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Wenger Out – Again

The debate rages on. Seven games into the league season, having suffered one defeat away to the title favorites. Is it time for Arsene to go?

It’s a fair question, asked by people who love the club and just want what is best for them.  Sorry, I meant “best for the club”.

The usual suspects, AKB’s like me, on one side, and the WOB’s on the other. Nothing new, same old entrenched arguments from both sides, just as you would expect.

Then there is the vast majority who are somewhere in the middle. These are the ones who slide up and down the spectrum between the two polar opposites. Some moving slightly and others flip-flopping from one end to the other.

The worst of the lot are those who say something like:

I’m not a WOB, I’m happy for him to stay if he addresses the deficiencies in the squad and changes his management and tactics.”  Big of them that, but let me say what I think these people are actually saying.

First let’s look at “I’m not a WOB”.

What they are really saying is “I am a WOB, I don’t want this Arsene I want a different one. One that does things the way I want and manages the way I would.”

When pushed as to what they perceive are Arsene’s failings they will list the very same arguments that a bona fide full blown WOB would give you.

Tactics.

That’s always a favorite. They want him to change his tactics. Happy to ignore that he has changed the set up of the team several times this season already. What they actually mean is they want him to set the team up in a way that they would. Do what they would do. See the game as they do. Why oh why can’t he see what they do?

Team Selection.

He should pick the players they want picked and play them where they want them played.

Prioritise games.

This one is easy, he should play his best team for every game. Whilst rotating, of course. Quite how he does that is beyond me. Of course they will rubbish this until we don’t get the result they think we should have, then they will insist that rotation was wrong and the wrong players were picked.

Signings

This is my personal favorite. He should sign the players they have scouted, for the positions they have deemed to be key.

A DM was the priority, it’s negligence that we didn’t sign one – they squeal.

Now, looking at the team, it could be reasonable to say that DM is the weakest link. Well it might be now, but let’s look at what went before.

The moment Bacary Sagna decided to leave that was the priority. It was essential that we cover what in the modern game is a vital position. He bought Debuchy, and most think that was about as good as he could have gotten.

When Thomas Vermaelen was sold, CB became the biggest priority. Well he bought Calum for that gap. Now whether he was bought as cover for RB alone we will never know, but it quickly became obvious that he was more than good enough to be 3rd choice CB as well. Covering both will likely see him get more game time and develop quicker. Job done.

Last year the priority position was a striker and cover for Theo. Two priorities he covered with the signing of Alexis.

Next on the list of priorities was a Goalkeeper. Fabianski left and we could not go into a season with just one senior goalkeeper. So he signed David Ospina – sorted.

Then Giroud broke his leg. That quickly became the biggest priority position. Out he goes and signs Danny Welbeck. Not too many complaints about that one.

So although some people see the DM position as the priority now, there were actually five bigger priorities than that. All more than adequately solved. We know (or think we know) that we were interested in Carvalho and Schneiderlin, neither of which happened. It looks like Arsene was unable to get the standard of player he wanted and made a judgement call and passed on this 6th priority position.

We have no 4th choice CB! Well we don’t if you ignore Hayden and Monreal, which everyone seems happy too, but can it really be listed above a seventh priority ?

Funds not spent.

They say all available fund should have been used to fill the gaps they see in the team. Happy to ignore that those funds might be needed to buy the right player in January or next summer, when they might actually be available.

These people will insist that they’re not claiming to know better than our manager, whilst continuing to insist he has made mistakes by not doing what they would have done. Well you tell me, what is that if not thinking they know better?

Finally, I have to concede that these people might actually be right. They really could be better managers than Arsene. But really, what are the chances?

Thanks for reading.

pedantic george @Blackburngeorge.

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66 comments on “Wenger Out – Again

  1. I am at the Burnley game Tim, a civilised 3pm kick off so if you get a ticket we could meet up !

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  2. SA; “Do you know what I mean?” seems to have replaced “You know” as an irritating verbal tic. Which is interesting, as it is one of the few examples of things being lengthened rather than abbreviated. A kind of linguistic tumescence if you like, perhaps favoured by those short-changed in other areas. But the question seems to imply doubt as to whether his message has been understood, and I wonder if it is linked to the ubiquitous interrogatory rise at the end of a sentence that seemed to be ushered in when Neighbours first hit the UK screens.

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  3. Andy Nic: I shall certainly try then!

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  4. Ticket procured for Burnley game. Punches air with delight. Can’t do that sliding on my knees thing.

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  5. Gains@3:10pm – I am not suprised by any of the nonsense from Gav and Moe.These WOBs and the mainstream media are locked in a close loop where the the big spenders, especially Chelsea and City, can do no wrong chucking endless money at the “best” players while teams like Arsenal are ridiculed for spending prudently and carefully. They studiously ignore the fact that, just like in the broader society, the Pemeir League is gradually becoming more elitist with the smaller clubs increasingly cut adrift with no hope of winning the League compared to to the elite 4 of Chelsea, City, United and Arsenal. They the WOBs won’t admit that the only reason why AFC is not in the also-rans is because of the sacrifices to build a bigger stadium and the expert coaching of Wenger to keep us competive while rebuilding 3 teams in 10 years. To admit Wenger is key to our past acheivements and a successful immediate future is to admit that trying to outspend Chelsea and City is futile vs a patient rebuild on our own terms.

    This WOBs vs AKBs debate leaves ample ground for the slimy, two-faced middle-of-the-roader bloggers and uber-tweeters, many of whom we are familiar from another blog. In my experience it is easy to maintain popularity by giving oxygen to the WOBs since “supposedly” every football fan wants the best for their club even if the majority have no clue as how to acheive this. It is easy to point to the results of Chel vs AFC without blasting Atkinson’s record of lenient refereeing towards the Chavs (suffering only one loss in 29 while he’s been in charge), to gloss over the failure to send-off Cahill for the 2-footed assault on Sanchez or Oscar’s serial fouling until a belated yellow card. It is easier to blame the victim as women who suffer rape can attest. Blame AFC for not having big physical hulks who can kick the shit out of the opposition even though AFC has a record for being getting more yellow cards per total fouls than any other team in the top flight.

    What is harder and braver is to stand by your conviction that in the long-term, attacking football will triumph over Mourinho’s boring counter-attacking strategy. I remember Brazil 1970 (44 years ago) over any of the more recnt finals. It is braver to standby the manager who must endure the back-stabbing by the media and his own supporters who think their is some easy road to success.

    I am not worried in the least by our slow start, my greatest fear is in the injuries. As we can often attest with Wenger and Arsenal, as in any competition, it is the finish that counts. We will be there or thereabouts.

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  6. Like I said the other day fav is stuck in the 80s and its him not Arsene who not moved with the times. The funny thing is fans were getting fed up with glorious George before the league used him as a scapegoat and ignored old red nose.
    When David Hillier was ruling the midfield the fans would have paid double their ticket money for an artist like Arteta
    It is well known that the mind puts a sunny disposition on the past and gavs head is there because in the present he only has black cloud.
    If you listen to the podcast gavs main arguments were just abuse lost a lot of respect in my eyes. I don’t mind someone having a different opinion but at least try to express it like a grown up

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  7. Just been listening some new tunes (sorry PG, didnt fancy any podcast) and while I was checking out the choons, I had a quick trawl thru the newsnow Arsenal feed… and I what a depressing site that was! Headline after headline from so called Arsenal blogs (I have never heard of half of em) about how Ozil is off, or why WEnger is to blame for him leaving, or why we should sell him and that its a “blessing in disguise” he is injured… Blah blah blah…

    Totally inane vacuous tabloid-light shite.

    There are hardly any quality news sources out there, the BBC has taken the Talkshite Foxnews route (albeit not as blatant, YET) but they are on track to emulate the shock jock, lowest common demomenator, Vox Populi (Im mad as hell and not Gunner take it any more…) right lurching, 30 second analysis shtick and it seems almost every Arsenal blog has followed suit. Although Gunners Town and 1 Nil Down have produced some thought provoking stuff.

    A rumour somewhere, manages to morph into fact within hours (WMDs, I swear they’ve got WMDs Tony!) and weal minded gibbering fucknuts have almost gone through the whole grieving process and are now, as we speakm deciding if we should sign Draxler or Reus with the Mesut money.

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  8. Well said mi bredrin, well said.

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  9. Wow George. Got to this post really late, but its brilliant. The concept you introduced of listing the priorities is perfect – the sheer logic cannot be brought into question.

    Doubtless, these doom mongers and perveyers of lies are just that – liars. They know they are wrong, they know Arsene is right – they just lie to themselves and others.

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  10. I have no doubt that Arsene Wenger is one of the best managers there has ever been in the history of the game, and it has been a privilege to watch him transform this club into a genuine force to be reckoned with in the modern game. I shall be terribly upset when he leaves, but suspect that such is his genuine concern for the club he is already planning for that day. I believe that the three year contract was a bit of a bluff and that he will go after two, so that there isn’t a whole season spent subconsciously waiting for him to leave. I also suspect that the unspent money that seems so upsetting to the spendthrift is deliberately left unspent so the incoming manger has the immediate funds at his disposal to make both headline and strategic signings that will allow a new stamp to be put on the team.

    I am sure that the club have someone already in mind and I am equally sure that it will be someone who will take the very best aspects of Wengerism and yet add their own riff to the mix. And at the very heart of the changeover will be the massive ambition that has characterised absolutely everything that Arsene has bought to the game and to the magnificent new club he has at times almost singlehandedly built.

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  11. http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20141013/video-gazidis-on-the-club-s-ambitions

    Lack of ambition, eh? Pfft!! Dooomers will not recognise ambition even if it punched them in the face and kicked them in the nuts!

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  12. Dexter – in the guidelines for ‘media’ submissions to NewsNow (including blogs etc), they specifically state they will not accept any more Arsenal blogs. This has been the case for over two years (and possibly longer); we scraped in in 2013 as we were able to successfully argue the uniqueness of PA’s contribution to the world of Arsenal ‘news and views’.

    ForeverH – providing AW achieves the progress he’s aiming for with the team and squad, I’ve no doubt at all he’ll continue beyond his current contract. Given his health, his evident hunger for the game and further likely success, there is very little to stop him. Certainly there’s little evidence of pressure from the Board for change and the majority of fans, according to recent surveys, are solidly behind him.

    Furthermore, I anticipate a superb second stage of the season – beginning sooner rather than later as the returning injured hit the pitch running.

    Whilst we may – or may not – have a structural problem with injuries, even allowing for THAT, it’s evident we have had a disproportionate number of setbacks given we are not even ten games into the season.

    So whilst some, with just just seven PL games played, have already written of our title chances, with 93 points still up for grabs I’m very confident we’ll be back up there well before April/May.

    And as the predicted hugely competitive run comes, so all the misguided Wengarrgh out chatter will go.

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  13. What’s not to like??
    Ivan Gazidis:

    “We want this football club to be at the top of the world’s game,” Gazidis told Arsenal’s website.

    “The reason we talk about a healthy business is because that’s what we need behind it. It’s easy to talk about ambition, anyone can use flowery words about what they want to be, but you’ve got to actually deliver. That’s what is so important and that’s why the stadium move was so important.

    “That’s why the last five years of unlocking our international and our commercial revenues is so important for the club.

    “It allows us to go out and, if the manager believes in someone like Mesut Özil, he can buy him. It’s the same with Alexis Sánchez.”

    “Underneath that tip of the iceberg, those star signings that we talk a lot about, there’s an awful lot else going on.

    “We’re signing some fantastic young talent and we’re keeping our players now, unlike the situation two or three years ago when we were really financially challenged and were losing our top players, we’re signing our top players to long-term contracts.

    “Guys like Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, I could go on. Underneath that you have all of this other stuff this football club is about.”

    Terrible, isn’t it? Such incompetence.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Arsenal Andrew: your positive words have put a spring in my step, just as the return to training of the Gnabster, the upbeat bulletin on Giroud’s ankle and Ozil’s pointed tweet did yesterday.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. DC, yeah ba, I still want my big, scary, beastly, CDM monster thingy! It is criminal that Vengaaarh has started the season at all having failed to sign one of the hundreds just lying around in the shops! It’s a sackable offence I say!

    Liked by 2 people

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