertainty sets in it will not be long before it is evidenced at the EMs. This we hope will take the form of empty seats because there is little chance there will be much vocal outcry. It is all like the state of the current PL. Little to be excited about as the money rolls to players and coaches who are really not up to it. Anyway, well done Perry Groves! You top the present AKB hate list ... and **** off monkey face! - Post No. 104733

N-4  12:04pm 5th Mar 2017

Hope the protest gets a lot of attendees and if I'm around I'll be there. The whole club is in disarray from top to bottom and including some fans(who support the current and last 11 years situation). I believe Wenger will renew as he won't let go and the pussy of a board that we have won't do **** all. But the most important thing to remember is when the owner of a club says, "If you want to win trophies,then you'll not be involved" to me that says it all...and fans attending games indirectly support that! - Post No. 104734

Bard  12:09pm 5th Mar 2017

Jake Humphreys bless him managed to ruffle his feathers. I agree with the posters the team have gone missing and he isnt the one to get them back. It feels like death by a thousand cuts. Coq's performance was hopeless as were a few others. Difficult to predict what will happen but it has all the hallmarks of a nasty divorce. - Post No. 104735

Hi Berry  12:24pm 5th Mar 2017

Bard, have to say I thought Coq was put in a lot of difficult positions by people passing to him when he was already marked. Looked like he was giving the ball away time after time but blame should be apportioned equally to those feeding balls to him in panic when it wasn't the best option. - Post No. 104736

Leek fc  12:50pm 5th Mar 2017

Have we just been relegated ?? - Post No. 104737

jjetplane  12:58pm 5th Mar 2017

No but you have Leekie! Thinking how Leicester even though they are having a torrid PL season as Champions they are still better than Wenger when it comes to the top 6. So what's the bets of Leicester finishing above Arsenal next season if the ostrich remains. Now we can see why Mahrez and Vardy would not come near the toxic Ems. - Post No. 104738

jeff wright  12:58pm 5th Mar 2017

Wenger's comments on taking the club to another level are an admission of failure on his part.He claimed for donkeys years that he had done this and only last January he was confident that he would win the league but as usual made a right Horlicks of things once the pressure was on to do so.The chance was there but he was unable to take it. Personally I think that Wengo will struggle to win his 4th place trophy and the qualification for the so called Champions League that he is so proud o doing. Shame that it all amounts to nothing but a money making exercise because his record in Europe is nothing to be proud about in fact it's a disgrace. I agree with Bard I thought that once again Coq was exposed as being not good enough he can't tackle properly has a poor first touch and is no pass master either. He was of course booked as usual as was the other clown Granite another Wengo signing who can't tackle properly although he was bought to do this in midfield ,even Wengo admitted that. No explanation though as to why then that he signed him. You couldn't make it up . What a waste of money that moody character is . For us to go to the next level we need better players and a better manager who knows what he is doing and not continually reacting to events and making signings that are happy with any lack of real ambition to do other than make the top 4 and to pick up their wages .If we get them though is another matter. - Post No. 104739

TonyEvans  13:05pm 5th Mar 2017

Agree with Up for Grabs - continue the protest inside the stadium for maximum effect. The gloves should be off now, Wenger deserves to be hounded out of the club and never mind years 98 to 05. Truly I have never despised an Arsenal manager more and Wenger's legacy lies in tatters. - Post No. 104740

Paulward  13:49pm 5th Mar 2017

Wenger will take us to the next level alright, trouble is it will be the level down not up! When the hell is the straw going to break the camels back? A hammering by Munich on Tuesday? Losing to Lincoln? A drubbing at WHL, or even worse a tanking at Wembley in a semi-final?This wretched season can not end quickly enough, and neither can Wengers tenure at AFC . Out, out , out! - Post No. 104741

mbg  14:01pm 5th Mar 2017

Good one Editor, or like the pub drunk who won't leave you alone, and keeps coming back. Any resignation yet ? go now you useless waste of space. - Post No. 104742

Redshirtwhitesleeves  14:06pm 5th Mar 2017

12 days to prepare for this match. No excuses, no game plan, just more abject surrender and failure. If the best he could think of to stem the tide is to drop our one good player, the only one that actually puts a shift in every game, then the game is truly up. Wenger out now - Post No. 104743

foxinthebox2001  14:15pm 5th Mar 2017

Curious about this confidence Wenger has of taking Arsenal to the next level, which I see as title challengers (which are we are not at this time), actually winning is is 2 levels up from where we currently are. This task of taking us a level higher included offering the slowest centre back in memory to pull on an Arsenal shirt an extra year extension. If anyone believes Wenger will be shamed into not renewing his contract by protests they are for a shock. Pocketing £8m (increased to £10m) per year is worth a lot of shaming for our stubborn coach. Clearly Stans final word is the board do everything to keep Wenger for at least 2 more years, even dropping out of the CL wont prevent him persuading an already convinced regime he is the man to get back in the top 4 next season. Our stash of cash also means the first year out of Europe wont have a catastrophic effect on the finances. The funny bit (as a supporter) is watching Wenger getting increasingly aware that an announcement of him staying on will cause a **** storm with the fans, and press boys. The club hierarchy were all desperate for some respite from the flak, maybe a couple of draws in Munich and Anfield to give them as chance to say our outlook is improving. I makes you wonder if a scrappy draw on Tuesday and a comfy win over Lincoln at the weekend may tempt them to show their hand, before City come to town and expose us again. - Post No. 104744

mbg  14:16pm 5th Mar 2017

There's more to this than meets the eye alright Ed, the useless c**t doesn't know what he's doing, but we knew/know that anyway. wenger out now. - Post No. 104745

mbg  14:37pm 5th Mar 2017

Up for grabs, Tony Evans, yes it has to be/continue inside the stadium (been saying it for years) it's the only way, on the subject of protest what about the away fans yesterday ? did they say, do, chant anything at le fraud ? let him know what they thought ? or just keep stum and take it, again, or maybe the wenger must stay placard appeared ? pathetic. we want wenger out we want wenger out. - Post No. 104746

Paulward  14:45pm 5th Mar 2017

Wenger may have the hide of a rhinoceros but he hasn't endured a home thrashing yet, with Bayern, City and Utd to come to N5 that is likely to change fairly soon. Crowd and manager reaction will be interesting to say the least. Even defeat at home to West Ham or Leicester wii pile the pressure on the hapless Frenchman.And don't forget our final match is also a home one, v Everton. Don't see many "we want you to stay " chants at that one somehow, not from the Arsenal fans anyhow. - Post No. 104747

CT Gooner  15:14pm 5th Mar 2017

But remember "Arsenal are class" we're told. We were, but this fraud has turned us into a spineless bunch of apologists. Beyond kos and alexis, I'm not sure our players know what playing as a team means. Others may disagree but I see Iwobi as a typical Wenger type player, technically excellent, though always looking like he's holding something back, and absolutely no sense of how to defend. That is not my Arsenal, and I'd imagine most long time supporters are struggling to find redeeming qualities in our current squad. Class means many things to different people, to me integrity and doing the right thing are major contributors, let's see if the board or Wenger himself have any of these qualities in their make up. - Post No. 104748

mbg  15:56pm 5th Mar 2017

SKG, you could be right but as I asked before do we want rid of him or not ? everything helps look how far we've come now, the strides we've made and it's getting closer everyday, we're so close now we have him down with our foot on his throat so lets not let him up. wenger out. - Post No. 104749

Bard  16:08pm 5th Mar 2017

Although Wenger's position and the team's performance are linked, in another way they are completely separate issues. Most on here have been watching Arsenal for many years. Setting aside the Wenger issue the side is as piss poor as I have seen for many years. In seasons gone by we have always been 2/3 short of being a top side but yesterday, we looked mid table at best. Our midfield was Coq, Granit and Iwobi and up front we had Danny and Olly. That is not top draw by anyones standards. Its not as if this is a really good side going through a bad spell. Wenger may be rabbiting on about taking the team to the next level but they arent even a decent side yet. With our run in I dont see much joy for this lot with or without Ozil. - Post No. 104750

markymark  16:19pm 5th Mar 2017

Who's to blame? A:) Wenger B:) Wenger C:) Wenger D:) AKB and bell end obsessive Squeak Answer: all of the above - Post No. 104751

markymark  16:33pm 5th Mar 2017

Arsenal have got options who are currently favourite, Allegri and Koeman, or you've got the option of keeping the wrinkly bull****ting loser. Surely this is a no brainer? Surely? - Post No. 104752

CBee  16:44pm 5th Mar 2017

Bard, not sure I like your reasoning. If the players are only mid table quality then that says Wenger is getting more out of them collectively than their ability. If anything the opposie is true. I believe with the same players a more modern manger could get a lot more out of them. - Post No. 104753

The Man From UNCLE  16:55pm 5th Mar 2017

Cbee; we are Arsenal and we've always had good players. Even when we were going nowhere in the mid 80-s we still had decent players. The very least a football team should be able to do is be difficult to play against. No doubt about it- a better manager would be getting more out of this side. - Post No. 104754

markymark  17:09pm 5th Mar 2017

MBG / SKG - I think you've hit nail on head, for the first time the changing room is divided . Our best player is obviously off and Wenger appears helpless. We're safe from the drop I'd rather them lose every remaining game if it means saying goodbye to Wengo. In fact a disastrous run would also make the board look like idiots which is no bad thing. - Post No. 104755

mbg  17:19pm 5th Mar 2017

CT Gooner, you've hit the nail on the head there, any one of us could say the same, because this is wengers Arsenal his vision, what the egoistic c**t has wanted and been working towards all along, everything he believes in, his philosophies and ways, everything built round his beliefs and his image, with everything before which undermines him air brushed out of history, and the egoistic old waste of space was and has been given the power and allowed to do it, well try anyway, because it's failed miserably even though he's been getting away with it for years, but it's still not to late, he's been found out now he must not get away with it any longer, he must be stopped before it really is to late and that day isn't far away unless something's done about it and he's stopped. wenger out now. - Post No. 104756

KC38  17:24pm 5th Mar 2017

The away stats in this post show that this manager is deluded and unable to grasp reality. The squad is strong but very unbalanced, it's a typical modern day Wenger squad some top drawer offensive players but a weak centre, Coq and Granit, no left back available for the desired level and centre backs that are to similar and weak in the air. So completely exposed at tough away games, it's clear to all except Wenger and his disciples. The way stats should on their own tell the board the obvious, we are going backwards and their precious income will be next to be affected. - Post No. 104757

Bard  17:45pm 5th Mar 2017

Cbee we will have to disagree mate. I dont believe another manager would get too much more out of this lot., certainly not enough to challenge. There isnt enough quality. Apart from Sanchez, maybe Bellerin who in that team is world class or even top class. They might do a little better if they were more organised but they dont have the appetite for the battle. Any new manager would I suspect have a massive clear out. - Post No. 104758

Paulward  17:51pm 5th Mar 2017

Tottenham and Citeh rapidly joining Chelsea in the uncatchable category, strongly fancy us to come 6th. Will someone wake me up at the end of May and tell me the old man has left ! Don't think the next few months are gonna be particularly pleasant for anybody connected to AFC somehow. - Post No. 104759

KC38  17:56pm 5th Mar 2017

Bard I disagree, if we get the correct manager I believe 3 or 4 new players,with a defensive plan worked on to create a strong base would improve us no end, we score enough goals but are defensively naive, Wenger does no do football without the ball, hopefully a new manager would. This squad requires discipline and leadership, some decent man management, if we were to get Allegri I would get back some much needed optimism. - Post No. 104760

Bard  18:06pm 5th Mar 2017

KC38; I get that argument although Im not sure who you think is top class but underperforming. What youre suggesting, 4 new players is a pretty big rebuild. Would be interesting to read which are the games where you think we have played well this season. - Post No. 104761

KC38  18:19pm 5th Mar 2017

Bard, I don't think we have to many real top drawer players. I agree we have not played well for a long time, but a team is an expression of the manager, this slow tiippy tapped football is Wengers football it's his DNA, a new manager would introduce a new culture, I don't think CFCS defence has great players , they are all decent, but well drilled and have a huge desire. Football is a team game and it's all about getting the best out of the collective, two quality midfielders, athletic that can protect the back four would be a massive help, a proper left back, if we kept Sanchez and had a front three of Sanchez Welbeck and Perez was given an opportunity we could improve although I would love a top drawer striker. I think it's the culture created by the manager, although I do agree 3 or 4 should follow Wenger out of the club. You don't finish in the top four each year if all the players are just ordinary, although a few are. - Post No. 104762

CBee  18:32pm 5th Mar 2017

Yes we defintely need some replacements, but we dont really know how good some of the current players could be if they were organised and motivated by a new manager. The defense in paricular, doesnt matter who we he have playing there, with Wengers total disregard for defensive organisation and practice it would always be poor. Anyway lets get the new younger hungry manager in and trust him to sort it out. - Post No. 104763

markymark  18:33pm 5th Mar 2017

The wheel is turning, I spot very little remaining crapola that we have to be respectful of Wengo. What is starting to become obvious is Wengo's sheer selfish arrogance that he keeps the club and supporters waiting whilst his dreadful last knockings of management is exposed. Arsenal FC and particularly the fanbase have been very good to Wenger. If he tries on a further extension he'll face a storm and drag the club to calamity. - Post No. 104764

Bard  18:52pm 5th Mar 2017

No problem with those posts. I guess my main point is that Wenger has presided over a deterioration of the whole. We may have a bigger more equable squad but the quality, mental fortitude, tactical understanding is missing. - Post No. 104765

KC38  19:03pm 5th Mar 2017

Agree re the posts, it's good to have proper discussion and opinions. - Post No. 104766

Paulward  19:38pm 5th Mar 2017

Tend to agree with kc38 on the squad. Are Moses (loaned out to all parts over the years) or Alonso ( flopped at Sunderland) really better full backs than Bellerin and Monreal for example ? Point is they are well coached by Conte, ours are not. - Post No. 104767

CORNISH GOONER  20:04pm 5th Mar 2017

THE MADNESS OF KING WENGER. Excellent post as per usual Monsieur Whitcher. Alarming news flash on ANR that the old fool has actually SIGNED the new contract - deep joy(not)! Has this information been "Leeked"? On the Sunday Supp. even the hacks have turned - the words "madness" (re Alexis decision) & "ordinary" (re L'Arse's football) were used a lot. It's crazy situation - he has enough money for sure, if he were of sound mind & announced he is leaving the Club has just about enough time to plan for next season & us supporters, being the lovely people we are, will say "thanks for what you have done, all the best & ta ta", & everyone is happy. But no - probably 2 more years of what will probably deteriorate into absolute mayhem. Sad times. - Post No. 104768

Petergooner  21:21pm 5th Mar 2017

I have said this for the fast two years but it has not happened but we all live in hope. Wenger must go now not end of season so we can get new coach in now to get rid of players that are rubbish and have time to look at new ones to sign them in summer. This will not happen as Wenger will hold out until summer. Too late. Also worth putting a bet on Lincoln winning because they are 33/1 and Sanchez will not be playing and Ozil will still be on his holiday (oh I mean flu). - Post No. 104769

Arseneknewbest  21:25pm 5th Mar 2017

Guardian is reporting tonight that wengo dropped Sanchez after a training ground bust-up with another player and a subsequent showdown in the changing rooms. Another fecking lie from Wengo then as we all knew. The end has to be nigh...he will hate having been exposed as a liar. - Post No. 104770

Goonhogday  21:33pm 5th Mar 2017

I agree, we're too predictable and top 6 teams are rarely afraid of us anymore. In my opinion it has been like that since 2006. Furthermore, I can't see much changing in the near future either. The Arsenal board are too complacent and the only thing that matters at boardroom level is revenue and their dividends (at the cost of trophies). I'm weary of the phrase "be careful what you wish for" and was more of a fan of "Wenger change tactics" than "Wenger out" but I now feel he's lost the dressing room (or at least the majority of it). The belief has gone from all but a few players. The organised pre-match march before the next fixture is great but I fear the boardroom level will hardly notice it. Perhaps the march organisers should adopt the same tactic that Bayern fans did to Arsenal in 2015 and stay in the stadium gangways for the first 5 minutes of the match before entering the stadium bowl? This will have a noticeable absence at kick off time and a worldwide TV audience that the board will most certainly notice! After, we can all get back to getting behind the first team (despite the huge task at hand)! - Post No. 104771

GSPM  21:46pm 5th Mar 2017

- looks like Wenger has seen the writing on the wall and wants to **** Arsenal good and proper . Shambles & a disgrace. He cares only for himself and his inflated ego . He has overstayed his welcome and diluted his legacy . Very very sad. Arsenal will rise again when this has all gone and Wenger is history . - Post No. 104772

mbg  21:56pm 5th Mar 2017

KC38, your dead right that's the reason alright, on both counts, GMS reporting a series of bust ups between Sanchez and TOF after Sanchez told him he want's out, the weakling trying to act the big hard boss, why not drop him altogether then ? the fooking coward, he really lost face when it backfired and he ended up needing him, and had to relent and bring him on, especially when it didn't even work, another blow for his ego. Go now you arrogant old fraud. wenger out. - Post No. 104773

Ritchie Growling  22:44pm 5th Mar 2017

Tactics? What's that? Jake Humphrey was previously that prat everyone knew at school who thought he was the wittiest kid alive. In among his jokey blokey rubbish he occasionally, by law of averages, manages to blurt out a relevant question. Not one so hard - hitting that an experienced manager of some thirty odd years in the game should be spinning furiously through his Rolodex of pre - prepared statements and coming up short of a decent answer though. - Post No. 104774

N-4  23:04pm 5th Mar 2017

I've stopped going and buying Arsenal related things including attending games, so I asked what will fans do if Wenger does as he pleases and renew for another 2 years?!! - Post No. 104775

markymark  7:10am 6th Mar 2017

Cornish - I seem to remember Myles Palmjob saying he'd signed before then he dropped the story like a hot potato. BTW Myle's lifestyle piece 12 days of bliss is vomit inducing smugness. Worth a read! If there is any truth in it then Wenger really has misjudged events. Apart from Spurs supporters it's only a small group of swivel eyed loons who love him. The ground has shifted and if the March form follows February there's no platform at all for him. The average Arsenal supporter on the street think it's time for change, now it's happened it will only get worse if he stays. Think it's all eroding around him and now looking obvious to all. - Post No. 104776

TonyEvans  7:32am 6th Mar 2017

It looks like an RVP / Fabregas situation fast developing. Our best players openly defying Wenger and wanting out. Wenger will no doubt try to ride out the storm - he is down but certainly not out yet and you have to hope he has lost the whole dressing room, not just Sanchez, but I can't see his pet players like Ramsey and Walcott rocking the boat and pulling the rug from under their own feet. Incredible as it seems Lincoln turning us over could be the best thing that ever happened if it proves to be the defeat that finally nails the bastard. - Post No. 104777

Seven Kings Gooner1  9:05am 6th Mar 2017

Petergooner: Lincoln are well worth a bet not just because they are at 33/1 but because they are a very well coached team and there are parts of their game that Wenger will never have encountered before. Put it this way when the two teams step on the pitch, one side will have a proper game plan, the other team, managed by a Frenchman will not! I have watched a lot of third and fourth tier football since I stopped watching Arsenal and there are some very tough, skillful and well disciplined teams down the league and Lincoln are certainly one of the best of them. If Lincoln can cope with the larger pitch their could well force a reply. - Post No. 104778

markymark  9:21am 6th Mar 2017

Just had a gander at Attwoods be careful what you wish for article on Untold. There's about 80 replies some of which are very obscure, some like Brickfields are total ****. Take those out and nearly 50% are calling for him to go. This of course from an arch Wenger site that purportedly supports everything he does . His support base is completely crumbling. - Post No. 104779

MAF  9:47am 6th Mar 2017

the penny now dropping with all those Arsenal fans who simply would not listen to the reality of the last 3-4 years slow collapse of Wenger. Italian newspapers seem certain Alexis has done a quiet deal to go to Juve in the summer. this prob means Allegri isnt coming to Arsenal and Wenger is staying. Personally I would fire everyone and build a new Team around Alexis. Of course he is upset ! he is a winner surrounded by a bunch of 3rd rate losers including his own Manager. the collapse of Arsenal Football Club will now become plain for everyone to see - Post No. 104780

Yes its Ron  10:16am 6th Mar 2017

Hi Kev Only a blind man cant see that many of those lightweight losers in that dressing room arent doing it for Wenger. Players get Coaches the sack, nothing else. Check Chelsea and Leics for the most recent eg s. A Club shouldn't have to beg and bow to any player. I hope a new Coach sells the lot inc Sanchez and Ozil. Neither are anything like their respective hype levels. Truly do. I d take the biggest broom ever used to sweep out that Club. - Post No. 104781

Yes its Ron  10:45am 6th Mar 2017

Ritchie - jake Humphrey? Agree mate, what a tool he is. He was the one at school who always got good grades due to his pushy parents being well in with the school governers and probably got to grammer school for the same reason. Captained the rugby team despite being s--t at the game, but as he wore a trevira blazer, he was qualified to do it. Captained the cricket team as he had a full set of whites and his own bat though also being s--t at cricket. Theres another broomworthy place ..... BT football stating with him, Lineker and that squeaky voiced w----r McManaman who i could gladly shoot with a 12 bore. Why do all scouse blokes squeak? Carraghers another and even that chump Bellew squeaks. It must the weather up there. - Post No. 104782

mbg  14:05pm 6th Mar 2017

Tony Evans, good post, yes it's all happening again for TOF, Nasri, Cesc, RVP, etc, all seeing the light and showing ambition and getting out, now Sanchez (the only one there is, the fact none of the others are doing it says it all) realising if he want's to be successful and win something he has to get out, just like RVP and the others, fair play to him, it must be really pissing wenger off and a blow to his ego that it's happening again as he thought he had them all doctrined and bought. wenger out. - Post No. 104791

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

15th January 2018

Being muscled off the ball by Bournemouth is like being mugged by your grandma

Online Ed: Another poor Arsenal display on the road just another signpost as we near the end of the Wenger era