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Are Power Struggles At Arsenal Anything New?

By Kevin Whitcher

The mystery of unplayed players

18th April 2009. Wembley. The FA Cup semi-final. Arsenal face Chelsea. The teams are announced and there is no Andrey Arshavin in the line-up. Arsene Wenger’s team lose 2-1. Three days later, the Russian striker scores four against Liverpool at Anfield. Not long afterwards, Arsenal are eliminated from the Champions League as they lose the second leg of their semi-final v Manchester United 3-1 at home, before suffering a 4-1 Premier League defeat at the Emirates to Chelsea five days later. Wenger has a very uncomfortable evening of shareholder questions at a scheduled annual Q&A event in which he explains he did not play Arshavin at Wembley because he wanted his team to believe they could win a big game without him, in preparation for the Manchester United European clash, for which Arshavin was ineligible.

With hindsight, these few weeks, combined with the collapse in the Premier League and European exit at Liverpool the previous campaign, were a turning point in the club’s ability to challenge for the major honours under Wenger. And with the non-selection of Lucas Perez so often this season, the mind harks back to his decision not to play Arshavin in the FA Cup semi-final. There is a theory that Wenger was never comfortable with the Russian, because he was a player that was purchased largely as a consequence of boardroom pressure after a disappointing start to the 2008-09 season.

Fast forward to the summer of 2016 and huge pressure on Wenger to buy a striker after the failure to stop Leicester winning the title the previous season. Lucas Perez is purchased from Deportivo La Coruna. When he plays with established first team players, Perez gels well with his colleagues and both assists and scores goals. And yet the manager won’t start him with any frequency. Is this another case of an talented player being frozen out to make a point to the board? Is this Arsene Wenger stating – I decide on the players at this football club, and no-one else?

Wenger’s press conference this morning, ahead of the visit to Southampton was revealing. When quizzed about speculation over a director of football being recruited by the club, a mooted part of the response to the defeats this calendar year being used as a “catalyst for change” at the club by CEO Ivan Gazidis, Wenger responded, “I’m the manager of Arsenal Football Club and as long as I’m manager of Arsenal Football Club, I will decide what happens on the technical front. That’s it.” Or if you want that translated, you can bring in whoever you like to sign players, but I am the one who will decide whether they play.

There are stories that Wenger and the board have not communicated for months. The two year deal that was on offer has been withdrawn and that, as the club states, the decision will indeed be made “mutually” at the end of the season. Meaning agreement has to take place if Wenger is to remain. That may be a long shot.

What interests me is that Wenger has always stated that he wants to leave the club in a strong position for whoever succeeds him as manager, and yet he is resistant to changes that will bring Arsenal into line with the European superpowers that they aspire to join. So Bayern Munich, Barcelona et al have a footballing policy structure in place, often involving former players, that means the first team coach can be changed as and when required without making huge shockwaves. It’s a system that has been adopted at Chelsea (look at the number of loanee players they have to call upon) and Manchester City. Fundamentally, a group of experienced individuals combine their heads to make decisions about the footballing side of the club.

At Arsenal, this all falls down to one man. Would Wenger expect his successor to take on everything that he wishes to control? Dick Law’s abilities at securing players have been the subject of ridicule, and there are certainly transfer targets both high profile and then relatively unknown that the club have managed to lose out on through incompetence or indecision (Xabi Alonso from Liverpool, Juan Mata from Valencia, Luis Suarez from Liverpool, Gonzalo Higuain from Real Madrid, Antoine Griezmann from Real Sociedad and N’Golo Kante from Caen are just some examples). And yet Law keeps his job. Changes to any of the scouting or coaching staff are rare, in spite of repeated failings. Factors such as loyalty seems to over-ride ability or targets.

Wenger could justify his need to run the whole show if he were more successful. It does appear as if a showdown is in the offing when discussions about an extension do take place. The board have taken the decision that a structure above the manager is required. The manager is unlikely to accept it, or if he is persuaded to, one imagines he will cut off his nose to spite his face by not utilising incoming players that he has not personally approved.

Is this the best way to run a football club?

9th May 2017 12:35:48

(9.5/10)

Comments and Reaction

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MAF  13:47pm 9th May 2017

Wenger thinks about no one else other than Wenger, dont ever doubt it. makes sense that internally someone has turned on him, made him accountable and he's throwing his toys out of the cot. wenger is obsessed with Wenger not Arsenal. thats why the veiled threats of i will manage here or elsewhere next year. theyve put a proposal to him to strengthen the overall Coaching set up Player recruitment and he has rejected it and sulked that they dare challenge his kingdom. All makes sense to me now whats been doing on - Post No. 107010


TonyEvans  13:56pm 9th May 2017

It will always remain a mystery but Wenger is easily arrogant enough to put himself and his ego before, and to the detriment, of the club that he professes to love so much. Perez is easily a better player than the likes of Walcott et al that Wenger picks week in week out, no matter how poor they have been, and there just is no sensible explanation for his omission apart from spite on Wenger's part. - Post No. 107011


Yes its Ron  13:58pm 9th May 2017

I think friction occurs at all Clubs Kev. The issue is whether its healthy friction or malignant. Its no different at the the top Clubs to what its like at semi pro levels. As much as i hanker for change i dont see that Wenger at 67 is really going to snub all changes to improve the structure above and alongside him if he stays on. If he does, he s entitled to say who comes in etc etc of course.If he plays hard ball the Board will reluctantly remove him and he knows that i feel. My gut feeling is that what changes are to occur are already sorted and nailed down. Cant see why they dont announce it unless its to do with what the other involved Clubs require to happen. They have to be considered. PS I ll always recall that semi v Chelsea. No sensible reason at all for that to have been aborted that season. Agree with you re Arshavin. I dont think he was AWs choice. Good player and we should have used him better. He was a bit idle but when he did explode it was worth the anonymous games. - Post No. 107012


mbg  14:00pm 9th May 2017

Just heard on Sky Sports (if I haven't picked it up wrong as there's only one piece of news i'm waiting/looking for) there's going to be a director of football at the club next season, whatever that means or tells us is any ones guess. @no new contract, we want wenger out we want wenger out. - Post No. 107013


Alsace  14:19pm 9th May 2017

There exists the possibility of course that the board will send him on garden leave for the rest of the season, but a more acceptable view, from their end would be to say, " we have waited this long, let's let his contract expire". Can you remember the last time a club let a fixed term contract expire rather than terminate it and pay the contract up? I seriously wonder whether they think that he will sue for unfair dismissal? He is actually mad enough to do that, and if he does, the club's misgivings about him will all come out. It would have been nice if they could have grown a pair and frogmarched him out, but for my money, any solution which leads to his exit out of AFC at the end of this season is most welcome. And this time I want a new manager that someone has heard of. Not some deadbeat that is a casual acquaintance of one of the directors. You know, someone who has the self respect to know when he is stinking the place out. - Post No. 107014


RobG  14:21pm 9th May 2017

Sorry to b so vitriolic but he - Wenger - is arrogant, hubristic, delusional, and myopic. I do not regard myself as anti Wenger or a Wenger basher. I used to admire him greatly. But as time has moved on, he has not. Now we are saddled with this naked Emperor who seems incapable of adapting. It is so very sad. But more to the point so very damaging to our club. Wenger claims to care about Arsenal. He doesn't. He just cares for himself and his own sour ego and we will be well rid if and when the time comes. - Post No. 107015


markymark  14:36pm 9th May 2017

Well Wengo has just nailed his colours to the mast by saying no director of football under my tenure. He's pushing the board into a decision that they appear very reluctant to make - Post No. 107016


Gaz  16:15pm 9th May 2017

Not suggesting Wenger's ridiculous performance today means he's going but it does in my opinion more than suggest that there is a power struggle going on behind the scenes. Certainly Wenger's 'comments' fly in the face of those from Gazidis a few weeks ago. Obviously the chances are that Wenger will win this internal battle but I'm very much heartened by the fact a battle is at least taking place. - Post No. 107017


GTG  16:16pm 9th May 2017

I for one am happy to hear Wenger make those comments because refusal to work under the new structure should mean that this "mutual" decision in the summer will see the club finally part ways with him. Not only that but if he point blank refuses it and there is a falling out then that would also scupper this notion that he will pick his successor. That particular element will be crucial to our success going forward with a new manager. If the club get that right then everything is in place here for us to be a very successful club even under the constraints of a Kronke regime. If the new man is given £50m-£70m per summer and uses the market wisely then we can certainly compete better than we are now. Im actually at the point now where even if it was an Eddie Howe type manager chosen as Wengers replacement then so be it because at least the process of change at the club will have begun. We may have to suck it up for a few years but my motivation as a fan would come back for sure. - Post No. 107018


jjetplane  16:24pm 9th May 2017

The main problem is that the other top ten clubs love Wenger and the board are listening to them. Everyone wants him to say because it is right to have at least one circus act in the top ten. Not long ago I mentioned how Monreal looks more like a flight attendant than a footballer and watching him in the tunnel with his real friends in the opposition camp you can see his customer skills are exemplary. I say to the aging and comically bearded Walcott - look and learn. For the rest, who gives a flying **** what happens at the most amusing club in world football. Surely there is a trophy for all the laughs we have had in the last thirteen seasons? Wenger must Stay! Yak Yak! - Post No. 107019


Exeter Gunner  16:39pm 9th May 2017

Good stuff Kev. This morning's press conference should convince a few more that Wenger isn't a 'good man' and doesn't 'love the club'. It's all about him and his power. Everything must be centred on him. To still be so arrogant and condescending when you're so obviously underachieving really illustrates his disconnect from reality. A completely egocentric worldview. - Post No. 107020


Yes its Ron  17:19pm 9th May 2017

EG - Hes French. It goes with the territory. ha. Im not so sure hes totally and absolutely self centred though, hes on his way there. I think its his view of whats best for the Club that has been coloured by his longevity and unchallenged position - resistance to change is natural, plus age of course. Hes become grumpy and unmoved! Gaz - agree there. JJ - I reckon Monreal is one player to have got through the season with some credit. Wengers right in that in todays game the players have a familiarity and the old scowling and detached mentality in tunnels has long since gone. These pundits suggesting its wrong might have the embryo of a point, but its English culture running rampant to slake of Monreal like what occurred. Football just isnt Roy Keane tribalism anymore as much as we wish it still was. Players have little affinity with their Clubs = a looser attitude to games. You saw them at the end of the derby v Spurs. Losing wasn't heartbreaking anymore so than winning sent the Spurs players into cartwheels. Its just business now. - Post No. 107021


Paulward  17:19pm 9th May 2017

Starting to look like the writings on the wall for Wenger, can't see him accepting any significant internal changes myself, even if he survives the summer the pressure will soon be back on the moment we have a bad couple of results in the Autumn.Half empty Emirates in the Europa league is not going to help him either. Every chance he'll be gone by Christmas. - Post No. 107022


Moscowgooner  17:53pm 9th May 2017

I was very sad that Arshavin didn´t make it at Arsenal. Met him once in a Moscow bar and he was a genuinely nice guy: nothing of the prima donna about him. His goal against Barce sticks in the memory - as does a superb performance against Hull in the cup that brought us back from the brink of a shock 6th round replay defeat. As to AW´s comments today: if the board are gutless enough to let him dictate how the club is to be structured, we might as well shut up shop now. You would assume that he had at least a couple of European Cups under his belt to come out with this arrogant crap! - Post No. 107023


mbg  17:57pm 9th May 2017

markymark, just heard the weasel say that and he didn't look pleased saying it either LOL, unless the decision has been made and he won't be, he then followed another question, I think it was about Sanchez future with the answer, if yes if, I am the manager next season, so we can read into that what ever way we like. Of course the very first question put to him was are you going to tell us about your future ? and of course the answer was, with his big detest full smirking grin, No, what a f*****g hateful detest full c**t. wenger out. - Post No. 107024


Moscowgooner  18:08pm 9th May 2017

Yes it´s Ron´´ - to be fair Monreal HAS earned some credit with his performances this season but to behave that way in the tunnel prior to a big game was a disgrace. And of course we don´t have a captain any more who would pull him into line. It would be a reasonable compromise to warn him about future conduct. On a similar theme saw the Merse having a go at the players over the NLD - our fans were getting bricked on Tottenham High Road while the players treat it like a pre season friendly at Worthing! The club is rotten from top to bottom. No more games for me until the regime is overthrown. - Post No. 107025


mbg  18:19pm 9th May 2017

Gaz, couldn't agree more, it really is heartening, and fantastic that it has got this far, what ever happens he's done, finished, his reputation is tarnished, ruined, yes it's brilliant we are where we are now, he can never last now regardless. We want wenger out. - Post No. 107026


markymark  19:06pm 9th May 2017

GTG / MBG - yes I was also very pleased to hear him say he wouldn't play under a Director of Football. It's a little play concocted whereby Wengo can resign as he simply can't work this way and nobody can then say you had to leave coz your **** (Apart from every WOB of course). The board can then turn around to Stan and say. But Mr Kronke we tried our very best. I think the Director of football is the Rubicon. Depending on how this pans out it's either Wengo or Gazidis collecting the P45. - Post No. 107027


jjetplane  19:14pm 9th May 2017

Monreal: 'Please return to your seats ...' 'we will be playing Bayern at a nose bleed height so much turbulence to be expected ...' Looking at Chelsea last night who rested kante and brought in Fab who controlled the game. On the other hand Wengo lost Santi who I understand is better than Kante and replaced him with an assortment (see clown troop) and there we have it. Mid table club. Wenger is an obnoxious **** who deserves the sack tonight for crimes against Arsenal. There is still passion in London football as witnessed by the Hammers last Friday and Chelsea last night. There is no passion at Arsenal because the club has been set up to fail with an eye to winning financially without the fuss of silverware. ****ing Easyjet all the way! - Post No. 107028


CORNISH GOONER  20:21pm 9th May 2017

Ron, how very dare you! Resistent to change,grumpy etc? I can give Hulot a few years & can still cut the mustard, got all my teeth & NEVER (well rarely) get grumpy! Our comedy "manager" gives pensioners a bad name imo. But I will be sorry when he goes - he's never short of quote for his adoring press. A "tiny" cock up maybe today regarding a D of F but he quickly redeemed himself with his perceptive analysis of English managers. What about his own TV show for his next venture "Ask Uncle Arsene" perhaps? - Post No. 107029


markymark  20:51pm 9th May 2017

Leek the Squeak, Jameeson, Graham Perry, Rev Brian Badarse, BBA, Colesey OAP, Lee KFC (Dogger), Amos with your calculator. Remember this. "The Next Level is the Next Level! Fourth place is a trophy! I'd rather finish 2nd for the next twenty years! What is a director of football? Is it somebody who stands in the middle of the road and directs football left or right? " Your messiah is crumbling the trap is set. His words are blunderous. Goodbye Wengo and goodbye you AKB loons! - Post No. 107030


Seven Kings Gooner1  21:40pm 9th May 2017

Very thoughtful piece Kev - continuity is vital in any organization and that can never happen the way Arsenal is currently run. Wenger controls Arsenal from the middle which is a recipe for disaster, clubs should be run from the chairman downwards. If the board do not sort this out before the start of next season I genuinely can see the beginning of an Aston Villa scenario. I do hope that IG and his fellow board members have gently been digging a great big hole for Arsene and his huge ego to neatly fit into sometime in early June. I think in the future you will see football split into fan based clubs vs brand based clubs, as traditionalists seek a greater link with the clubs and then hopefully more owners will realize that the fan base is a club's natural dynamic and not just cart loads of money coupled with foreign managers. - Post No. 107031


RobG  22:07pm 9th May 2017

Gaz - Post No. 107017 You've said it ! - Post No. 107032


Time for change  22:11pm 9th May 2017

No. Arrogant, clueless Wenger out now. - Post No. 107033


mbg  0:25am 10th May 2017

markymark, yes mate did you hear that from TOF ? what is a director of futtball ? what does he do ? I never understood what a director of futtball does, does he stand waving his hands around directing ? (well it would be a hell of a lot more than you do wenger you c**t) what a f*****g arrogant b*****d. We want wenger out we want wenger out. - Post No. 107034


Bard  8:32am 10th May 2017

Good piece Kev. If a deal were struck we would have heard about it by now. I agree, I suspect the deal is contingent on Wenger agreeing to certain reforms in the structure of the club and its pretty clear he isnt going to accept them hence the silence. I have always believed it would be a bloody ending. If you are addicted to something as Wenger is to his job then there is unlikely to be an amicable parting of the ways. You have raised some interesting ideas re the fact that we sign players and then dont play them. I for one was sad about Asharvin. Yes he wasnt the most industrious of players but far more effective than Ozil. Playing him out of position all the time was an insult. The farce goes on and frankly I can hardly be bothered with it. - Post No. 107035


Yes its Ron  11:22am 10th May 2017

Morning lads - hear all of yr comments about Monreal etc etc. All good points. I think my laissez faire attitude to such stuff stems from my own disillusionment with football generally of which i blame my own Club for causing sadly. Certainly looks like some sort of collision is afoot vis AW and IG. MG - its a good point that you make to say that if he had a few CL s under his belt we could sort of respect his standoff position a bit more. I think if SK has to intervene to sort that out he'll err on the said e of AW to be honest. - Post No. 107036


Yes its Ron  11:36am 10th May 2017

SKG - Just on yr running from the top point and the AV scenario, a good number of Villa fans would say that Villas running from the top for the last 40 yrs via Doug Ellis and latterly, the Yank led to their malaise today. Certainly had Martin O'Neill have been listened to 6 or 7 yrs ago before he left, we might have seen a resurgent Villa pressing on from they were under him back then. A very good side in the making weren't they. Theyre a Club that really ought to challenge arent they. I get a freebie every so often to go to VP in one of their boxes. Massive Club, great ground and support and good fans who are just numb with whats happened there this last few years. I think Bruce will get them on the right track though if they stick with him long enough. - Post No. 107037


Yes its Ron  12:56pm 10th May 2017

Whatever our problems its good to see us with the most wins at WHL (30) and having imposed the record defeat on them (6-0). Says it all really and nice to see them go with those unwanted stats in their history at that diabolical s--t hole. - Post No. 107038


Seven Kings Gooner1  13:05pm 10th May 2017

Hi Ron : Take your point about "Deadly Doug" - I have a very good friend who been a Villa fan for 50 years and he's always said whenever things looked really promising the ceiling always fell in! Down to the old Division 3 in 1970, winners of the European Cup in 82, a bit of a yo-yo team. However, along with Everton a real sleeping giant with a proper history, been to many games there myself, a proper working class supported club and they will be back. It's always at the top where clubs go wrong, bad owners poor decisions and you are on the slippery slope. IMO another two years of Wenger in charge will highlight the folly of an unchallenged manager who has implemented weak coaching systems within a poor youth team set up. No Champions League next season means any half decent player will reject any advances from Arsenal and that will mean more cut price players from the French lower leagues and with Wenger's recent record that spells big problems. However as I take my football lower down the divisions these days I shall not lose too much sleep, plus I have been banging on like many of us on this site as to what is wrong with Arsenal and nothing has changed so I really don't see what else can be done, until Wenger goes we will remain in a steady decline. - Post No. 107039


mbg  13:42pm 10th May 2017

Bard, and that must be some blow for his massive ego, and it'll be an even bigger one if he has or is made to accept them, and a bigger blow again if (hopefully when) he goes. Go now wenger. - Post No. 107040


Yes its Ron  13:52pm 10th May 2017

SKG - I hear you mate. Its simply anybody's guess isnt it as to whats going down behind closed doors at Arsenal. Is it a crisis of sorts unfolding or do they perhaps have things quietly clicking into a new gear? Hard to tell really. Its the fact of the papers and media not having got anything concrete to report that surprises me. That alone suggests that the Club have a plan and all are happy with it, though we might not be once we know! If there are cracks i would expected leaks and reliable reports of which there arent any. It rather suggests cohesion and a dogged common purpose from Boardroom level, which in itself leans towards Wenger hanging on in there? Like you though, i don't really care that much these days. - Post No. 107041


mbg  14:20pm 10th May 2017

I have to say i'm very disappointed at the way the press and journos are letting the worm wenger slip of the hook over all this in the papers and especially these pressers, (and indeed the club) yesterday was another good example not pressing (no pun intended)probing, pushing him for answers, asking the right questions, he was starting to get annoyed at a couple of questions yesterday with his usual retort loook, but then they pulled back and moved onto something else and the worn started grinning again they could be winding him up there in big style and have him hoping but they don't why is that ? any other manager would be getting it (and has)apart from maybe fergie. #no new contract wenger out. - Post No. 107042


David1  14:22pm 10th May 2017

One potential scenario is that AW gets booted upstairs as the Director of Football (The club seems to think they owe him} and Eddie Howe takes over as his young apprentice. Wenger has recently been talking about how an English manager will win the league one day...Let's hope not. - Post No. 107043


Yes its Ron  14:56pm 10th May 2017

mgb - they're given a certain limit to how far they can go in those press cons. Overstep and yr out type of thing. They're a waste of time in the main. The press love them as it gives them the chance to tap up other potential sources and have a dig about here and there. They get f--k all out of the Club though. ASL are like the KGB.Always been the same. - Post No. 107044


markymark  15:14pm 10th May 2017

Just something I've picked up from the Great Wengo's speech is that he has effectively disqualified himself from all the top positions in European football. After all who would want a Manager who can't fit into a modern sporting hierarchy and business model? Personally I feel that Wengo can't admit to himself that his touch has turned to Merde. So instead he has created a romantic vision for himself where he must assist on total control and if it is not available he will move, all the while still attempting to reach out to his dwindling band of believers. China anyone? David1 if he did take a DOF position he would be open to hypocrisy charges as apparently he can't understand what the role is and doesn't believe in it. I don't think he'll do it. Yes it's Ron - just one chunk of light I see is that even though Arsenal is effectively a personal fiefdom. It needs to show good governance. If Kronke does not support Gazidis he might also see Chips walk and possible others might reveal their true feelings. Kronke obviously wants minimal involvement from his base 5k miles away so he needs the committee men on the board preferably not going anywhere as Euro football commitees would take all sorts of liberties and advantage of his scant knowledge. My bet is when it comes to it he will back Gazidis. Of course Gazidis maybe very happy in Wengo staying. It's not nailed on that he wants him out. - Post No. 107045


Yes its Ron  16:28pm 10th May 2017

Marky - you could well be right. With yr scenario in mind im betting Mr Usmanov is looking at all of this with interest and also being quite pleased with the potential carnage unfolding in that Boardroom.It could lead to his chance to get in there and reward his patience. Like or loathe him, he should be a Director there with the size of his stake in it. Its only fear, small mindedness and bitching thats kept him out. All that lock down crap years ago was pathetic really. All it did was encourage him to quietly hang about and wait for the implosion. Smart cookie is our fat boy in waiting. - Post No. 107046


Alsace  16:59pm 10th May 2017

I went to a continuing professional development course today and at lunchtime got talking to a thirty something lady lawyer whose significant other is one of us. She has inhaled next to and Arsenal supporter and has, if not catching the bug, become interested in the subject matter. I asked her two questions. 1) Is your boyfriend a Wenger hater or the opposite. Answer, not a hater but its time to go. 2) Her view of Theo Walcott? Answer, a waste of time and money. If these things are so obvious to the evn the most tangentially interested observers of the club, why have they not dawned on Mr Wenger. The answer is, as per his most recent press conference, that he sees himself as dictator for life. It is just possible that that sort of attitude from what Americans will see as " the help", will be seen as "Unacceptable" to quote an extremely old and extremely cr*p manager who we are all far too acquainted with. - Post No. 107047


mbg  18:45pm 10th May 2017

Your right there Ron, I bet these journos and their paper are fighting and falling over themselves and pulling out all the stops trying to out do each other for any snippet of news and to try and be first to break the story what ever it is or what way it goes, they'll see it as a big coup, maybe that's another reason their taking it easy on them both and don't want to ruffle feathers at this stage. wenger out now. - Post No. 107048


markymark  19:49pm 10th May 2017

Ron my friend - here is the unpalatable scenario 2! Wengo realising game is up says au revoir mon ami to Gerry Peyton and the mediocre boys in the coaching and medical staff. Wengo then calls Stan. "But Stan cest impossible with le imbecile Ivan!". Stan rings Ivan, "Look buddy good old Arsene's met you halfway let's drop this crazy Director line" Ivan to Stan "ok boss!" Wengo gets two year contract. Markymark reaches for large Gin and starts sobbing! - Post No. 107049


mbg  22:37pm 10th May 2017

Were Arsenal playing tonight ? We want wenger out. - Post No. 107050


Cyril  22:58pm 10th May 2017

We have won 5 from 6 in the new formation, keeping 3 clean sheets and beating both Manchester clubs. You can only be impressed by this. Yes, we lost to spurs in the last ever NL derby on their ground. Well that was on the cards regardless of form. All the Wenger stuff aside, we are performing better and protecting Cech better. He is playing great and making the saves he should save as he has a defensive formation there. Does anyone expect him to make saves when one on one closing down the space with a player running at pace at him. It's good stuff at the moment so cheer up regardless. Progress for next season in my humble opinion! - Post No. 107051


mbg  0:18am 11th May 2017

Cyril, it's going to take a hell of a lot more than the weasel changing (copying) tactics after all this time (if it is his idea at all)to save his own arse to impress me, and i'd imagine a lot of people on here also, it was Southampton we were playing tonight, so we done it against both mancs clubs so what, yes why couldn't we do it against spurs ? why was that result on the cards ? or was it just one of these fabled blips we kept hearing about from the AKB's over the years, like I said it will take a hell of a lot more to impress me and i'd say others(that ship has not only long sailed long ago, but long sunk) than the obligatory wins at the end of the season with no pressure, but I can certainly see how it would impress you. @no new contract, we want wenger out. - Post No. 107052


Gaz  8:17am 11th May 2017

Oh come on Cyril don't fall for this again. Every season when the hopes of winning the league are long gone Wenger and his side put in a half decent run that usually sees us finishing well and in the top four. Well I'm not falling for it ever again and I'm hoping the majority of fans won't either. Wenger has to go to break this whole monotonous boring cycle. - Post No. 107053


Exeter Gunner  9:30am 11th May 2017

Oh dear Cyril, some never learn do they? Top 4 is the raison d'etre of this club. No one - no club, no manager, no set of players - gets up for a top 4 battle like Arsenal. Anything more and they'll stop playing out of sheer fright until it's just top 4 to go for again. - Post No. 107054


markymark  9:34am 11th May 2017

Cyril - it will only take a comment in the media such as Bould helped inspire a back 3 or Wenger was forced to change and then the monstrous ego will be unleashed and Arsenal will fall away again as he changes formation. Not before we get one of his trademark smirks. I'm actually still waiting for his mathematical formula to managing! Smirk smirk. The narcissistic nightmare will screw us again. It really is down to the Cyril's of this world (nice chaps who are full of forgiveness and gentle of nature) for how long he continues to wreck our Arsenal. - Post No. 107055


Tollgoon  13:00pm 11th May 2017

Cyril - there's millions of reasons why the team are playing better, quite literally. Nothing to do with Wenger. Arsenal players will lose bonuses worth millions if they fail to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 1997. Arsene Wenger's side are fifth, five points behind Liverpool in fourth, with two games in hand. It is also understood some players could be forced to accept pay cuts if Arsenal miss out on Europe's elite club competition. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4314220/Arsenal-stars-face-losing-bonuses-worth-millions.html#ixzz4glqTSY00 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook - Post No. 107059


Yes its Ron  13:40pm 11th May 2017

Cyril - as much as the TV hype up the 'run in' to keep viewers, the fact is that Clubs like Utd, Saints, Stoke, are as good as done, on their hols mentally. AFC are just knocking over teams who arent at it, like we always do. Yr falling into the time worn trap. - Post No. 107060


Issue #265 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

28th May 2017

Per-Fect Ending

Online Ed: Arsenal win 7th FA Cup for Arsene Wenger with incredible performance