Friday
Apr202018

Gazidis persuades Kroenke to overthrow Wenger

There is an old saying, ‘hope springs eternal’. However, for many Arsenal fans that proverb has ceased to apply for a decade. Arsene Wenger’s vice-like grip on the club was so strong – the power he wielded so regressively unique, it seemed like the ivory tower he’d deliberately constructed would never be dismantled.

However, it appears obvious now that the two-year deal handed to Wenger at the end of last season was in fact merely a stay of execution. Rubber stamped by Stan Kroenke, it appears that there was a clause, with the owner taking advice from CEO Ivan Gazidis that would enable him to begin implementing changes that would help facilitate Wenger’s dismissal should the club continue to underperform.

Today, we discovered that Gazidis has won the power struggle. At some point this week, Wenger was effectively told to stage manage his own exit, with the Frenchman deciding to make it look like a resignation rather than a forced exit. Once Wenger had lost Kroenke’s complete trust, the writing was on the wall – subsequent eulogies are nothing but empty words.

At this evening’s press conference at Arsenal HQ, it was what Gazidis refused to say that was the most revealing, especially as it was made clear that there is no room for Wenger to move ‘upstairs’ and that he will leave Arsenal at the end of the season. More than anything, the event was an assertion of power being seized back by Gazidis.

Personally, I’m in celebratory mood (understatement). Over the past 7-8 years, I have passionately called for Wenger’s dismissal, a passion that grew with every passing season until it became exhausting. It would be easy to be a hypocrite, thank Wenger for what he has done for Arsenal Football Club in the long-distant past and leave it at that, but right now all I feel is relief.

What I will say, however, is that in the 1930s Herbert Chapman transformed Arsenal into an English powerhouse, laying the platform for the success of future managers such as Joe Shaw, George Allison and Tom Whittaker. In the mid-80s to early 90s, George Graham awakened a sleeping giant and single-handedly steered the club through a phenomenal period of success, including Arsenal’s first meaningful European trophy.

As with Chapman, Graham’s legacy laid the platform for his successors. Wenger profited immeasurably from Graham’s defensive bequest, yet built upon it with flair, style and dietary practises plagiarised from his European counterparts. Make no mistake this period contained some of the best moments of my lifetime as an Arsenal supporter – moments that will never be forgotten.

However, Wenger gradually became exposed by his own tactical and philosophical failings. Aware of his shortcomings, yet lacking the character to delegate for fear of being unmasked, he disgraced himself by actively creating an egregious and prolonged culture of self-protectionism. Rewarding staff and players by effectively buying their loyalty, and creating a "socialist" wage model that he hypocritically superseded, Wenger fostered an environment of complacency, ineptitude, fragility and sustained mediocrity.

Chapman and Graham were not only great managers, but well-rounded tacticians and outstanding man motivators. They created long-lasting legacies that their managerial peers profited from but could never have entirely fabricated themselves. For me, they are Arsenal’s two greatest serving managers. Wenger sits third - an achievement in itself, but nowhere near as revolutionary as the media narrative he has worked so tirelessly to pervert for his own nefarious means.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Wenger made decisions based on self interest rather than the interests of the club - decisions that were manipulative yet self-defeating; first and foremost designed to enable him to maintain his dictatorial hunger for exploitation, power and control. For that reason, not only did I eventually lose all respect for Wenger, but eventually came to detest him.

I don’t care where Wenger goes or what he does next, I’m just delighted he’s going. The remaining fixtures are about as interesting to me as the previous 300. I’m not interested in celebrating his departure or analysing the body language or performance of the players. What I am interested in, is what or who comes next, and I look forward to Arsenal’s future with a sense of renewed hope following almost a decade of despondency.

However, having been through this ugly experience, which has both tested my principles and forced me to turn my back on the club I loved for 35 years, I’m not quite sure if I can ever support Arsenal in quite the same way as I did before. For me, that is the unforgiveable legacy that Wenger has left behind. I now feel more inclined to analyse Arsenal as an observer rather than a supporter, only time will tell if that changes.

—oo— 

Arsenal Truth can be found on twitter @ https://twitter.com/trutharsenal

Comments should be intelligible and relevant. All others will be binned.

Monday
Mar052018

Wenger – destroyed by his own narcissism

And so the wheels have well and truly come off the Arsenal bandwagon. It’s official, we are a mediocre mid-table club, but I’m pleased to report that Arsene Wenger’s incongruous tenure is coming to an end. After years of straw clutching and futile attempts to mask his incompetence, the balance has been tipped.

Footballers aren’t very bright at the best of times and can be pretty much fooled into believing anything, especially when they’re sold a false narrative and their faith in that is repaid by exorbitant wages washing over their smug, self-satisfied egos.

Wenger creates arrogant human beings for nefarious purposes - it’s all been part of his power grab; the survival instinct. To protect himself and his job, the Frenchman deliberately bought players he could control. He signed weak mentalities and bought their loyalty with colossal wage packets while indulging them more than any other manager would dare. Never accountable for failure, they walk in the same grotesque shadow as their manager.

Over the past decade, results have been secondary for Wenger, success an afterthought. The most important driver was self-preservation. When the fraud looked in the mirror he saw a fraud. Deep down, Wenger knew he was overrated and that his success was based on the foundations left to him by a previous manager. That’s why he had to invent his own mythology, protecting himself by inventing a blame-shifting culture, pursued with aggressive denial and a perpetual distortion of the facts.

Seeking help from those with superior skills and a sharper intellect would only expose him. Therefore, he paid his coaching staff silly money to be obedient and kept them within arm’s reach indefinitely. Wenger has used Arsenal’s wage bill to corrupt his staff and buy their loyalty. If he was as good a football manager as he was a conniving Machiavellian, he would have surely conquered the world.

He’s also a rotten human being and a liar. He claimed the wage bill for his fantasy Uber project, of which he was completely out of his depth in implementing, was done in the name of socialism, but discounted himself from his own model by accepting a far higher salary than any other employee. He is an (alleged) adulterer, which some will claim is his own private business, but became a hysterical paradox when witlessly declaring himself a ”next-level human being”. He asks for respect for his sporting and human principles, while being frequently fined and banned for physically and verbally abusing match officials.

Ironically, however, the super narcissistic ego that Wenger has created and implanted in his players has also led to his downfall. For all their cosy immunity to failure, they still have a semblance of pride, albeit based on vanity rather than dignity. Humiliated by perpetual criticism, rather than examine themselves and judge their own flawed characteristics, they have turned on their monstrous creator and bitten the hand that feeds.

On the pitch, they are bereft. After years of relying on magicians such as Henry, Van Persie, Fabregas and, finally, Sanchez, Arsenal now have no single dream weaver to pull them out of the mire. Confidence shattered, every pass is to an equal failure, every flailing hand the hypocritical gesture of a man who has no right to dictate anything to others.

That’s why there’s no way back. Apart from the fact their manager is utterly incompetent and out-of-his-depth, the squad is simply not physically or psychological equipped to recover in a meaningful way. As a collective, the game is up and the whole nine yards needs to be disbanded. Even if the players were to restore a semblance of belief to a small degree, which they surely will eventually, the psychological damage is irreparable. Every draw or defeat reasserts the imbedded notion that Wenger is not the man to restore parity – ever again.

Wenger has to leave soon, and will. The only question now is, when can the celebrations begin? To me, he will never be an Arsenal legend because he has completely disgraced himself, and I judge people on much higher criteria than their sporting achievements. It's just an unfortunate fact of life that when their true colours are revealed, certain people - even those you once greatly admired, are found to be weak, controlling and manipulative. Wenger has been seduced into destroying his reputation in the egotistical pursuit of recognition, power and control. Don't listen to pundits, ex-players or fans, or fall victim to sentiment, Arsene Wenger is a nauseating piece of work. Accept it and move on; the pleasure he gave you in the long-distant past is no reason to excuse him, that only makes you inadequate.

A dark chapter will soon close, but hope is always around the corner. 

—oo— 

Arsenal Truth can be found on twitter @ https://twitter.com/trutharsenal

Comments should be intelligible and relevant. All others will be binned.

Monday
Feb262018

Arsenal fans deserve everything they get

A trained monkey could do a better job than Arsene Wenger, and a whoop of baboons a better job than Arsenal's supporters. Ever heard of a chimp’s tea party? You can bet some crockery gets thrown around at that gig. Sadly, Arsenal’s players were more likely reliant on the sound of a lonely creaking door for inspiration than Wenger, as Arsenal capitulated to Man City and lost the League Cup Final 3-0.

I don’t buy that Arsenal weren’t up for the game. They started full of passion and energy – even if they could not create a single worthwhile chance. Eventually their frustration turned to cowardice, continually lumping long balls over the top to Aubameyang. Meanwhile, Man City seemed affected by their defeat to Wigan in the FA Cup the week before.

But Arsenal unravelled the moment Wenger’s latest defensive buffoon Shkodran Mustafi committed one of the most pitiful pieces of defending I’ve ever seen in a football match. Wrong side of Aguero, and moaning like a drain after the deftest of nudges, he allowed the Argentinian a free run at goal between two more braying donkeys, Koscielny and Chambers, before lobbing the witless Ospina who should have stayed on his line.

From that moment, Arsenal were sunk. These players motivate themselves and collapse themselves, Wenger has little to do with either. He has no control over their mind set and lacks the tactical intelligence or means of persuasion to convince them. Arsenal went out in the second half uninspired, Man City the opposite. You could see Guardiola’s dissatisfaction despite the scoreline. He has standards, and his side were falling way below theirs.

Arsenal, to all intents and purposes beaten by Wenger’s shattered reputation, performed robotically in the second-half, collapsed and then simply gave up. The crowd walked out, Dead Man Wenger complained about offside, injury time or some other drivel. Rinse, repeat and start again. What amazed me is that so many Arsenal fans were genuinely upset by this defeat or the performance.

Apart from a chosen few hundred, modern-day Gooners can only be considered masochists. No principles or backbone, their unremitting support of an intellectually retarded busted flush who robs them of their cash, pride, hope and sanity on an almost weekly basis shows zero sign of abating. Like Wenger, they talk a good game, but deliver fuck all. They’ll be there on Thursday, 'cheering' on the players and giving the senile old berk another free pass ad infinitum. They get what they deserve; I don’t feel their pain.

I guarantee you that any other club in word football in a similar dichotomy (not that this would ever happen at a normal club) would be witnessing mass demonstrations and boycotts, and the CEO and owners would be retrieving daggers from their backs and planting them deftly between the manager’s shoulder blades. But Arsenal fans have no intention of applying such pressure, they’re just as spineless and deserved of outright failure as Wenger and the board.

And who sits in the middle of all this, the once proud monolith that is Arsenal Football Club, exploited by its owners, deceived by a selfish, narcissistic scumbag that refuses to step down, but worst of all, betrayed by the people that built it - it's so-called fans.

—oo— 

Arsenal Truth can be found on twitter @ https://twitter.com/trutharsenal

Comments should be intelligible and relevant. All others will be binned.

Wednesday
Jan312018

Ozil gets the £350k per week no one else would pay him

Alex Sanchez left Arsenal football club because he’s ambitious. Tripling his wages was a by-product of that move. However, Mesut Ozil signing a new contract at Arsenal shows a complete lack of ambition. Clearly, no other big club had the desire to pay Ozil £350k a week, so he’s chosen money over medals.

Let’s be clear, no supposedly ‘world-class’ player with any ambition would stay at Arsenal right now were it not for money. That makes Ozil a mercenary. I feel embarrassed for Ozil, because signing a new contract with Wenger at the helm is an embarrassing acceptance of mediocrity on his part.

Players come in all shapes and sizes and have different personalities, needs and wants. Ozil is not a complete footballer and not worth £350k a week under this manager. The German is a fantastic cog to have in a well-oiled machine, but he has no tactical discipline and no desire to add that to his game, which is why Real Madrid deemed him expendable.

Ozil’s ego demands that he’s a big fish in a small pond. Like his manager, Ozil doesn’t care about trophies, he cares about Ozil. Having said that, I suspect he would have joined Man Utd had they had the wage bill manoeuvrability, but Mourinho opted for Sanchez instead.

The German is now joined by Aubemayang and Mkhitaryan at Arsenal, but, whatever you think of these players – and I have doubts over the PL durability/suitability of both of them, I don’t believe they’re going to make any substantial difference. They're not 'signings', they're reactive 'statements'. There's no tactical ideology behind them. 

Competing against garbage teams like Swansea might have just got a bit easier, but when you have a tactical ignoramus like Arsene Wenger at the helm that’s unable to instil any sort of defensive structure, discipline or confidence into his players, Arsenal will always fall short of competing for anything meaningful.

People tell me there is significant change behind the scenes with Gazidis marginalising Wenger and hiring a new sports negotiating team. But wrestling some control from Wenger does not necessarily mean he will be leaving the club anytime soon.

Should Arsenal look to retain Wenger, his contract will have to be extended this summer to avoid last season’s destabilising effect. Whether or not that happens will tell us whether the board is really interested in ending Arsenal’s terminal stasis. Aubameyang/Ozil/Mkhitaryan are all irrelevant.

—oo— 

Arsenal Truth can be found on twitter @ https://twitter.com/trutharsenal

Comments should be intelligible and relevant. All others will be binned.

Wednesday
Jan242018

Sanchez departure savaged by dimwits

Football fans can be so obnoxious and piteous, especially the many Arsenal fans flailing Alexis Sanchez for joining Man Utd. He’s the scapegoat now - the new Van Persie, the new Fabregas, the latest traitor.

 “He’s 29; he’s finished”. “He was destabilising the club“. “He kept losing possession”. “He’s on £500k a week”. This is the combination of lies and drivel they come up with to deflect from the harsh reality that Arsenal is incapable of selling the future to its few top players.

Let’s stick to the facts, Arsenal were only lucky enough to acquire Sanchez because Barcelona needed the money to fund the Luis Suarez deal. Sanchez did not want to come to Arsenal any more than Mhkitaryan does.

Fact number two is that Sanchez gave his all for Arsenal but left because Wenger is braindead and cannot build a squad capable of getting anywhere near competing for the Champions League or Premier League. Like Fabregas, Henry and Van Persie before him, Sanchez was flogged to death merely to achieve CL qualification and he grew to resent that.

Was Sanchez a bit stroppy and moody at times? Yes, because he’s a winner that wants to win, but all he’s been surrounded by is dross, coached by a bang average, tactically incompetent manager who deliberately refuses to spend money just to stay in Stan Kroenke's good books and sustain the false narrative that he cannot compete with football’s ‘elite' clubs (Leicester).

Good luck to Sanchez; he deserves this move. The signing is a fantastic coup for United who desperately need a power player than can make the difference in tight games. Whether you like Jose Mourinho or not is irrelevant, the fact is he is slowly building a formidable team. His Utd side has only conceded 16 goals this season, so he has a title-winning defence, but not a title-winning attack. Sanchez brings Utd a lot closer to having that.

On the other hand, what does Mhkitaryan bring to Arsenal? Doubts. Even Wenger has expressed reservations, which demonstrates he has rushed through what is, effectively, a panic signing. To placate fuming supporters, Wenger HAD to buy a high-profile replacement this month at any cost.

That’s not to say Mhkitaryan will not fare better at Arsenal, but the Armenian has clearly not adapted to the Premier League. Indeed, it has been reported that Mourinho has been advised on numerous occasions by his coaching staff they had grave doubts about Mhkitaryan’s physical and mental capacity to acclimatise to the PL.

At Arsenal, Mhkitaryan will be allowed unfettered creative freedom to play. Therefore, it’s plausible that his numbers might start to become more attractive, but Wenger’s complete lack of tactical discipline will ensure his signing amounts to nothing.

As for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Two years ago, when Wenger threw £86m at Mustafi, Perez and Xhaka, I wrote a post on Arsenal Truth titled: “Wenger signings won’t make any difference”. Well, Mhkitaryan and Aubameyang, should he join, won’t make any difference either.

Arsenal fans always overblow the ability of new signings and set ridiculously high standards. They did it with Lacazette too, but how did that turn out? Gooners the world over said he was the second coming, but the Frenchman has only scored nine goals - two away from home - in six months. Welbeck or Walcott could have done that, so it’s been £50m down the shitter.

Signing Aubameyang is a risk that no other club seems prepared to take despite his goalscoring exploits for Dortmund, which indicates he’s nothing more than a £60m punt. He’s not the new Thierry Henry. He’s a goalhanger in the same vein as Lacazette who will also have to adapt to a much more physical league than he has ever experienced. Not easy for a 29-year-old.

Aubameyang and Mhkitaryan are not upgrades on Ozil and Sanchez. At best, they represent stasis. Wenger is incapable of challenging for the PL and CL. He is a severely limited coach with outdated philosophies that deliberately surrounds himself by well-paid ‘yes’ men that will never challenge or question him.

Without the ball, Arsenal are a joke. Defensively, they’re often an embarrassment. Wenger cannot fix that and never will. It's like giving the keys to a Ferrari to a monkey. But Wenger’s so intoxicated by his own ignorance and arrogance, he still believes he can challenge for the PL by creating some Guardiola-like Uber team of attacking players that will blitz the opposition with incisive technical football.

Unlike Guardiola, Wenger only understands half the game.

Prepare for more of the same for as long as the old fraud remains in the hot seat. Good luck to Sanchez, I’ll enjoy watching him at Man Utd. They can’t win the title this season, but next season they might be able to have a better stab at it.

Where will Arsenal be? Without Sanchez and Ozil, even worse off than they are now.

—oo— 

Arsenal Truth can be found on twitter @ https://twitter.com/trutharsenal

Comments should be intelligible and relevant. All others will be binned.