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Wenger To Blame For Long, Dramatic, Dreadful Loss

Following our third humiliating battering at the hands of a title rival this season Arsene Wenger has taken full blame for this latest debacle, yet appears perplexed why this keeps happening.

Much like the tonking we got from Liverpool a earlier this year Arsenal`s attempts to close the gap on a rival were doomed in the first ten minutes, and much like the interviews and press conferences following those other big defeats, Arsene has called for the team to respond in the right way.

'We have to think deeply about because it is not the first time [it's happened]', Wenger said on 'It all went wrong and I take full responsibility. It is my fault that we failed completely today because we did not turn up."

'We felt we prepared properly, but we did not turn up, so it is puzzling. After 20 minutes, it was game over and it became a long afternoon, a long dramatic, dreadful afternoon. There is not a lot more I could say, you could blame and blame but it does not help."

'That is the most disappointing thing, that we were never in the game. This is puzzling because we were shocked and knocked down basically without feeling you have had a chance."

'What is important now is we show we have the capacity to respond, despite that disappointment, on Tuesday night.'

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 24 2014

Time: 2:40PM

Your Comments

Remember, Arsene Wenger has never, and will never, single out any individual for public criticism and always protect his players in public. Hence he accepted full responsibility to shield his demoralised players from further public bashings. You can almost heard what Arsene Wenger had told his players: "It is up to you all to convince me to sign the contract extension. I leave at season-end as I can't motivate nor coached you all to another level. 6-3 loss to Abu Dhabi City is a happenstance. 5-1 loss to Liverpool is a coincidence. 6-0 loss to Chelski proved I can't coached you all. Losses to Abu Dhabi City and Everton will prove beyond any doubt that I had lost the dressing room. I will leave a firm foundation behind for the next manager who can bring this TEAM to the next level. I can't ... adieu."
That'd be noble Merlion, I don't think there's much chance of it happening though.
Perhaps he should ask Schürrle what the problem is. Better still, he can just read what the Chelsea players were briefed to do by Mourinho.
Wyn Mills
Shewore, that was more or less what he said "leaving a frim foundation for the next manager" in 2009 after that shellacking at shareholder meetings ... and he also said "... it is up to the players to convince to sign the contract extension" ... before he signed the previous contract extension. If he does not win the FA Cup, there are plenty of fans who will remember what he said in 2009 "give me more time and we should win a piece of silverware within 2 years". If we do not win tomorrow, or win all our remaining home games, Emirates will turn poisonous and the worse scenario will be Arsenal fans will do another "Terry Neill" public demonstration against Wenger.
So we beat Swansea and all is back well again?

Our problem is not in beating those teams below us, it's in beating those above us and yet again Wenger has fallen short in a big game.

The players didn't cover themselves in glory but you look at the 11 we had out there and you would have to say that there is some mental issue there as to how we cant be a good but limited Chelsea side.

Wenger should consider his position and how he has justified to the board that he is the man to take us forward is beyond me.

Galway Gooner
GG, that's right, tomorrow night isn't a chance to put it right (as Arteta's inferred), but it's the only chance they've got at the moment. Merlion, I know, but I don't think he will leave.
It is mysterious, and annoying, to lose games big like that. If we were ****, it'd be fine - but we are not, we are a very good side and strong squad, chasing for the title. So the big losses to L'pool/City/Chelsea are so hard to understand.
GG ... one step at a time after recovering from a mugging. #1 - take a baby step in beating Swansea. #2 - remain unbeaten against Abu Dhabi City #3 - go and beat Everton #4 - and continue to win the remaining 5 games. That is KPI for Arsene Wenger as proof he can take us forward by winning 7 out 8 remaining games plus winning the FA Cup. I had a bad feeling that 6-0 battling had broken Wenger and made up his mind for him that he can't continue no more at Arsenal FC. Winning FA Cup is his swansong.
Merlion - and would Wenger leaving be that bad a thing? He's been great in that he's kept us in the top four during a very difficult period when we had to sell our best players and had limited transfer funds available but we've had a lot of cash in the bank now for the past 3-5 years and no real signs that he's able to take the team on. His mind-set has to shift significantly in order for us to win the league, at 67 is he really that likely to change so dramatically?
Galway Gooner
This forum is certainly more lively with plenty of Chelsea Rent-Boys started soliciting Gunners over here.
how can anyone think of blaming the manager, at kick off, arsene put out 11 international players, who are supposed to be the best in their field, 11 players who should show at least some semblence of pride in wearing the shirt. BUT if at the kick off, those 11 so called talented footballers decide that they cant be arsed to perform at the level expected, then there is nothing arsene or any other manager can do about it. lets hear less negative comments about the manager, and a lot more negative comments about the 11 wasters who started the game. i watched Penzance seconds play on Saturday, and they showed more commitment and pride, than any one of our so called stars. i went to Highbury for the first time in 1948, and in all this time i have never ever seen an Arsenal team roll over like this one . the people i feel sorry for, are the ones who go to all the games. they must feel as if they are being mugged. im glad i live so far away, and dont get the chance to watch them every week, ( besides being 72 years old )
cornish gooner
Cornish - one away win against top four rivals in the last 5 seasons combined with 13 defeats would suggest that while the players may change the manager remains the same as do the results. It's the manager's job to get the best out of the players, if he cant do it then he should step aside.
Galway Gooner
GG, we need continuity and do not wish to end up like Moyes' Man U or Rodgers' Liverpool. Don't read too much in Liverpool as it is a "one-man team" with no continuity after Suarez. It is World Cup year with too short a summer break to groove in new players, new managers and new tactical formation should Wenger decided to call it a day. We need Arsene Wenger to sign-on for at least 2 more years to bring stability with all those young players breaking into the TEAM and new marquee players he will certainly buy in the summer to strengthen the squad, as well as retaining those marquee players we have now. I will call this 2013/14 season as the Last Chance Saloon for him to identify the flaws in his TEAM, and to buy marquee players to play in the TEAM he created to play the way he wanted football to be played. The first 20-minutes against Napoli at home proved that there is nothing wrong with his tactical acumen. And summer 2014 will prove whether he is still able to rebuild this 3rd TEAM by buying the players he had identified that he needed to strengthen this 2013/14 squad. It will be gross negligence on the part of the Board if they still do not realise that this will be the last contract extension for Arsene Wenger to put things right; and to bring in a new manager with a new innovative and new tactical acumen to bring Arsenal FC to the level of Real, Barca and Bayern Munich. Anyway, the final decision lies with Wenger as to whether he still has the desire to continue with Arsenal FC. But Arsene Wenger is a proud man, a sore loser and will not want to leave Arsenal FC as a loser or "Specialist in Failure" with his tail between his legs. Like Ferguson, Arsene Wenger will want to leave as a winner ... and his obsession with the Holy Grail to complete his resume as a great manager - win CL Cup. Form is temporary, class is permanent.
Merlion - continuity is all well and good but I cant really look forward to another 2 years of underperformance in the league, desperately poor transfer windows where we consistently ignore gapping holes in our squad and of course the now traditional exit from the CL at the first round of the knock-outs.

Do you think that marque players will look at how Ozil was run into the ground by constantly playing him and think "jeeze I'd love to play there"? Or will our poor performance in the CL be the real deal sealer? IF you offered me deBor, or Kloop or even Matrinez at this stage I'd take any of the three.

Wenger has gone stagnant at Arsenal, he's been here too long and all the advantages he had when he first came have been eaten up by younger and hungrier managers.

Galway Gooner
You can field 11 no. Chelsea Rent-Boys against 11 no. Internationals and still can win with superior tactics against the known vulnerabilities of your opponent. Three major tactical errors committed by Arsene Wenger: #1 - Playing 4-1-4-1 expecting Arteta to performed like Makelele. #2 - Every astute manager knew we have an autobahn at both our flanks, especially the left flank when executing counter-attacks. Do notice Gibbs (or Monreal) and Sagna will struggle to track back when our attacks broke down and opponents executed a swift counter-attack. We were lucky against lesser opponents including Tiny Totts, but quick counter-attacking teams like Liverpool, Man City, Chelski and even Saints shown us up. #3 - Deep-running by a quick attacker between our CB defending a high-line cruelly exploit Mertesacker's lack of pace with Kos or Vermaelen out of position. FA Cup against Liverpool? PLeazzze ... within the first 10-minutes, Sturridge cut through our defence with two clear-cut shooting chances ... and he left his shooting boots back at Anfield ... plus OX got away with a penalty shout. All the signs of our vulnerabilities above were exhibited and we won because Lady Luck was with us then. Mourinho is another manager obsessed with details and studied his opponents to death. Hence it was all so easy for Mourinho "to kill Arsenal within 10 minutes". It is not the players who were shell-shocked after 10 minutes for losing this game; but it is Mourinho who easily countered Wenger's predictable tactical formation he deployed against a misfiring Tiny Totts.
But Wenger has shown nothing to suggest that he is adaptable enough to win the big games. In fact, his record against the top teams (both in PL and CL) is actually getting worse. When was the last time we beat a really great side?
Galway Gooner
13 Mar 2013 - Bayern Munich 0 - 2 Arsenal. Any more recent than that?
GG, the old saw of "the cure is worse than the sickness" applies to Wenger leaving this summer. With our current setup, it will be a massive upheaval and traumatic for a new manager to overhaul what Arsene Wenger had created at Arsenal FC. A good example is Moyes struggling now to overhaul what Ferguson had left behind. I see this TEAM on the cusp of greatness, just short of a few marquee buys that Wenger surely knew he needed to build a title-winning team within 2 years. "2 more years" is for Wenger to get it right this summer 2014; and also for the Board to go head-hunting in earnest for a new manager to replace Arsene Wenger in 2015 if he still underperforms; as well as to get the succession in place. Arsene Wenger loves Arsenal FC and will not leave his TEAM in a lurch. As we are posting here, we will never know that Arsene Wenger may had already made known his desire to leave Arsenal FC; and he will only extend one more year (with agreement for mutual release once his successor is in place) to give the Board a decent period to search for his successor. Come to think about it, after Brazil 2014, I am sure that there will be plenty of decent national managers applying for the soon-to-be vacant post at Arsenal FC.
13 Mar 2013 - Bayern Munich 0 - 2 Arsenal. Any more recent than that? damiano_tommassi 2013/14 Season - Arsenal 2 Liverpool 0 ... Arsenal 1 Tiny Totts 0 ... FA Cup - Arsenal 2 Liverpool 1
While the result in Munich in that 2-0 win was great it was a nothing performance. We scored early and then did nothing for 80 odd minutes, never really looked like putting them under any pressure. They knew that they were through and played like it.

Spurs are not a great side, miles from it in fact.

Liverpool 2-0 league win was a good performance, the cup victory was a bit lucky to be honest!

I do wonder if Wenger will sign for 2 more years and then maybe leave after one when we have a replacement.

I just hope to f that the person who handles transfers isn't also in charge of finding a replacement for Wenger!!!

Galway Gooner
Come to think about it ... 6-3 Loss at Abu Dhabi City - Flamini red-carded 6-0 Loss at Chelski - Gibbs red-carded. Let's hope for the remaining 8 games, we will NOT suffer another red-card. Plus we lost games when our players handled the ball with their hands. What was OX thinking diving for the ball? I think in both of those games, OX started and played poorly, misplacing his passes all the tie and offering no bite and no protection in MIDFIELD. Meaning, OX is no Fabregas nor Steve Gerrard ... another over-hyped British youngsters with vast potential not fulfilled .... and hope will not go the way of Jeffers, Pennant, Bentley, JET, Lansbury, Aneke and of course, foreign youngsters like Frans Merida, et al. It is rather damming on Arsene Wenger 2013/14 Transfer Policy isn't it when he needed to start youngsters like OX against the likes of in crucial games against Bayern Munich and Chelski?
GG, some of Wenger's previous extensions were based on rolling extension, i.e. it is automatically extended by mutual consent year-by-year. I am pretty sure that after this season ended like a damp squib with Arsenal fans booing at home games that we did not win, the best option is a one year extension with an option of another year. Both parties can gracefully bow out in 2015 if it does not worked out.
@Merlion96, First and foremost, calling Chelsea fans `Rent Boys` is accusing them of being gay prostitutes. This is an issue that Kick it Out are addressing at the moment, it is homophobic, abusive and unnecessary. So I suggest that you refrain from such abuse before you get yourself into serious trouble. In the 30`s Arsenal were known as the Bank of England club and this catapulted them into becoming a major club, so what`s the difference now ? If it wasn`t for Chelsea and City the Premier league would have been a boring 2 horse league for the last 20 years. One day Chelsea`s turn will be over, but slag Abromovich off as much as you like, but he is one of the only club owners that solely puts money into the club that he owns, rather than taking millions out, like the parasites that run Arsenal FC. That is where your argument should be, as opposed to throwing homophobic comments at supporters of a club who just gave you a good tonking. Live with it, rather than be riddled with jealousy. Every major club has to continually invest millions of pounds in players, your club refuse to do that, so that`s your problem.
Comparing that Munich game is like saying the last time we beat a decent side was when we won the second half at SB
whatever about starting Ox (who I think will go on to be a great player) what about starting Sanogo!!!
Galway Gooner
Wyn Mills
First up, GG, Arsene Wenger is 64 years old, not 67; unless, of course, I miss the context. Secondly, for those extolling the tactical nous of despicable Maureen, could it then be said that for those games he has lost, his tactics failed him or that he lost his "obsession with details" and failed to "study" his opponents (that list includes FC Basel, Newcastle, Sunderland, Villa, Stoke city, Everton, etc.)? I wouldn't make out the man to be some kind of a genius, honestly. For me, he is a self conscious egotist who must keep re-assuring himself by winning a trophy (any trophy) each year, while timing his departure from sides he has managed to a 't', i.e. as soon as things look to be going peer-shaped (see departures from Porto and Chelsea) or where there is a "bigger horse" in the title race (see Real Madrid; of course, that also had to do with the fact the club hierarchy, media and fans couldn't stand him). I would have Wenger over him, any day.
The Manager just had to take the blame as otherwise, the long knives would be out for the players. That was wisdom of a high level as, quite clearly, he cannot get on to the field to play. That's up to the players he has selected. By humbly deflecting attention from his players (Maureen would do it differently by some other attention seeking means) he has given them a chance to redeem themselves without the direct scrutiny of the media and fans, after some berating in private. That's where his much touted fatherly instincts come in. Compare that to the indiscretion of chatting about the age of your key striker, I don't care whether he knew or didn't know he was on record.
*first off*
Naija, it only took Rodgers and Mourinho about 6 months to get heir acts together, found their best side, their tactical formation and motivated their players to play for them ... and the table after X'mas never lies. And mind you, we had so many umpteen seasons that we are fast becoming West Ham of olde - a decent Cup side, leading the table before X'mas and went down the table faster than X'mas dressings thereafter. Give credits when credits are due. Look at what he had done at Inter with the same sides that previous managers can't. Look at the title he won at Real. Simply look at how ruthless he is by selling Juan Mata, last season "Chelski Player of the Year" simply he did not fit into the side he envisaged ... and look at how Cahill, Oscar and Hazard developed under him. Look at the first half of the season where we were flying taking advantage of the "dishevel" of our rivals getting to grip with new managers, new tactics. Look at us now after X'mas. We can always blame bad luck, key players injured, etc. But after more than 5 seasons of "bad luck, key players injured, etc." you got to start looking at the manager and his tactics in contrast to his rivals. 2007/08, 2009/10 ... 2013/14 ... in the title race and collapse after February. Tactics isn't I?
I've nothing against Wenger and I don't think there is a better manager out there to have led us through the last few years. But the situation of our club has changed in that we no longer need to sell our best players and we have masses of cash to use to go out there and get good players. If I was looking for a manager to work under a limited or restricted budget then without doubt Wenger is the man but if I'm looking for a manager to seriously challenge for the league and CL then I'd take Jose every single time.

Wenger was brilliantly innovative 10-15 years ago and he's been brilliantly efficient working with restrictions. But, my worry is that the field he competed in and won league titles in during his early years has totally changed compared to today, teams are better coached, have better scouting networks, are fitter (less injuries) and employ far more advanced tactics and tactical analysis. Wenger's advantages such as scouting network and physical fitness have been eroded while his weaknesses have been exposed.

Maybe the time is right for him to move on. I don't think he has the energy to change and his current approach doesn't work.

Galway Gooner
Fair point GG - but just an observation - the landscape is continuing to change and all managers will now have to work with some degree of budgetary restriction. Though it'll still take 2 or 3 seasons yet for this to affect the squads at those clubs not previously restricted.
I hope that FFP kicks in and really plays into our hands but I cant see it having too big of an impact. Look at the fact that Quatar is hosting a World Cup (FFS!) as evidence to how money controls football!
Galway Gooner
Agree with Galway Gooner about FFP. The people that run football, whether FIFA or UEFA, are all self-serving and in cushy numbers where the cash rolls in. Like with most of the world today, the politicians or bureaucrats are just puppets, it's big business that runs the show.
Actually if you look at Chelsea's spend since Torres there's a case for saying it's affecting them now, same as Utd.
World football is a bit more corrupt than it is in the EPL but the corruption is probably more among the officials, certainly FIFA officials (Uefa officials are relatively straight), than it is among big business. If the football show has to be run by anyone then give me good competent businessmen over politicians and bureaucrats any time. It's sensible to be cynical about FFP but it's happening and it's only a matter of the degree of impact rather than whether it has an impact or not.
But FFP is no excuse for not spending when its justified, and arguably it has been used as an excuse. I get that we were in for Suarez but it didn't come off. However that is the calibre of striker we need to identify as early as possible and secure. Untested kids are fine. Just not as first choice back-up. I'm not saying its easy, but its by no means impossible. Clinical strikers cost money. It has been ever so. And that's why we have a manager like Wenger and his scouting team.
Wyn Mills
Wyn, clinical strikers don't always cost money (you could get four Anelkas for under a million quid), but without being glib and taking your point as intended, you can't MAKE someone sell or make someone sign for you. We don't know how many strikers Wenger tried to sign in the last couple of transfer windows - we do know that he tried to sign probably the best striker in the premier league, had become aware of his buy-out clause, and his club basically ignored the 'ambigous' terms of his contract. Ah, where we'd be with the Uruguayan animal up front.! Now, if you can't get the 40m+1 striker that you want, and perhaps - just theory - the next four or five strikers that you think would work at the club, what do you do; just buy someone, anyone for big money?
I'm not sure to what extent FFP has been used as an excuse, arguably or otherwise, for us not spending. I can't recall anything remotely along those lines from any club official. The fact that we've spent more in the last 3 seasons since Kroenke took over, and since FFP has been introduced, than in the previous 8 seasons combined suggests the club hasn't seen it as an excuse either.
GG, I do not wish to disagree with the points you have made but this reference to the club having some huge cash stashed away is only effectively true for the summer 2013/14 as, before then, it was not prudent to splash out whatever cash we had in the financial reserves, based on future expectations that had not crystallized. We need to see what the Manager does over the next 2 windows and draw such conclusions that he won't spend the money. At least, we agree he did make a play for Suarez and when that failed, he has gone for Ozil (obviously, seeking value for money). I put myself in the man's position, knowing how he has stuck with the club through the hard times and feel his pain at how his own fans have suddenly begun to seek his removal. It is hard, I tell you; yet, he has to drag us to the finish line this season, at the least. The team needs support NOW, more than ever.
Merlion96, what did Mourinho do at Inter that was new? For your information, Inter Milan were Scudetto champions for 3 years, consecutively, prior to his arrival. The natural trajectory for such achievements should be the CL and that's what they did the year after he arrived. Nothing special there because that club spent money (his kind of setting). At Real Madrid, they had the most expensive player(s) at the time, yet Pep's Barca never gave them a sniff, even walloping Madrid 5-0 in one El Classico reverse. How special were his tactics then?
I posit that if Wenger had the quality of players on offer at Madrid, Inter Milan (at the time) and even Chelsea, as presently constituted, he would be winning championships too. The proof is in his early days at the club (his past achievements at Monaco and Grampus as well) when Arsenal could match the spend of its rivals and attract the best young talents. Wenger shows interest in any young player, the big spenders move in with money; that has been the story since 2005: Mata, Hazard, Cahill, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Jovetic, Edin Dzeko, Jesus Navas, Jack Rodwell, to name a few. Not to speak of those we lost to them (Nasri, Clichy, Cole). It just wasn't an easy period. FFP will create an even playing field soon enough.
Rant (?) over. Back to work now.
Wenger's not going through that much of a hard time, Naija. He's not exactly a pauper
Naijagunner - we've had minimum of 60m in cash reserves since I believe 2005/06 time frame. This has been rising year on year since then.

We came into this season with a very average first choice striker with no backup other than a player we didn't want (Bendy) and an unknown injury prone French youth prospect. Theo, if he ever even was considered a backup option, was out for the season on the 3rd Jan and yet we didn't get in a backup.

We've had no specialised def-mid player for years despite playing a system that needs one. Instead we've relied on an over the hill attacking midfielder convert! And then when we do go and buy one (or rather get one for free in Flamini) we don't play him in the critical games.

There are the issues with over-training and over-playing players (Ozil - selected every single game until he broke, Ramsey ran literally into the ground, Giroud a shadow of the player he was earlier in the season), do you think it's just bad luck that we top the Injury table every season? Of the last 8 seasons we've been top of the injury league 7 times and 2nd once. Is this just bad luck or poor training methods and lack of rotation? Ozil has missed more time since he came to Arsenal than he did in the previous 5 seasons combined, let that sink if for a moment or is it simply more bad luck...

I dislike Jose intensely as a person, I think he's a horrible individual with a spiteful and narcissistic streak but he is an exceptional manager for short term projects. Could he have done what Wenger has done in getting through some financially lean times, probably not. But if he was given the managers job at Arsenal tomorrow would he win the league and CL within a year or two - I'd say he probably would.

Galway Gooner
Cash reserves can be misleading. As the cash held at the end of a financial year includes season ticket renewals collected at the end of a season which are used, along with other revenues, to meet costs (which also rise year on year) for the coming season not all of it will be available to spend. At the same time, since the stadium refinancing in 2006 the club is required to keep a capital reserve of £32m as a guarantee for the insurance backed bonds. The AST made an independent appraisal a year or so back when cash reserves were about £120m and concluded that about £50m could reasonably be considered as available for transfer spending.
Amos, agree with all of that but we are a cash rich club to such an extent that we should have certainly addresses the glaring holes in our squad. 20-30m spent on a striker in the summer would have won us the league.
Galway Gooner
The £20-£30m spuds spent on Soldado probably won't win them the league so there no direct relationship between buying a striker for that amount and actually improving the side and winning the league. The good thing about us not spending £20-£30m on a Soldado last summer is that we still have it to spend on someone we might value next summer. As we bid much more than that for a striker we did want last summer there clearly isn't any reluctance to go for those they value.
We needed and wanted a striker and yes we bid for Suarez. The fact the Liverpool refused to sell doesn't suddenly negate our need for a striker or make Giroud into a better striker now did it. We should have gone after or 2nd or 3rd choice target rather than wait and hope that Giroud suddenly turns into a magical player overnight.

We had a real chance this season in that 3 of our big rivals changed manager and this was proven in how well our first half of the season went. We pretty much knew that both City and Chelsea would be better in the second half of the season and so it has proven.

Actually if we had signed Soldado I think he would have scored plenty for us and he most certainly would have provided an alternative and competition to Giroud.

I expect both City and Chelsea to be better next season, we were presented with a great opportunity and bottled it.

Galway Gooner
As Damiano pointed out above you've no way of knowing how many strikers we went for this season. We do know that the number of acknowledged quality strikers available were very, very small. So you believe that Mourinho, despite not being able to spend the £110m he spent on transfers this season (without getting the striker he wanted) would win trophies for us with a lower budget and you also believe that Soldado would score plenty of goals. Why didn't Mourinho buy Soldado then? If we'd bought Soldado and he didn't prove any better than he has at Spurs wouldn't we then have less to spend on someone we might want?
I'll be honest with you Amos, if there's a point in there you've lost me with too many If buts and maybes.
Galway Gooner
You mean like 'if' we'd spent £20-£30m on a striker and 'if' we'd bought Soldado and 'if' we had a different manager and 'if' Mourinho would manage a club with a more restricted budget 'maybe' we would sweep all before us? The problem with these exchanges is that they are only ever about the ifs and maybes. For sure it 'maybe' a lot tougher for us 'if' we had spent loads of cash chasing rainbows. If we can keep the key parts of the squad together (and the contract renewals this season suggest that's more than a mere 'if') and if we can recruit players like Ozil who add real quality then maybe we'll be stronger next season too.
Amos - I don't believe that Jose would have been a better option to have gotten us thru the initial phase of the stadium build. But if I could have a choice from now going forward as to who'd be more successful him or Wenger, I think it would be Jose every day. Whether we'd morally want him running our club is another matter!

Do I think Soldado would have had a better season than Giroud if he was at Arsenal? Yes I do and I certainly think he would have at the very least given us an alternative to our handsome front man.

Everything bar facts is "if" so it's all down to opinion. If I'd been manager of Arsenal would we have done as well, maybe but highly unlikely. Just as if we'd spent money on another striker, first choice or even backup, would we be in a better position today? I cant prove anything of course not be able to create an alternative time line but I'm pretty sure we would be in a better position.

Galway Gooner
Naija, Wenger's record at the clubs you mentioned is pretty similar to that at Arsenal. Makes an immediate impact then fades as others catch on or plough in more investment. Wenger is used to coming second. He shows the way for others.
Wyn Mills
You're right GG it is all about opinion. Which brought to mind something Wenger said a couple of years back: "Our society has changed much deeper than we think it has. Sometimes for good because people are better informed, but as well sometimes for bad because people who really take action, people who have responsibilities are not respected as much as before. When you have an opinion you’re tempted to think you are right, because you do not have to prove you’re right. It’s just an opinion. Today everyone has an opinion and people who have real responsibilities are less respected." He may be wrong of course - it's only his opinion. :)
The irony is that clubs which didn't have as much as we did, all those years, in cash reserves, outspent us significantly. Therein lies the problem created by the advent of sugar daddies. On the field, we did come close a few times to winning the title even in those barren years. We did need a striker but the Manager has to make the call as to what type to go for, given the formation he has chosen to go with for the season. I think Wenger has built the approach of the team to suit Giroud's strengths and if he had to get a striker, it would have to be a certain type- the Suarez kind - which are rare or not on the market. As it stood, Theo and Ramsey did play well off Giroud's early season hold up play. Why have we attributed our loss of drive in the 2nd half of the season to new managers at our rivals catching up, rather than the obvious: our injury list? I take the point about the number, frequency and incidence of injuries at the club. That beats me too. Sooner the club took a look at that, the better.
Wyn Mills, not sure your point holds with his achievement at Nagoya Grampus, with whom he won a trophy in each of the seasons he spent there before joining Arsenal. Even at Arsenal, hardly a season went without us winning a trophy, until 2005. 11 trophies between 97/98 and 04/05 doesn't look like someone who makes an impact and fades away; or a man who is used to coming second, as you put it.
*until 2006*, actually
Coincidentally on the same theme: "We live at the moment in a permanent assessment from everybody and definite judgement always. We have to let people judge, assess and criticise - we find plenty of people who can do that, I do not worry about that too much. I just do my job and focus on the next game, and I will let people assess and judge. They know much better than I do, so I will leave them the job"

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