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Arsenal Audit: February 2017 - Part Two (New manager special)

By Neil A. Fry, Arsenal Audit

Potential candidates assessed

Keeping with the faith
Ahead of the Bayern match one of Monsieur Wenger’s chief public disciples, Martin Keown, remained ever loyal to his former manager. He felt his reign would carry on for at least another season which “would give the great man the time he deserves." And “if he was to win the Champions League or the league”, longer. With a seventh successive R16 exit beckoning, only one final in 20 years and no sustained Premier League challenge since The Invincibles and three major implosions those ideas seem ever more fanciful. Nevertheless, Keown’s devotion was unsullied. "The problem you have is Arsene Wenger is a very special individual. You're inspired when you're in his company," he enthused. Unfortunately, once again the players seemed far from inspired and in Munich Arsenal lost their 5th game by a 4+ goal margin since the start of 2014, one more than in the previous 11 years. Even Keown struggled to keep the faith in the television studio aftermath. “It was embarrassing … This is his lowest point. He looked particularly wounded. I feel for him; he almost needs to be protected from himself. This is 20 years of work here. He's been magnificent for the club. This brings forward the change that looks likely at the end of the season. I think it will be him that makes the decision. The realisation that the decision needs to be made is more apparent tonight." Keown, however, recanted within days. "I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that if they qualify for the Champions League and do alright in the FA Cup (with only a home tie against non-League Lincoln standing in the way of a Wembley semi-final), it’ll be status quo for next season. Why wouldn’t it be?" For Keown warned "We've seen Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola arrive at Liverpool and City and they've not been successful either in terms of winning trophies.” He devoutly omitted Antonio Conte’s remarkable transformation of Chelsea, with the same players. Keown concluded "If he was to go at the end of the season I'm not sure the club would be ready. Which manager they would turn to?”

Allegri – Preferred choice

A new Arsenal manager?
It is claimed that Arsenal are ready and have drawn a four-man shortlist as a contingency plan should Monsieur Wenger decide to go. Thomas Tuchel, Jurgen Klopp’s successor at Borussia Dortmund, is said to top the list and the other three candidates are Massimiliano Allegri, Roger Schmidt and Leonardo Jardim. In a part 2 Special, Arsenal Audit examines their respective merits and those of a name remarkably absent from the shortlist, Arsenal supporters’ favourite, Diego Simeone. Finally, Arsenal argues who they should turn to and considers whether or not it is likely to happen.

Thomas Tuchel (43), Borussia Dortmund
Having replaced Jurgen Klopp in 2015, Borussia Dortmund’s Tuchel is another German exponent of the Gegenpress. He had impressed at Mainz (2009 - 15), guiding them to their best-ever Bundesliga 5th finish and taking them into Europe. In marked contrast to Monsieur Wenger’s starts of the season (post-Austrian training camps) and Bayern Munich first-leg struggles Tuchel, in the 2010-11 season, coached Mainz to seven wins in their first seven games which included a 1 – 2 away victory at the Allianz Arena. Tuchel speaks perfect English, however, lacks the animated charisma of his predecessor and is more of technocratic manager. In last season’s Europa League Anfield second leg, they twice lead his predecessor’s team by two goals with Liverpool needing three. Three late substitutions at 77, 82 and 83 minutes failed to stem the red tide and Liverpool scored two more goals to progress to the semis. This season, after two 2-2 draws with Real Madrid they topped Group F. They trail Benfica 1-0 before the home R16 second leg. As Dortmund have sold so many of their top players in the last five years, he is also trying to revive the club with young players. Currently, they are 3rd in the Bundesliga, eight points behind RB Leipzig and 13 behind Bayern. With Monsieur Wenger’s ongoing struggles with his once young British core and the likely loss of his two star players, and no tangible League success to speak of, the technocrat’s appeal to the Arsenal Board is obvious.

Roger Schmidt (49), Bayer Leverkusen
A German exponent of the Gegenpress too, Schmidt has left Tuchel trailing in his wake this season. He turned the gun on Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham at Wembley in November and Bayer Leverkusen beat Tottenham Hotspur 0 – 1 with their aggression, energy and speed (none of which have been particularly notable from Arsenal who have struggled against their local rival’s demanding young manager). Leverkusen finished second in their group, unbeaten yet with just two wins, banishing Tottenham to Europa League exile. The R16 home leg ended in a 2 – 4 defeat as Diego Simeone’s Atlético de Madrid took control of the tie. Previously, he topped Monsieur Wenger’s antics at home to Burnley and was sent off after disputing a free kick and initially refused to leave, causing the referee to suspend the game and lead the players off the field for eight minutes. Currently, his club are 8th, 23 points off the top. Indeed, Schmidt’s only honours have been the Austrian league and cup double in 2013 - 2014 for the multiple sporting franchise Red Bull owned Salzburg. Again, other candidates have far superior credentials, but Schmidt would be natural fit for the Arsenal owner. Even more scarily, Kroenke’s top preference is said to be the new Belgium national team’s management partnership of Arsenal playing legend Thierry Henry and Roberto Martinez.

Leonardo Jardim (42), Monaco
The Portuguese started his career as head coach at 29 with a local Madeira 3rd division side and enjoyed a five year stint there. A series of short-lived but successful posts followed. Two promotions in successive full seasons at other clubs took him to the Primeira Liga. Next, in his one and only season he led S.C. Braga to third position, posting a record of 15 consecutive league wins in the process. He soon left after a run-in with the president and joined regular Arsenal Champions League foes Olympiacos F.C. and triumphed over Monsieur Wenger in December 2012 (2-1). Then, even though his team soon led the league by ten points, he was again relieved of his duties. Success continued in his next season, back in Portugal at Sporting Lisbon, where - leading a young team largely developed in their youth system - he coached them to second position in his debut campaign, 25 points higher than in the previous season. Next up was AS Monaco, who he led to the third place in Ligue 1 in his first year (repeating the feat last season), and again triumphed over Monsieur Wenger – with the 3 – 1 win at The Emirates leading to Arsenal’s latest R16 exit. A 1-0 aggregate exit to finalists Juventus followed. Last season Valencia eliminated them in the play-off round. This season they won their group, having beaten Tottenham Hotspur twice. The first R16 Champions League leg last week at Manchester City, saw them go 3-2 up after the hour before conceding three in 11 minutes to lose 5-3, albeit the away goals mean the tie is far from over.

Diego Simeone (46), Atletico Madrid
Simeone is the apparent supporters’ choice since a succession of elite managers were attracted by key rivals as Arsenal persevered with Monsieur Wenger. The 100+ capped Argentina player had a relatively mixed apprenticeship as a manager in his homeland from 2006 – 2010 where he managed Racing (twice), San Lorenzo and won the Argentinian championship with Estudiantes de La Plata and, two years later, River Plate. In 2006 Estudiantes defeated all the "big five" Argentinian clubs and finished the regular season tied for first place with Boca Juniors. In a winner-take-all final match Estudiantes came from behind to secure their first division title in 23 years. He had half a season in the Italian Serie A helping Catania avoid relegation followed by his brief second stint at Racing before Atlético de Madrid came calling. Simeone worked miracles in overcoming the financial might of Barcelona and Real Madrid to win La Liga in 2013-14 and has continued to thrive. In the same season Atlético were the only undefeated team in the Champions League before the final. They beat Barcelona 2–1 on aggregate in the quarter-final having benefited from Simeone's tactic of cutting the swift-passing midfield of Barcelona in two, thus denying them space and isolating Xavi and Andrés Iniesta from forwards Lionel Messi and Neymar. In the semi-finals, Atlético beat José Mourinho's Chelsea 3–1 at Stamford Bridge, following a goalless draw at home, to reach the Champions League Final for only the second time in the club's history. In repeating the feat in 2016 Simeone bettered Monsieur Wenger’s poor 20-year record of just one Champions League Final in less than five years at the club. The defeats to Real lead him to consider resigning, which also suggests a level of considerably more advanced self-analysis too. This season, Atlético are 4th in La Liga, seven points beyond an inspired Sevilla and with the usual giants in the top two places, but another place in the Champions League quarter finals beckons.

Massimiliano Allegri (49), Juventus
The Italian Max Allegri started his managerial career in 2004, with Serie C2 Aglianese where he finished his playing career. After an impressive season there, he fared less well with Serie C1 Grosset, then his managerial career took off with when he won a historical first promotion to Serie B for Sassuolo in 2008. That took him to Cagliari in Serie A and ninth place was their best result in Serie A in almost fifteen years. And given the limited resources available, lack of top-class players, and the high quality of Cagliari's attacking football, he won the managers' manager Panchina d'Oro (Golden bench) award ahead of Serie A winning coach José Mourinho. Despite the loss of his regular striker the following season, he consolidated the club’s position the following season but was sacked. Allegri joined Serie A giants Milan in June 2010 and immediately led them to their first championship title since 2004, beating title incumbents and cross-city rivals Internazionale in both league fixtures. Beating them again, to win the Supercoppa Italiana was all he had to show for his second season, finishing second to Juventus who had much benefited from his sale to them of the unwanted veteran Andrea Pirlo. He did make it beyond R16 of the Champions League, but they were eliminated by Barcelona. With the departure and retirement of several of the club's key players, Milan struggled initially at the beginning of the next season. Having managed to get the best out of some younger players, not least Mario Balotelli, Allegri managed to steer them from 16th place to a 3rd-place finish. With Juventus beckoning, he was sacked the following January. In July 2014, Allegri replaced Antonio Conte the day after he resigned, albeit to general ambivalence. Nevertheless, in his first season, he continued the Italian giants’ success and they won their fourth consecutive Serie A title. He went one better than Conte and guided Juventus to a domestic double by helping the club break their twenty-year drought by winning the Coppa Italia. Having defeating defending champions Real Madrid in the semi-finals, Allegri also guided Juventus to the Champions League final – only to be defeated by Barcelona. The following season Allegri struggled after the departure of key players such as Pirlo, Vidal, and Tevez and were 11 points behind the leaders after the first ten league matches. Yet Juventus went on an unbeaten streak and won 24 of their next 25 league games to come back from 12th place to repeat Allegri’s double feat. Allegri seems likely to win a hat-trick of titles with the club 10 points clear and, bizarrely, in 26 games he hasn’t presided over a single draw.

Allegri built upon Conte's success primarily by relaxing the reigns and using a wide variety of different whips. During his first season, he initially persevered with his predecessor’s trademark 3–5–2 formation, but experimented with others, including his favoured Milan 4–3–1–2, 4–4–2, and the 4–3–3 formations, to find the best system for his players, particularly preferring 4 at the back in the Champions League. Indeed such was Juventus's fluidity under Allegri, they were said to defend low with a 5–4–1, press with a 4–4–2 and attack with a 4–2–3–1. He still managed to preserve club and country’s trademark defensive organisation and solidity and often switched to 3–5–2 in the final 20 minutes of closely contested matches, to hold on to the result. And, again revisiting his Milan days, used two deep, tight defensive lines when facing teams that dominated possession to break up play and counter-attack. The other upshot of Allegri’s tactical chess games was that talented players were awarded more freedom and creative licence and midfielders were enabled to make attacking runs into the area. Juventus became slightly less aggressive and intense in their pressing off the ball, while their playing style became more patient and focussed on keeping possession and gaining territorial advantage, to conserve energy, and a slower short passing build-up.

Prospects
We simply don’t know if any of these, or other candidates, or Monsieur Wenger, will be the manager of Arsenal next season. As our intrepid Editor has noted, even the Club cannot seem to agree on a coherent message. The players are said not to know and maybe even Monsieur Wenger doesn’t know himself. Certainly, the longer the saga lives on, the more difficult it will be to build the first team level footballing operational structures the modern game requires to fill the vacuum off the pitch the Board have allowed their Messiah to create. Arsenal Audit has been questioning the senior management and Board leadership at Arsenal since 2011 and is far from convinced they have the necessary competences and ambition to ensure Arsenal have the best candidate in place next season and resist any Kroenke family follies. It seems more likely that the decision will be made by Monsieur Wenger himself. If his (very well remunerated) devotion to the Club was that great, he would resign in keeping with his self-ordained (March / April) timescale. Barring a miracle, that should be on 8 March: The day after yet another Arsenal Champions League Round 16 exit is confirmed. Supporters could then unite behind him in trying to attain one of the three realistically available Champions League places and a St. Totteringham’s Day and he could bow out with the dignity his long-service (as opposed to record over the last decade) deserves.

Thereafter, no manager comes with guarantees. Thomas Tuchel and Roger Schmidt are the sort of young hungry modern managers Arsenal need to turn to. But, neither, at present, quite have the credentials deserving of the honour. Leonardo Jardim is the youngest candidate and makes a better claim. Nevertheless, there should be only two managers on any shortlist: the two outstanding genuinely elite level candidates. The apparent absence of Diego Simeone from the Club’s alleged shortlist would suggest a familiar absence of the promised ambition. Rumours suggest the Argentinian’s preferred next destination would be Inter Milan, his main club at the peak of his playing career. But surely Arsenal could tempt him to battle his wits against the Premier League’s elite? Arsenal are said to be wary of his, alleged, combustible character. Yet, his players have reacted well to him and he has even maintained a cordial relationship with Diego Costa, no mean feat! Surely, Simeone has all the attributes to take the Arsenal players out of their under-achieving comfort zone and take the Club forward? Arsenal Audit believes Max Allegri, the bookmakers favourite should Monsieur Wenger leave, would certainly relish the prospect of taking on the Premier League’s elite managers, not least Antonio Conte, his predecessor at Juventus. With Juventus so dominant and, like Pep Guardiola, having expressed a preference to retire early, the time would surely be right for him to face a new challenge. Not least, one of restoring Arsenal’s ever more distant glories in what has since become the world’s best and most competitive league. Whilst accepting that Atlético represents a harder managerial challenge than Juventus, Arsenal Audit believes that due to his more significant and more varied top-level European success and his great tactical acumen Massimiliano Allegri should be Arsenal’s manger next season.

Sources

Unsullied devotee:
http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/martin-keown-expects-arsene-wenger-to-be-given-oneyear-contract-to-allow-arsenal-time-to-find-a-new-a3466006.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2017/02/16/arsenal-humiliated-bayern-munich-arsene-wenger-future-live/

http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/martin-keown-thinks-arsene-wenger-9903933

Contingency plan:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38994846

http://www.espnfc.us/uefa-champions-league/2/blog/post/2831403/credit-pep-guardiola-max-allegri-bayern-munich-and-juventus

Bookmakers:
http://www.oddschecker.com/football/football-specials/arsenal/next-permanent-manager

1st March 2017 11:12:05

(5.9/10)

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.

MAF  12:22pm 1st Mar 2017

i think unfortunately there is some truth to ''Alexis leaving in the summer'' story. lets be honest he would not leave if he was at chelsea - he'd be enjoying the Team, the Club and London and all would be rosy. Alexis Needs to feel a certain away about Team and Club. I think his Spirit has left we now just wait for his Body to follow. it will be a another damning endictment of how Arsenal is being run These days. - Post No. 104630


Graham71  12:45pm 1st Mar 2017

Would you trust any of our board to have even have heard of any of these managers? Get real.They will go for a yes man who does what the owner wants.To make profits.A 4th place finish will now be decorated by the media and the AKB's as success.Just look at the stupid Wenger has turned down £30m a year to go to China story.Sadly and i hope i am wrong but i see TOF still manager next season.Only mass boycotts of the final games of the season will remove him.Will our fans do that?No - Post No. 104631


Paulward  13:42pm 1st Mar 2017

Think Allegri and Simione will wait for bigger clubs, or should I say clubs with more ambition. Of the others I would probably take the Monaco man, although their defensive display at Man City the other week was almost reminiscent of our Munich disgrace. A safer option would be Ronald Koeman, ticks all the boxes for me and should be fairly easy to prize out of Goodison, even for our hopeless board . - Post No. 104633


MAF  14:01pm 1st Mar 2017

think Koeman should be our target but fear everton now have more ambition than Arsenal. interesting comments from 1 of the german Players saying Is-always-ill, sorry i mean Ozil was ''let down'' by his Team mates V Bayern. comparing the good Players he has around him for Germany and the junk he has at Arsenal. - Post No. 104634


jeff wright  14:34pm 1st Mar 2017

Money money is what motivates Syrupy Stan and his gang .Wengo who looks and acts like a bank manager has kept his job not because Real Madrid,Barcelona and PSG would snap him up but because he provides the money every season that Stan invested his borrowed hedge fund money in AFC to make. Glummer will cost too much to keep and a cheaper option can be found to replace him with,they always are and if anyone has not worked this out yet then they have not been paying attention. As for Glum well this looks to be a rather tricky conundrum for Wengo and co to work out what will be the best option .Glum is not even in la la Wengo land obviously worth even the wages he is getting now let alone an even bigger Pogbo type one. Some sort of compromise looks likely or Glum leaves on a free.He himself though is not in a strong bargaining position with no queue of big clubs or even one anxious to sign the Real Madrid play-boy reject who has flopped big-time after all the hype about him taking us to another level. Along with Cech being worth 15 points a season these sort of claims that are made in transfer windows are just fodder to feed the gullible with. If those pair were that good then why did their previous clubs let them go. You couldn't make it up. What with Hay and motor mouth Bellow squaring up for an heavyweight London v Liverpool punch up on Saturday night we have the earlier lightweights Klopp v Wengo one .Plenty of hot air being spouted about from the contestants in both bouts. The Bookies go :Klopp Evens . Wengo 13/5. Draw 5/2. Hay 1-6 .Bellew 4-1. Draw 33-1. Hay looks certain to win his fight and with flaky bottler specialist in failure Wengo's shocking record in these sort of pressure type punch-ups being on a par with the Mexican road-sweepers fighting top boxers analogy I guess that many punters will go for a Klopp and Hay win double . With a saver at 5/2 on a draw between Klopp and Wengo. - Post No. 104636


mbg  17:44pm 1st Mar 2017

Plenty of candidates seem to have emerged then, where have they come from all of a sudden ? where's this usual tired old drone from the AKB wengerites, but who do you get to replace him, yawn, and they've always been there and a lot more along with them who can and will do a better job than this old past it waste of space. We want wenger out we want wenger out. - Post No. 104638


markymark  19:24pm 1st Mar 2017

It must be a strange thing for The Bell-end obsessive / lover Squeak to share his love of Wengo with opposition supporters. Perhaps Squeak supports Spurs? It would answer some questions - Post No. 104639


Leek fc  21:54pm 1st Mar 2017

What have you been told about making assumptions bell end. It's for fools..... oohh hang on a minute. - Post No. 104640


mbg  22:15pm 1st Mar 2017

There we have it then Enrique wont be managing Barca next season, our new manager ? yes please, and guess who is being linked to replace him ? Jesus H, tee hee, ho ho, hee hee, lol, he wouldn't last two f*****g seasons and what's more he f*****g knows it. You couldn't make it up. - Post No. 104641


mbg  23:14pm 1st Mar 2017

Arsenal classics BT Sport, Arsenal v Coventry 77 Highbury, and v Norwich 89 now, those were the days good old Highbury. wenger out - Post No. 104642


Mathews  5:49am 2nd Mar 2017

For sure the process of making that change in manager has to start from summer, traditional football manager controlling everything at the club should come to an end as well. We need to appoint a Head for scouting and a director of football to support the incoming manager. Not just to make the transition easy but also to let him concentrate on his job. A CL spot this year will be the biggest target for Wenger, as Spurs, Liverpool, Everton and United are all going to be in the mix till the end. With 2018 Russia looming, can we attract top talent in summer, unless we dont have a top notch manager it would be sleepless days ahead. - Post No. 104643


markymark  6:18am 2nd Mar 2017

Squeak there you go again , bell end, bell end think of something else , no it's a lovely bell end, ohhh Wengie. Yep Bell end obsessive and Wengie lover. Sorry is that an assumption? - Post No. 104644


The Man From UNCLE  11:10am 2nd Mar 2017

MBG: If the fraud goes to Barca he will last two seasons; autumn and winter. - Post No. 104645


jjetplane  11:28am 2nd Mar 2017

Funny last night with Nevin on radio stating no bids in Sapin for Wenger in the papers and the guy with him saying how that would upset alot of Arsenal fans as they laughed away. Barca always like an inside manand bets are Xava will take over eventually. Poor old Barca in crisis having scored 6 last night to go top again. Bit like the AKBs saying what a washout Pep is. Wenger is good for a laugh and that is all. - Post No. 104646


TonyEvans  12:08pm 2nd Mar 2017

Jesus, does Wenger's inflated opinion of himself know no bounds! So he's not interested in the Barca job he says today, they must be devastated! - Post No. 104647


jeff wright  12:23pm 2nd Mar 2017

Is there really some who believe these alleged interests from top clubs who are desperate to sign our specialist in failure >? Wengo has not manage to put in a title challenge since 2004 never won a pot in Europe with 30 years of failure to do so .He has also failed to get past the first KO round for the past 7 seasons going out in ignominy every time once to the club that fired him donkeys years past Monaco a team that Leicster look likely to beat in their home leg after getting a good result away by scoring a goal in their 2-1 defeat.Wengo has also inflicted record breaking embarrassing defeats on AFC the worst in our history both in the league and in Europe.Just the sort of 67 year lacking chronically in any sort of tactical nous and using out dated training and medical methods to go with his out dated tippy-tappy bore-fest football that he serves up like regurgitated tripe . You couldn't make it up. Wengo never has been that great really rather lucky though but hopefully his luck is running out . - Post No. 104648


DJW  13:00pm 2nd Mar 2017

Arsene isn't interested in joining Barcelona. I'd just like to put it out there I'm not interested in shagging Jennifer Lopez! - Post No. 104649


mbg  13:07pm 2nd Mar 2017

jw, of course there is mate, le frauds spin department has and always does see to that, AKB Disciples will believe anything no matter what it is or how far fetched it is, when there's bad news to bury or something needed to take the heat of their messiah roll out a bit of spin (or a circular) and the AKB halfwits lap it up, news like Enrique was a god send to them (even if it's all planned and he's coming to us it's still being used as a purpose)and they weren't long jumping on the band wagon and using it. wenger out, Enrique in. - Post No. 104650


Yes its Ron  13:34pm 2nd Mar 2017

Hard to even speculate on new coaches isnt it. All i know is that we need one whos going to git that squad like a haddock and that calls for the Board (Kroenke) to back a new Coach to do it. A top euro Coach will know of the fragility of arsenal and in my view unless theyre given carte Blanche to tear up Wengers blueprint none/few will want the job. Top coaches dont like their CVs being blighted and lets be clear here, the AFC job could be a poisoned chalice for one of them. Personally i think we ll end up with a cheapo Moyes type patsy and a decline, then a proper appointment made later once Stan really starts to smell the coffee. - Post No. 104651


jeff wright  13:58pm 2nd Mar 2017

Too true mbg, a case of desperate times need desperate measures and it is desperate now for Wengo after he has made a complete Horlicks of yet another season. Cue the FA Cup tie v Lincoln to provide a temporary distraction from Wengo's woes .Unfortunately for him there are a few big hitters left in the cup who are taking it seriously for once with them also needing it to boost their seasons up . Winning it again looks a tad more difficult than it did the last two times when Wengo used the once not worth the agro cup to claim after winning it that this proved he was on the cusp of greatness .Some mugs believed it as well ! You couldn't make it up. - Post No. 104652


Redshirtwhitesleeves  14:05pm 2nd Mar 2017

I fear you might be right there Ron, if we are fortunate enough that Wenger does depart I think we could well end up with a completely underwhelming replacement. I wouldn't be surprised to see Eddie Howe or Benitez come in, neither of which do anything for me (I like Howe but he needs more time to develop I think). I just don't trust kroenke/gazidis one little bit. If they knew what they were doing they would have sacked Wenger years ago and we could have had Guardiola, costa or someone of that calibre already in place. There's no football people on that board and that is a big worry as we know the only criteria for kroenke/gazidis is profit, profit, profit - Post No. 104653


mbg  14:44pm 2nd Mar 2017

RedShirts, hear what your saying mate and it's hard to disagree, but maybe they do, Gazidis anyway, it's just that wenger has embedded himself into the club so much, has surrounded himself with so many yes men, has demanded and been given so much power (which he should never have been and we wouldn't be in this mess now) to do things his way with no inference, that there are those who are afraid to make a move, do anything that might hurt their own reputation/reputations (if it had been any other manager you can bet they'd have been ruthless) and when the time comes they will surprise us all with the right appointment and ambition. wenger out. - Post No. 104654


Exeter Gunner  15:00pm 2nd Mar 2017

Can't say I really care too much who comes after Wenger, I'd take an empty chair, just so long as he leaves. If the new guy fails Kroenke may not care but supporters and the press wouldn't be so afraid to go after him. Never again in football history will this absurd situation repeat itself of a manger who achieves bare minimum whilst presiding over numerous humiliations and predictable seasons deciding in his own time when he and he alone will call it quits. As his laughable press conference today again confirmed. - Post No. 104655


TonyEvans  15:22pm 2nd Mar 2017

I'm with Exeter on this one. I don't care who replaces Wenger as long as someone does ASAP. A long, long overdue injection of excitement, anticipation, expectation, hope - all of the things we have been missing for the last God knows how long can't come soon enough for me and never mind who is providing it as manager. - Post No. 104656


Yes its Ron  15:46pm 2nd Mar 2017

The sense of feeling for the Club on my part is caught perfectly by the utter sunken feeling that the words ' Ozil might not be fit for the Liv match but Ramsey might be'. Hardly resonates with Anfield gate crashing intent does it. The words 'Ozil might not be fit so we ll chance our arm with 10 men and a run back goalie ' would have meant more. - Post No. 104657


TonyEvans  15:52pm 2nd Mar 2017

Ron - make that 9 men if Wally is playing too. - Post No. 104658


Perryashburtongroves  15:57pm 2nd Mar 2017

Wenger out now. Joachim Löw in. - Post No. 104659


Alsace  17:53pm 2nd Mar 2017

We simply need someone who will dedicate the team to creating the perfect defensive strategy. I honestly don't care who, but that must be the first priority. The orgiastic joy of sending Walcott and Ramsey off to Fulham and Cardiff respectively can wait until day 2. - Post No. 104660


Redshirtwhitesleeves  18:08pm 2nd Mar 2017

Mbg, I hope your right mate and they do pleasantly surprise us with their choice, though as others have been saying, anyone will do just for a change from the 10 years and counting of purgatory! - Post No. 104661


Jason  18:18pm 2nd Mar 2017

The dooms day scenario predicted for next season.....Owner - Stan Kroenke. CEO - Ivan Gazidis. Manager - Arsene Wenger. Captain - Per Mertesacker - Leaving Club - Mesut Ozil & Alexis Sanchez. - Post No. 104662


mbg  19:27pm 2nd Mar 2017

Exeter, your right i'd take a Doctors Skeleton with a cigar in it's mouth sitting in the chair. wenger out. - Post No. 104663


CORNISH GOONER  19:36pm 2nd Mar 2017

Could be some truth in the Webster to Barcelona rumours - OK, the old egotist might have put it out there as "fake news" but I have since heard that PAUL NUTTAL has also shown interest in both the Barca & Arsenal job. In a giveaway comment a worried Webster quickly posted "zer iz no vacancy". The bugger is staying! - Post No. 104664


Leek fc  19:40pm 2nd Mar 2017

Thousands sign the ''sanchez must leave arsenal'' protest in Chile.... 5 people turn up. Let's hope the Bayern protest goes a bit better. The fact of the matter is that one day Mr Wenger will decide to call it a day, and you lot will believe that you were the cause of it all. Believe it again fellas. Banners and Bull**** outside the stadium aint gonna worry the club one bit. Now if 40,000 gave it the 'wenger out' chant, I'd be a bit more pessimistic. - Post No. 104665


mbg  21:57pm 2nd Mar 2017

Tony Evans, spot on, when the news does come through that he's going, or not signing a new contract, and he's going, going gone, and that he's resigned, and it's official ? you can just imagine the relief there will be around the place, even if there is no other manager in place or announcement to that effect, Jesus H the relief will be unbelievable, the celebrations will be unheard off, real cause to start whooping and getting moist, it will be up there with the where you were when it happened, like the death of Princess di, the queen mother, Nelson Mandela, when John Jensen scored. Can you imagine the lift it's going to give everyone ? the hope, the excitement, the spring in the step there'll be again, and that's even before the name of the new man is announced ? what's it going to be like when he is ? a top top quality man or not the f*****g buzz there will be around the place again and what it will do for moral will be f*****g brilliant, real optimism again. wenger do us the biggest favour of your miserable life and go. - Post No. 104666


Bard  22:32pm 2nd Mar 2017

Some great posts. The Arsenal PR dept in full Webster mode. Turned down £30m in China, turned down Real M, turned down Barca. You got it spot on Jeff. a real Pr offensive if we get rid of the greatest manager in the world we will cease to exist. What a load of cobblers. Roll on Sat. - Post No. 104667


Paulward  22:51pm 2nd Mar 2017

Had to laugh at Wenger muttering about how top managers "reinvent" themselves to stay at the top. Man has no sense of irony whatsoever, the precise reason why we are also rans these days is his inability to adapt to the modern game. Contrast his head in the sand approach to the way Mourinhos management style has changed from club to club and you can see why one is a great manager and the other is clearly not. - Post No. 104668


CT Gooner  2:17am 3rd Mar 2017

Leek may be an annoying (vulgar) troll, but he's got a point. If the out voice remains muted, Wenger's signing another deal. I'll also bet Sanchez will be sold after season tix renewal is done. Hell I don't even know if our club would refuse an offer from the scum.... - Post No. 104669


RegW  12:22pm 3rd Mar 2017

Leeky - the approaching **** storm on the pitch will tip Clouseau over the edge. There will be no Hulls or Wigans to save him this time - Post No. 104674


jjetplane  12:27pm 3rd Mar 2017

Great story about under 12 girls team who have won 49 in a row which is already better than Arsenal's so called invincibles as they have won all games! Last win was 8-0 amd they are in Devon and their explanation is guess what? - a good ****ing coach! They are called Saturday Afternoon Soccer (SAS). As for Sanchez the most important thing is where are the dogs going to stay. Red Action are fed up looking after them. Just wondering if Leekie has 40 thou FB mates lol! Fat Sam off to Barca. Well if the serial loser can say it ..... - Post No. 104675


mbg  13:55pm 3rd Mar 2017

Bard, yes the old frauds spin machine is in full flow whirring away spitting it out 24/7 at the minute no doubt a night shift even put on, and just listen to and look how the gullible are gobbling it up. You couldn't make it up. Sad. - Post No. 104679


markymark  14:10pm 3rd Mar 2017

Barcelona have decided that financial stability is paramount and are considering selling Messi, Neymar and Saurez for a trio of French Ligue 2 stars. The £250 million profit will be held in rainy day funds accounts. The hunt for a new manager goes on, they require absolute stability of top 4 as wining titles leads to increased spending costs. Mr Arsene Wengo is high on the list of nominees. A super supporter Humphrey Leek sobbed as he heard the news saying "not fair, mummy not fair, they take my Wengie. I support Barcelona now, not nasty Arsenal." At this point Mrs Leek reported Humphrey had to have his nappy changed. - Post No. 104680


mbg  15:30pm 3rd Mar 2017

What more do we need to know about Ozil and why he fits in so well with TOF's little pansie nice boys, and why he was sold and no one else wanted him. After throwing his Real Madrid shirt to the floor, Mourinho shouts, You think two beautiful passes are enough ? You think you're so good that 50% is enough ? Mourinho stares bug eyes down and says oh your giving up now, and calls him a coward, and asks him what do you want ? to creep under the beautiful warm shower, shampoo your hair ? (love that one) to be alone ? or do you want to prove to your fellow players, the fans out there, me, what you can do ? and yes guess what he choose ? the shower, is it any f*****g wonder nobody else wanted him, and why TOF did and why he fits in so well here, and why he loves wenger so much ? wenger out, and take Ozil with you. - Post No. 104682


CT Gooner  21:26pm 3rd Mar 2017

I saw that article MBG. I can't fault a thing JM said to Ozil (in Ozil's words) in fact I'm not sure why Ozil would want to release this story. Only makes him look worse, not JM. I wonder if Juan Mata is a better player today because of his history with Jose?? Not convinced we can say any of our youngsters have reached their true potential with AW.... - Post No. 104688


Leek fc  22:28pm 3rd Mar 2017

Assuming that the boy is still in diapers then bell end. Probably needs to be for all the **** you come up with. How'd the demo going eh. - Post No. 104690


markymark  22:42pm 3rd Mar 2017

Who gets Squeak's Bell End tingling? A:) Arsene Wenger B:) Stan Kronke C:) Mandy Dodd (Squeak's online girlfriend) D:) Ivan Gazidis If you answered a,b,d you are correct! - Post No. 104691


mbg  22:55pm 3rd Mar 2017

CT, indeed, well done and said Mourniho, we can say what we like about him but that's why he's a specialist in winning, and wenger a weakling and specialist in failure, Ozil lovers are very quiet maybe if it hadn't come from himself it would have been different and just another WOB lie. wenger out. - Post No. 104692


Issue #267 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

19th November 2017

Arsenal Turn Up on Derby Day

Online Ed: Best performance of the season sees Gunners close gap on Spurs