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Friday
Mar312017

Was Wenger's 'Invincibles' a freak season, like Leicester's?

This article is not written by Arsenal Truth.

Raskolnikov writes:

AT, interesting theory. I have a few things to say about this pathetic situation and I feel bullet points sum it up best:

1. The AST. 78% of these jokers have decided they want Le Fraud out. Great stuff. Errrr, except just 18 months ago - yes 18 - over 80% of the AST wanted Wenger to STAY! May I just remind you all that 18 months ago, Wenger had gone 11 years without a title challenge, knocked out in the last 16 of the CL for 7 straight years, had lost 8-2 at OT, 6-0 at Chelski, 5-1 at Anfield, 6-3 at Citeh and 3-0 at Everton ALL in the same season! He'd also lost Cesc and Nasri in the same summer and unforgivably gift-wrapped RVP to ManYoo. And yet despite that, over 80% of the pathetic, spineless, imbecile AST polled said they wanted Wenger IN. That is an overwhelming mandate to give a proven failure. I am not at all surprised that Wenger and Sir Tits will laugh the AST off because tbh, I would do the exact same. What a bunch of flip-flopping f*ckwits. They give Wenger the absolute mandate to fail and then just 18 months later... reverse course entirely. Pathetic, and the reason Arsenal fans have a reputation now for "being split" when it's clear most sane people want the prick out.

2. On your article. I have long said this, but Wenger owes GG a huge debt. Now, the Invicibles was almost entirely Wenger's team no doubt, but a few things needs to be said here. For 13 years, we have watched Arsene Wenger work with a huge budget, and some amazing players: Fabregas, Cole, Nasri, RVP, etc. He works in dream conditions, where let's be honest, if the board were as awful as people claim, any manager would have quit long ago. Instead, Wenger attends board meetings and signs new contract after new lucrative contract. He has no interference, he's been given longer than anyone to build a team and yet, forget winning the league, he cannot even challenge! Even Rodgers managed this, Ranieri won the bloody thing.

How pathetic that we are at a stage where a clown on £8.5m a year has been outperformed by Leicester and is clinging on. We have all the evidence we need on Wenger, and that is that he is a mediocre failure. Full stop. All that money, that huge wage bill, those facilities and it's still shocking transfer window management, awful injury management, ridiculous lack of coaching and a constant demotivating of any world-class player, who ends up leaving for a domestic rival - Alexis Sanchez the latest in a long line.

Wenger's Invincibles were great but are comparable to Ranieri's Leicester in so much that it was a freak season. Whereas Ferguson's teams dominated, winning back-to-back titles and winning in Europe etc., the Invincibles won just one league title and disintegrated super-quick. Finished over 12 points behind Chelski in Jose's first season, no title challenge. So for me, the Invincibles is very much like that freak Leicester season, because it was clear Wenger could not win a title again. The evidence is insurmountable.

I also happen to think Leicester's achievement is far greater than Invincibles by the way (just my opinion).

Graham left Wenker the best back five in the league, who were superbly drilled, he left him a demon in Ian Wright and oh yeah, some chap called Bergkamp. Can you believe I have actually read some absolute weapons online try to claim that Wenker had a hand in the Bergkamp signing. I'm just surprised the same idiots aren't claiming that Arsene spotted Pele too. All that bollocks about "revolutionising English football"...how? All he did was implement structures that were already being used throughout Europe.

England was simply behind the times in terms of diets, scouting etc. The minutes clubs wised up and the environment became competitive, what did you get with Wenger? This absolute sh*t-show of a joke club, where fans celebrate 4th. Pathetic.

3. I would at this point like to reiterate what a vulgar, repulsive, sociopathic piece of sh*t Arsene Wenger is. His latest comment "when I arrived the share price was £4k, now it's £18k". He is trying to take personal credit for the global explosion of football. The reason Arsenal share price is that high is a natural by-product of football's global reach and the PL's dominance. It's to do with those fans that pack the stadiums, paying £1,450 each season to watch a bunch of absolute donkeys.

Wenger continues to insult the fans and show a shocking lack of respect, playing "tease" about his lucrative new deal, like it's some game. Talking about "share price" when the everyday fan is being priced out the game. The only manager in the PL who came out in defence of rip-off ticket prices, showing a total lack of empathy for the fans. The only manager with a brass neck to call a 10-2 hammering "the performance we wanted".

What disgusts me more than anything though, are his repeated attempts to piss on and cheapen the great history of this club - "it was nothing before I came and wasn't in CL" is the essence. That's because you used to have to WIN your domestic league to be in the CL. Graham won a league title in the highest of pressure circumstances at Anfield, won another conceding under 20 goals in a season and he won a European trophy (something Wenger will never do), and the League Cup, which was a big trophy back then.

Wenger has urinated on Arsenal's proud history and tradition by stealing it and claiming the club as his own. Where we used to have an identity and teams hated playing our strong men, irrespective of how talented they were, Arsenal always had fight, tactical organisation and pride. Now, they are a pathetic bunch of spineless arrogant cowards - an idealistic reflection of the ars*hole who purchases their loyalty by overpaying them.

This is why you get complete d*ckheads like Giroud, who would be lucky to be starting games at Villa right now; come out and say "trophies aren't important". What a joke, can you imagine Diego Costa saying that? Or Zlatan? Or Messi? Big players live for that.

Then again, Giroud is on £120k a week despite being barely good enough for Bordeaux. You have clueless muppets like Iwobi come out and dictate to fans how to behave - who the f*ck is he? Perhaps learn to pass, cross, dribble, control a ball with your first touch and become someone in the game before spouting off. Look at a mug like Bellerin: achieved nothing in the game but already on £100k a week, despite having a total inability to defend or understand his position at all. Aaron Ramsey, there's another total retard, spouting off every other week....

All of these players are an utter disgrace to the shirt. Alexis Sanchez is the only exception. Mesut Ozil is possibly the biggest transgressor as he shows zero commitment on the pitch, and the slightest sign of a runny nose he needs a "two-week holiday" in Istanbul. All subsidised by the Gooners, naturally. Seeing players use the club as a lucrative open piggy bank, for which they have to do virtually no work whilst telling us what to do etc. is sickening.

Overall though, which f*cker has assembled this assortment of b*stards? Who has not trained them, who has given them the insulation from the real world that gives them an arrogance to think they're accountable to nobody? Who is the man who speaks of "values" and yet ignores fans FIGHTING each other as it's more important he clings to power?

The same man who would watch Arsenal get spanked in the CL, not give a sh*t, then fly off to Paris to consort with his tart on the side while his wife and child were humiliated in the rags. The same fucker who claimed in 2009: "If I do not win the title within two years I will have failed". The same mendacious ars*hole who was condescending to Jacqui Oatley of the BBC for being the first journalist anywhere to dare hold him to account? The same b*stard who then banned her access to the club, and banned France Football access to the club because they printed Cesc Fabregas' words about how Wenger never prepared for the opposition, something Cesc realised this when he was away training with the Spain national team.

I have said this before and will say it again: Arsenal fans deserve EVERYTHING they are getting.

AT has been writing about what a sordid mess Wenger has been as far back as 2011. I've boycotted Wenger since 2008. The discontent and malaise at Arsenal started in 2007 and has been abundantly obvious since 2011. Yet, Arsenal fans sat back and quietly said nothing.

The clowns at the AST were giving Wenger overwhelming votes of support - as if they were somehow representative of the fan base, which further consolidated his vice-like grip on the club. Don't forget our "fan groups" Red Action, who, when pressure started to ramp up a little in 2010, went on a pro-Wenger Mardi Gras march, wearing "I heart AW" t-shirts. One of the most f*cking cringeworthy and embarrassing sights you will ever see anywhere; a bunch of minimum-wage peasants taking to the streets to plead for a grotesquely overpaid charlatan to carry on fleecing them. Like a Brexiter actively begging for the Tory party to bend them over and shaft them further, or something.

The club still has some decent supporters left, and the likes of the protest organisers deserve maximum credit for doing something and making his tenure as uncomfortable as possible. However, I have to question the sheep in that stadium who claim to want change, but don't have the passion to force it through. If you're "passive Wenger Out", as so many have claimed, what kind of mug pays £75 a pop to sit through awful, soporific rubbish disguised as art; but "doesn't mind" if the person responsible for ripping them off gets to carry on this scam or not??! Wow. Just wow.

Arsenal FC is now so small-time that one mediocre charlatan, who claims to be a "great manager" but has never won a single European trophy in his 30-year career... has achieved less than Leicester domestically and in Europe over a 10-year stretch.

THAT charlatan is now BIGGER than Arsenal FC. Think about this: if a Spuds manager doesn't do enough, they are sacked. If the Crystal Palace manager loses the fans (as Pardew did) they are sacked. If Liverpool fans get unhappy about a guy who almost won them a title (Rodgers) their distant American owners - same ownership example as Arsenal - take note and sack the manager. Even the Barnet manager gets sacked if the fans are unhappy.

Yet at Arsenal FC, the fans fight each other, the team can lose 10-2 in front of the eyes of the laughing world, they can sell their best players to domestic rivals year after bloody year, are routinely thrashed season after season, have watched a Tottenham team with half the budget overtake them. And yet the manager "will decide his future". And having cited all the examples of Wenger's grotesque, repulsive lies and arrogance; I still hear his dwindling defenders cite "he has earned the right to decide and deserves more respect".

Jesus H Christ. 

Note: Arsenal Truth is now on Twitter @TruthArsenal.

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Reader Comments (23)

I want him gone there is no doubt about that, but I am respectful of what he has achieved and has done for Arsenal. The first few years of success were built upon the defensive assets that Graham left behind, complemented by the attacking flair that Wenger gave the team.

The Invincible team was his creation and was an awesome team. I think we need to develop our opinions on what he has achieved - his time is up yes but he deserves respect. Calling him "lucky" is not good.

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AT

But had Wenger not had GGs ready-made defence it's highly dubious he would he have won anything? And if he hadn't then the Invincibles would not have existed.

It's all interlinked.

I'm not saying Wenger didn't do a good job, that would be unfair, but one of the games "greats"? Seems patently ridiculous the more you examine it.

March 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterI Rise Again

I'd agree with most of this post with the notable exception that it doesn't really explain the Invincibles. I'd go as far to say that the next generation of defender in the Wenger era learned from Adams, Keown, Seaman, etc, but after this, the Invincibles were broken up quite quickly. The organization suffered as a result.

That, in my opinion, was Wengers biggest mistake. His other biggest mistake is that he doesn't shake up the coaching staff. Players listening to the same voices with the same instruction will hit a ceiling in their development without different and new training regimes. Perhaps I am assuming that nothing is changing, but I can only guage with my eyes and it looks the same every year.

It looks like what is happening now is that players are bought with no clear instruction on what they should be doing without the ball (and probably with). Back when Vieira, Campbell and Cole were playing, they would have been told off and told what to do from the older players. They, in turn, passed this on to others. I don't think that is happening now, so what we are seeing is crab-football in possession and headless chicken defending when we don't have the ball. This is massive indictment against Wenger continuing as manager.

He won't go anywhere else because he knows that he wouldn't be tolerated at Madrid, PSG, etc. If he stays we will continue to drift backwards as players see what is happening at Arsenal and probably won't want to come and why would they? A has been manager who doesn't know when to move elsewhere and their best players don't want to stay.

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AT

His initial success led to the creation of the "Invincibles". For example, Sol Campbell would never have joined Arsenal were it not for the success that came before it.

March 31, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbegeegs

AT, do you think twatene's pack of holiday excursionists will raise their level of play against Man City because of the scrutiny he's under? We've seen this before, where the team seems to make an effort when twatene is in an uncomfortable spot.

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AT

In the past, they've bounced back, but the pressure seems to be getting to the players now. They'll have to wait for a piss easy game, and Man City are a defensive catastrophe so anything could happen.

Protests prove to be ineffective as Wenger and the board do not see them as a threat to their domain. The only solution to all this crap is to boycott the games. Supporting the future progression of the club is far more important than supporting the team at this moment in time.

I hope Arsenal lose to City (twice) and fail miserably in their quest for top four if it means that this lunatic and his disciples are banished from the club. Any Arsenal supporter who still lines the pockets of those who are destroying the club are only furthering this shambolic and embarrassing state of affairs.

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AT

I disagree regarding protests. It's a massive distraction when Wenger is constantly being asked at press conferences about his future due to these ongoing protests, which are only likely to increase in frequency and grow in size.

March 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHAMISH McFADDEN

Not been on here for a while and I understand your pain, plus I understand you believe GG enabled Wenger's first league victory. However, adding flair really helped change that team. A team that really also benefited from DB10. Every manager brings knowledge - that's not luck and kinda distracts from your arguments. You also don't mention the Invincibles which clearly had some lucky results (to stay invincible) as every team does but won the league (not lucky) How is that lucky???

It's a shame you are not more balanced as you often raise good points but they get lost in the hate, good points get glossed over and you repeat yourself.

The issue is the board - if Wenger was failing then they would sack him. SIMPLE

Explain that please (without offending me). To say he's manipulated the board - complete BS. The board spends what it needs to do to get in top four and don't have the resources to spend like Utd, City and Chelsea. Please don't mention Leicester in your reply as that's a once in a lifetime win
like you reference in your gambling section.

We don't have the resources to compete so unless we get a sugar daddy - get used to it. I am not saying AW has invested all our funds as best as I hoped etc but that's life. If you have beef - take it up with the board.

Our cash reserve is tiny with circa 45m earmarked for transfer fees due and 25m for d BT covenants - go take a read. I am not shading a link as its on our club's website. The board set the tone and expectations at any business - clearly they are happy as they know what their dollar gets them.

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AT

You can't cite the Invincibles in isolation. It's interlinked with the success that came before it. George Graham built his title-winning side from scratch, Wenger didn't. History proves that when success eventually deserted him, he was subsequently unable to create a team defensively capable of competing for the PL or CL.

That's not sour grapes, it's a fact. So yes, I think he was lucky and I think he's hugely overrated. For me, it was more about being in the right place at the right time. And that's the whole point of the article. You don't have to be a great manager to have great success, and the present informs the past and enables us to reappraise it.

Regarding the board. I wouldn't necessarily separate Wenger too much from the board. He knows exactly how they operate, and if he didn't like it he would have left, which makes him a willing accomplice. The board have never turned down his request for funds, but there's plenty of evidence that he has deliberately refused to spend the huge cash reserves available in order to lower expectations and protect his position by making the owners a net profit.

As for Leicester, they're hardly the only club across Europe to perform better than Arsenal with an inferior budget. Tottenham and Liverpool have in recent seasons. And other clubs like Atletico Madrid, Dortmund, Porto and most of the Italian clubs have much smaller wage bills and lower transfer funds available.

Even if that wasn't the case, you would also like to think one of the top three paid managers in world football might be able to punch above his weight. Otherwise, why pay him that money?

I've said it a dozen times and I'll say it again, being wealthy puts you in a position to compete for major trophies, if you don't compete then you don't have the right management structure in place. Look at Utd post-Ferguson, look at how Mourinho naused up at Chelsea and look at how Man City have failed in recent seasons. Where has all that money got them recently?

If money dictates success, then even if Arsenal lose to those clubs home and away every season, there's more than enough points up for grabs to compete for the title by beating the other 16 sides with inferior resources.

It's plain and simple, winning the title is about how consistent you are against those teams with less money than you, and a great manager will regularly compete against sides with superior resources, which only provides more evidence that Wenger isn't a great manager and should never be considered one.

March 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSY4

I knew the man was not a good manager since 2008. He looked clueless and lost. He stuck players in wrong positions like Diaby on the left wing and played Senders and Cyan for years. How can any competent manager ever let those two players play for him?

March 31, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJam

Wenger overrates and flatters himself. He is only capable of manipulating unsuspecting fans and gash a prodigious sums of money from their pockets and pretend he is making profits for the board who are happy to let him have the whole control of the club.

His distortion of being the one making the club play beautiful football is only misleading given clubs like Tottenham, Dortmund - or any other with a slight sense of approbation of being difficult to play against - produces almost as good football as us.

Before Wenger came, Arsenal held the highest average position in the league, making his claim of being able to produce top four every season a dissatisfying affirmation for awe.

March 31, 2017 | Unregistered Commentergrimsy b

AT, strong post. There isn't a shadow of a doubt that the Weng man got lucky, in the sense that his appointment coincided with France's football revolution. It's also worth noting that during that early period, there was really only Arsenal and United battling for the title.

Chelsea and city were still small time and Liverpool was just being Liverpool. Now those aforementioned clubs have the backing from ambitious boards, the gap has closed massively. Arsene has found himself exposed by better teams, managers, tactics and the death of France's golden generation.

Even during the Arsenal and united years, we still underperformed by not winning back to back titles or in Europe. Something United did more than once. The signs were there back then that Wenger was a bit of a one hit wonder, but we ignored it because failure still meant we would finish second...albeit 15 points behind united.

Wenger is a charlatan. There can be no doubt about that now. The problem for Arsenal as a whole is the man has entrenched himself so deeply within the fabric of the club, he's proving harder to remove that red wine from my Egyptian cotton sheets. He has been there as long as a generation of supporters - it's all they know and fear of the unknown has hamstrung the board and supporters. It's a failure at every level of the club.

Here's the thing. Most people are now resigned to the maniac signing on, but they naively believe he'll leave after two years... why? He is five years away from Ferguson's twenty six at united and you can bet your bottom dollar, he'll want to surpass that. I can say confidently that he will be here for at least another five, maybe six years. I doubt Arsenal will still be in the premier league by then, but hey... consistency is the key, right?

I hope City don't allow this worm another chance to wriggle off the hook, but I suspect Wenger will always do just enough to sneak through another gap, a rival is too shit to close.

See you in 2023 I guess.

OK AT, can't dispute that protests act as a distraction (inconvenience), but the reality is this guy is so mentally self-obsessed, he only sees those who protest as ignorant fools.

I think we can all agree that this man needs psychiatric attention and all those who still believe in this moron, should join him on the couch!! As previously highlighted, COME ON CITY!!!

April 1, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHAMISH McFADDEN

Hi AT, assuming Arsenal have a new manager next season, how long should he be given to turn things around?

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AT

Couldn't say, depends on too many factors.

April 1, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChris J

Hi AT, I attended an AST meeting a few months ago. The guest speakers on the night were David Ornstein of the BBC and Alex Fynn. I'm not sure who mentioned this, (it might even have been Tim Peyton), but it was Gerard Houllier who was instrumental in us acquiring the young French talent in Wenger's early days.

He was in charge of the France U18 and U20 teams from 1994 to 1997 and pushed Wenger to recruit from that talent pool. He, Wenger and David Dein are all great friends and spend each World Cup and Euros together to this day.

It was Houllier's knowledge of the players coupled with Dein's ability to get deals done that brought that French talent to the club. I'm sure that Wenger played his part but it is typical of his opportunism and narcissism that he is happy to accept all the credit with no acknowledgement of the contribution made by others.

I agree with your luck theory and believe it is impossible to underestimate the role played by DB10 (signed by Bruce Rioch and David Dein) in the success from 98 to 04. There is no way that the other talent would have flourished without him, his ability and drive to win was crucial. He also set the example of a professional and serious approach to training and diet before Wenger arrived.

I was fortunate enough to have dinner with Wrighty at that time and remember him telling me that he and the rest of the squad were in awe and blown away by the difference that DB10 brought and followed his example. The popular narrative that gets repeated ad nauseam by the press and pundits that Wenger changed British football is ridiculous.

They think he is a genius because he thought that a healthy diet was a better option for professional athletes than drinking 10 pints of lager a night! Wow, how smart this French guy is? Finally, the more we fail, the more Wenger talks about the club's "values". I would like him to state clearly what he thinks those values are. From where I sit, they mainly include lying to the fans so that they can continue to take their cash under false pretence. In any other walk of life, that constitutes fraud. Not the values I care to be linked with. Keep up your good work AT.

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AT

Thanks for your insightful contribution.

April 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAmos

Wenger has 'praised' the fans after the City game, seems like the protests are worrying him and he's trying to win back support with fake praise.

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChris J

The irritant for me now is his lack of an 'announcement'. We know he's failing, he knows he's failing. He told the football media some weeks ago that he would confirm HIS decision soon, and still nothing. There isn't really more much that needs saying is there?

He IS failing yet it is HIS decision whether he stays on or not. The fact that he is keeping his sycophantic and gutless followers (in which I include the entire board, although they obviously know what's happening) waiting speaks preposterous volumes for the mans own arrogance and self-importance.

Is he waiting to see if there is some form of tide turn in form? Does he think that the 78% of Arsenal fans who do want him gone are so stupid as to think that a short term upturn in form will suddenly make us think all is different?

I could be wrong, but listening to 606 yesterday Ian Wright said that Wenger confirmed that the fans will decide his future. If this is indeed the case, the fans have a decided as a large frigging majority want him gone. What is he waiting for?

As for the City match: didn't watch, didn't listen, don't care. I had a cursory glance last night when the news announced the score but that was it.

One final thing that's really fucking irritating me is fans from 'smaller' clubs telling Arsenal fans to quit their moaning. Only Sunderland, Coventry or the like fans seem to know what feeling shit about the current state of their club is like. They don't seem to understand the 'relative' spectrum, and the fact that Arsenal piss all over those clubs in terms of history, success, infrastructure and resources: so actually, we're in a WORSE place because we have all those required facets to be a big club yet we're still a fucking laughing stock.

Sorry for the rant. Keep it up AT.

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AT

No need to apologise.

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAJL

Interesting stuff from AT above the line, and Amos below it.

Wenger's ridiculous refrain that he is loyal to the club is really starting to grate now. To be fair, I think most Gooners would prefer him to be a touch less loyal, at this particular point in proceedings.

And one thought on the article: Wenger was perhaps once a 'great manager' on the basis he oversaw and integrated the various components necessary for success, as mentioned above by others.

But I think it's more problematic to argue he is, or has ever been, a 'great coach'. Surely great coaches win European competitions, after twenty-odd attempts; indeed adapt their tactics, as the opposition and the era dictates.

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarinersmullet

I don't understand what's fortunate about signing the players they did. The reason they hired Wenger was to bring European football to Arsenal and that obviously meant bringing in European players. That was Dein's vision, that was the point of his hiring. Do you think it's a coincidence that all these players (apart from Bergkamp) arrived after his hiring? Did Dein not have the option to sign them before he came? He needed Wenger as much as Wenger needed Dein, it's why he spent two years persuading the board to hire him.

You could say Arsenal were lucky to have Wenger. If you think back, his hiring was seen as a risk, we went into the unknown. Yeah, in hindsight you can look back and state how obvious it was, you know, sign all these great players and you have instant success, it's obvious isn't it? But if that was the case, then why did no one else sign them? They were well known players. Henry was at Juve, Vieira at Milan, Pires and Wiltord were established internationals, Petit had been in and out of the French side since 1990, Bergkamp and Overmars were in the Dutch side, Kanu was part of the great Ajax team that won the CL.

I agree that he isn't a great manager, but that period of success wasn't entirely fortunate. It was quite intentional.

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AT

Nobody is suggesting his success was "entirely" fortunate. The claim is that the common belief that Wenger is one of the world's 'great' managers is a myth.

Now, for me, his record in Europe alone makes it an utterly absurd suggestion, but when you examine many of the other factors that led to his initial success, you would have to say luck played a massive part in enabling him to build a title-winning side, and without that luck he never would have achieved substantial success.

April 3, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterhenry8th

I'm with Henry8th AT, to some extent all successful managers have their fair portion of luck (Ferguson would not be given the 7 years it took to secure a first league title at a big club in similar circumstances nowadays; Guardiola was "lucky" to inherit a world-class midfield in its prime and build on many years of work begun by Cruyff).

A manager's job is to assess the squad he inherits, acknowledge the strengths and address the areas of weakness to try and fashion a successful team to play in a manner he considers effective. Only the harshest of Wenger's critics could argue he didn't do this. In some considerable style. And by signing some of the best players to ever play for the club.

He's obviously never been a defensive coach (or tactician), has proven woefully inept in the transfer market in the decade following the departure of those great players and his record in Europe is such that he can never be considered amongst the great coaches in European football. But I still think that he deserves respect for the first decade of his tenure.

The real problem I have with him is that when reality set in and those glaring weaknesses were exposed year after year he resorted to a preposterous campaign to try and brainwash the fans instead of acknowledging his own failings which showed his priority was protecting his own position (and image) instead of doing what was in the best interests of the club. That's unforgivable.

So, whilst it is easy (with the considerable benefit of hindsight) to agree that Wenger is not amongst the elite I think it's unfair to attribute his early success to others (especially to Houllier on the basis of what amounts to, at best, heresay).

However, I still cannot believe it's 2017 and only now are we seeing anything approaching a revolt amongst our fans. Pathetic.

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AT

Not much of a revolt either. Can't believe more people aren't willing to do anything rather than risk another two years of this dog mess.

April 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGunnergettheresomeday

Can't Moyesey threaten to give Arsene a slap instead.

April 4, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarinersmullet

The law changes on offside introduced in the early '90s put paid to Graham's back four as an effective unit, also the back pass rule didn't help either. Graham's defence were well past their sell by date by the time Wenger arrived at Highbury.

However, what they crucially offered was experience, leadership and a winning mentality which were invaluable in helping the team to success. Inheriting Bergkamp was also pivotal in reviving Arsenal fortunes.

I'll end by saying Wenger is the same tactical berk now as he was 20 years ago, hence his dismal Champions League record.

April 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMario

Hallo AT!!!

Another week and another serious thought provoking write up from you!!! I would expect no less. Well done sir!

I agree luck played a lot during the early years that enabled us to win the 3 PL titles and 4 FA Cups.

But I will not agree that it was luck that kept us on Top 4 for 20 odd years in a row. That will be insulting to the good work that everybody associated with the club have done, including Arsene Wenger.

To the title of this article, I agree that Arsene Wenger is not a great manager, but I will say he is a good manager. His win ratio is above 60% from the last time I checked. That's a good rating in anybody's books.

Our European adventures have been calamitous. To be a great manager, you have to have done something great on a bigger stage. Arsene Wenger flatters to deceive. He has not achieved anything of note in Europe. His biggest achievement at the world stage was getting us to the final of the UCL in Paris in 2006 without conceding a single goal from the knockout stage until we were upended by an average Barcelona team 2 - 1 in the final with Henry losing 2 clear goals. The rest, as they say, is history.

At the National stage, his biggest achievements were winning the Double (EPL + FA Cup) twice in 1998 & 2002 and going the entire season 2003-4 without losing a single game (26W + 12D). Not bad.

But we have never got anywhere near these feats ever since.

We have suffered embarrassing defeats to Manchester United (2 - 8), Manchester City (3 - 6) and Liverpool (1 - 6).

We have inexplicably sold our best players, sometimes to rival clubs (Ashley Cole to Chelsea, RVP to Manchester Utd, TH14 to Barca, Samir Nasr to Manchester City, to mention just a few that still hurts).

We have not improved established players when they come to Arsenal. Instead they get worse. Lucas Podolski, Andre Arshavin, Nicklas Bendtner (okay, maybe not him), Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, etc. The list is endless. We seem to have a way of corrupting even the best of players when they come to us.

We have no plan B. We play the same way. We are easy to read. We show no finesse in dead ball situations. We don't seem to value them.

We have the worst injury situation.

We reward average and mediocre players.

We usually lack spine in the middle. We have no leaders.

Our keepers are never world-class again since David Seaman and Jens Lehmann. Even Petr Cech is too old for this game.

The manager is responsible for the buying, development, deployment and discipline of players. He is also responsible for tactics and motivation. In all of these, Arsene Wenger has not covered himself in glory.

But I will still rate him as a good manager for being part of the Arsenal story that has helped to make us a strong brand with millions of followers worldwide. I will like to thank him for his attacking and beautiful style of football (okay, we don't play beautifully anymore and there is no point even being beautiful if you don't win trophies).

We should not try to diminish his achievements by attributing (most of) it to luck. I will not agree with you here. But I totally agree with you that he is never a great manager.

Please keep the thoughts flowing.

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AT

Thanks Babatunde. By the way, this article was not written by me but one of the blog's contributors Raskolnikov.

I've already decided that should Wenger sign for another two years, I will end my affiliation with the club until he leaves. As I live just ten miles from Brighton, I will get my adrenalin pumping by watching a team and manager fight to survive in the Premier League rather than merely exist!

The fact that he is even considering staying on is an insult to us all. I'm in agreement with many of 'I rise again' comments, Wenger is a total and utter disgrace.

April 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHAMISH McFADDEN

Raskolnikov, you are my favourite poster here.

Regarding Iwobi's yapping, who the fuck is he?, I think the club or wenker conditioned him to do that, and for a kid at early 20 I doubt he had the independent guts to undermine his seniors, like Sanchez, unless Arsene himself backed him up.

Let's not belittle the growing protests here people, as up to 1,000 protesters the last one cause it irritates Wenker bit by bit and hopefully he will crack himself up and have a meltdown and get himself a mental breakdown, even though as many said it already happened, he just covers it up by smirking to mask his ego.

Keep the pressure you hardcore London Gooners, more protests and don't let that old fart get away easily.

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterForeign Gooner

I notice this piece by Rasko is getting props on other Arsenal blogs.

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Deservedly so.

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarinersmullet

First time visitor here. Someone kindly posted this link into another forum.

Have to say I agree wholeheartedly with you too. AW has been blogging it, imho, since that shit show against Birmingham City back in 2011. Consider this, that summer 2010 we spunked under £20m on Kos and Squilacci et al.

And after yeeeeears of austerity and Assad rule, we turn around and get beaten by a team that went on to get relegated and have not been seen since. Inexcusable, especially when you consider RVP, Cesc, Arshavin, Rosicky were on the damn pitch.

The summer off 2011 he burned circa £60m on Santos, Ox and Per et al. Yep, but let's not talk about that shall we. We lost two massive players that summer and Wenger's approach was quantity over quality. Glowing indictment of Wenger

April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCarts

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