D-Day At The Arsenal As The Board Decides


Regretfully the euphoria of the Arsenal’s 13th FA cup victory will be short-lived. Life is a bitch you know. Sooner or later reality bites, whether we like it or not, even for those who live in the football bubble trying to avoid the often brutish forces in the real world.

Every gooner should now be aware that the club’s Board of Directors will meet on Tuesday when the fate of our longstanding, most successful manager ever will be finally decided. From the public statements of Arsene Wenger there is a contract extension on offer but he is undecided, apparently because of his disagreement with proposed changes in how the club operates which will affect his freedom as a manager.

A little segue is necessary to explain briefly the nature of Arsenal Holdings PLC to readers unfamiliar with such matters.  In regular discourse in the press, on twitter, podcasts and in most blogs the impression is given that Arsenal Football Club is privately owned by the duo of Stan Kroenke and Alisher Usmanov, majority vs minority. The media then spins a soap opera of the two engaged in an unending, unedifying power struggle. In truth the club is owned by a public limited company meaning its shares may be traded freely to the public. Stan owns 68% of the shares, with no intention of selling, which gives him a controlling interest over the PLC including the choice of directors. The directors are legally responsible for the affairs of the company. They employ a general manager or CEO (Ivan Gazidis) to manage day-to-day business of the company. Technically Wenger reports to Gazidis as the manager responsible for the football side of the business.

Given that Wenger is such a giant as a football manager whose achievements are  directly related to the humongous financial and reputational growth of Arsenal during his 20 year tenure, any decision concerning his future employment is not a matter to be solely decided by the CEO. To be fair, the Board of directors of any well-run company will have a direct say in the appointment of key employees.

It is also my understanding under British law a PLC must have directors meetings where annual financial statements are presented and adopted. Traditionally such meetings are also an opportunity to make important, strategic corporate decisions. In the case of Arsenal PLC the end of season meeting is usually such an occasion.

Getting back on track, what are the Wenger-related issues facing the directors at Tuesday’s meeting? It appears that the manager is the one who has laid down the gauntlet with respect to the terms of the contract extension. We can recall that April presser when he poured scorn on the idea of a Director of Football (DOF):

“I don’t know what director of football means.

 “Is it somebody who stands in the road and directs play right and left?

“I don’t understand and I never did understand what it means.

“Sorry, no. I’m not prepared to talk about that. 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.”

Well since then he has not spoken about it and neither has Ivan Gazidis or Josh Kroenke for that matter. The one thing I noted from the tone of The Guardian, which usually runs cover for CEO’s and other big-wigs in football, was the approval they gave to what they describe as Gazidis desire:

“… to harness Wenger’s strengths but also help him in areas where he feels the manager and the club are weaker. For example, a director of football or sporting director could be responsible for keeping abreast of developments in analytics and sports science.”

I for one am inclined to ask the Guardian how well did the directors of football work at Tottenham and Manchester City over the recent past? Did they notice how the men in suits wheeled and dealed signing a colossal number of mediocre players who predictably failed leaving Villas Boas, Tim Sherwood and Pellegrini to take the axe while they sailed away with huge salaries and reputations intact.

Wenger is obviously not taken in by the honeyed words of the corporate apologists:

“When it does not work here, I am blamed, so if [it happened] I am blamed for decisions I have not made [as well],” Wenger said. “It is tough enough to be blamed for decisions you have made. It is difficult to imagine that somebody signs a player that the manager does not know. That never happened to me.

“Some coaches are only interested in managing the team and they are happy with it. I am not like that and I cannot change myself now. I can change by trying to get better but my personality? I have 40 years of experience at the top, top level and I think, personally, I have a good knowledge of the game. I am who I am. That is it.”

From the general press coverage it seems the DOF gambit must have taken a hit after Wenger’s full scale barrage but the rumblings of disquiet between Wenger and the club hierarchy have not died. Only recently, just prior to the FA cup final, Wenger in a BBC interview described a climate of disrespect:

“You don’t mind criticism, because we are in a public job. The lack of respect in some stages has been, for me, a disgrace. And I will never accept that.

“I believe there is a difference between being criticized and being treated in a way that a human being don’t deserve to be treated. And I will never forget that.”

Clearly something is afoot and Arsene is not going without a fight. Some are however alarmed that this latest statement portends his departure. My view for the longest of time is Wenger will re-up mainly because he is committed to the project he has started and there are clear signs he could win another Pl title before retiring.

For two years running a title challenge floundered almost immediately upon a season-ending injury of Santi Cazorla, as evident from the data I researched and published. Now that Wenger has changed the set-up of the team since early April, leading to an eight-game winning run culminating in the FA cup triumph, there is clear evidence of self-belief and capacity to achieve great things. As Wenger himself disclosed, with 1-2 key additions to the existing squad this team can easily challenge for the title.

After the FA cup final I am even more confident that Stan Kroenke will not risk his investment, which has tripled in value in six-years, by losing his most valuable asset. You don’t become a billionaire by not identifying and retaining the most valuable person on your team. If he and his family should have any doubt, please draw their attention to the following table which summarizes 21 years and 798 games of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal:

Yr W D L Pts Lge Pos
16/17 23 6 9 75 5
15/16 20 11 7 71 2
14/15 22 9 7 75 3
13/14 24 7 7 79 4
12/13 21 10 7 73 4
11/12 21 8 9 71 3
10/11 19 11 8 68 4
09/10 23 6 9 75 3
08/09 20 12 6 72 4
07/08 24 11 3 83 3
06/07 19 11 8 68 4
05/06 20 7 11 67 4
04/05 25 8 5 83 2
03/04 26 12 90 1
02/03 23 9 6 78 2
01/02 26 9 3 87 1
00/01 20 10 8 70 2
99/00 22 7 9 73 2
98/09 22 12 4 78 2
97/98 23 9 6 78 1
96/97 19 11 8 68 3
Totals 462 196 140 1582 3

Winning percentage: 58%

Losing percentage: 18%

Average league position: 3rd

Average pts per season: 75

Greatest number of FA Cup titles: 7

Only coach to manage an Invincible Team.

It may be D-Day at the Arsenal board room on Tuesday but I doubt there will be any fireworks. The data leaves me confident.

PS: As an afficionado of The GodfatherI do expect a Don Wenger moment after the Board meeting.


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122 comments on “D-Day At The Arsenal As The Board Decides

  1. Was expecting 5 more years though LOL

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks for the info about where to watch the game – I didn’t realise it was up on Arsenal Player as it was not mentioned on the home page.

    It goes without saying that I am ‘over the moon’ with the news of 2 more years and hope all the WOB are ‘as sick as a parrot’. I refused to contemplate Arsene’s departure. The man we saw on Saturday was full of energy and looked like he was ready for the next challenge. That he managed to come up with a winning formula with the injuries, suspensions and fifth columnists trying to undermine his efforts was a reminder that we have the nucleus of a great squad (and coach). If he can just find the key to getting more consistent performances out of the players, we’re golden.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Shall I put pen to paper, so to speak, ?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Do it George. Full force.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Ranty I made a quick search but I couldn’t find a D.Squires a cartoon strip from 2014, I’ll have a proper look later on sometime.

    The strip for Saturday’s final was incredible! From the first panel with Conte’s hair jumping off his head, very funny.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very disappointing the club is not targeting the abusers with a lifetime ban. Smacks of failure to support staff in the face of threats and prolonged abuse. Vengeance or Wengance if you prefer. This is the type of innovative thinking the club needs imo.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. As I look up into the sky
    planes with banners flying high
    Arsene Wenger winking eye
    cheers lads, two more years for I

    Liked by 5 people

  8. click like from me Andy.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. click like from me a or b

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Chris‏ @TheArsenalChris 7h7 hours ago

    It is a privilege and an honour to have the greatest manager in world football managing our club.

    WOB now stands for Waste of Breath

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Arsenal agree £6.8m transfer fee for Henry Onyekuru
    By Kaveh Solhekol, Sky Sports News HQ

    Last Updated: 30/05/17 10:09pm

    Arsenal have agreed a £6.8m fee with KAS Eupen for Nigerian striker Henry Onyekuru, according to Sky sources.

    The Gunners have been in talks with the Belgian club since last week, having led a string of Premier League teams interested in the 19-year-old, and have finally made a breakthrough.

    Personal terms have not yet been agreed with the player’s representatives, Sky sources understand, but he is an avid Arsenal fan and understood to be keen on the move.

    Onyekuru is the top scorer in the Jupiler League, notching his 20th goal on May 20, and has been of interest to Everton, Southampton, West Ham and West Brom.

    He is thought to have a £6.8m release clause in his contract, and has already turned down moves to Belgian giants Brugge and Anderlecht.

    Celtic are also understood to have come close to signing him in January but Eupen refused to sell him during the winter transfer window.

    Onyekuru made his debut for Eupen in 2015 as a 17-year-old and helped the club achieve promotion to the Belgian top flight in his debut season.

    The player is currently on international duty with Nigeria, who play a friendly against Togo in Paris on Thursday.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Just popping by to say “woohoo”.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. what the fuck are arsenal playing at, signing a player from the Belgium league, the Belgium league, I say again the Belgium league, I want quality players like Thibaut Courtois, Kevin DeBruyne, Vincent Kompany, Romelu Lukaku, Yaya Toure, even a Kolo Toure type if we have to go cheap, show some ambishun

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This article on BBC website worth a read. Lineker’s opinions.

    Unlike the vast majority in his profession he outlines quite clearly our huge financial disadvantage against the wealthier three…but then he seems to suggest the fact we finished outside the top four once makes it ‘remarkable’ Wenger got to determine his own future (??!)

    Confusing stuff. I make it of special interest because Lineker, despite taking that step of admitting our financial situation, and being less of a c**t than most prominent commenters, still seems guilty of refusing to judge Wenger’s work, and whether or not he is the right choice now, with the finances firmly in mind.

    It is unspoken, but it seems fair to infer, if you are to credit Lineker with much intelligence, that he believes either that someone else could perform the managers job better on the same budget (i.e 4th biggest, with the others enjoying a huge advantage) or…he assumes a new manager would have significantly more to spend.

    That’s all I ask of them : admit to the financial reality, then state whether they think someone else is likely to perform better with same budget, or if they have the notion from somewhere that a different manager would result in more money available to spend.

    Doesn’t seem like a lot to ask but they all seem incapable of it.


    Anyway, all set for a good day tomorrow. Just really caught my eye, as it’s that sort of thinking and reasoning and reporting which is largely responsible for the climate of recent years.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Saturday 27th May 2017: Arsenal won the FA Cup for a record 13th time despite being written off by the entire media, rival fans and sadly, a lot of our own fans. What a wonderful day.

    Then news broke that Arsene Wenger, the man that may FORVER be the most successful manager in FA cup history has agreed* to carry on for the next 2** years as Arsenal manager. What a glorious day!

    * I was always only worried that Arsene may refuse to carry on as Arsenal manager because of the constant abuse from the malcontent, attention seeking idiots. I have never for one moment thought the board would sack him or refuse to extend his contract. I have a lot of respect for the Arsenal board and they in turn understand and respect Arsene’s worth and contributions to the club. There is no way in hell they aren’t offering him a new contract (even if just to spite the A4 brandishing losers).

    ** I am unhappy with the 2 year term of the contract. It means from August 2018, the whole circus is going to start again. If it’s up to me, I would have offered Wenger a 10 year contract or 5 least. This would have sent an absolute message to the cry babies that nobody gives a fuck what they think. But then, Arsene might have insisted on only 2 years as he has done for the last 10 years; and as I am always happy with whatever Arsene decides, all I have to say to is: YEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  16. The reaction that best sums up how I feel about Wenger’s contract extension:

    Liked by 5 people

  17. PG/anicoll5,

    I have a comment trapped in moderation or bin.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Still waiting for the official Arse.com statement but found this. So worth watching.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Fins
    Thanks for looking. I too checked some archives. Mossy was 2015. Must’ve ended up giving 6 yellows to Villa but not before trying to cripple a few Ars players, unpunished.

    FIF talked about coqJohn/moss/guardian, if memory serves.

    Club should start banning with piss moran first to be banished, forever & ever…


  20. New post up


  21. […] was less than a week ago I did D-Day At The Arsenal where I concluded there was no doubt Kroenke would rehire Arsene based on the following […]


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