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 Post subject: Re: Has Wengers's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:42 am 
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Ripping this one table shamelessly from Jules' post to make a point:


http://i29.tinypic.com/25z1nch.jpg
Table taken from http://transferleague.co.uk/

Now take a long hard look at it. Now let's ignore the money recouped as that is hugely in Arsenal's favour and let's just look at the money spent in new players. Among the teams which have spent more than double compared to us in new players in the last 5 years are Tottenham and Liverpool. Those who think it's time for Wenger to go ask yourselves one question, are you envious of Liverpool's or Tottenham's success now and in the last 5 seasons? Among the teams that have spent more than us are Aston Villa, Sunderland and Newcastle. Teams that have spent nearly as much as us are Everton, West Ham and Portsmouth.

So now when you think about the restraints Wenger is working under to make Arsenal's financial future secure you can't deny they are tremendous. I would go as far as to suggest that the only difference between us and the teams fighting for the places 6-10 at the moment is Wenger. When the debt starts to ease out we can compete in the transfer market with all but the most blatant sugar daddy clubs.

Going in to this season many football expert suggested this would be Liverpool's season. Their failure to make a challenge for the championship has been much attributed to the injuries of their key players Gerrard and Torres. To put the Great Liverpool Key Player Injury Crisis of 2009/2010 into context Gerrard has played 28 premiership games - one more than Fabregas - and Torres has played 22 - 11 more than Van Persie. Unlike with our guys for whom both the season is over Torres and Gerrard are still likely to play a big part in pool's struggle for fourth. Liverpool has 6 first eleven players who haven't been injured this season, we have had one. So if the champion candidate has fallen to a position where it's likely they don't qualify for the champions league due to injuries where should a team be that should have been ousted from the top 4 by Manchester City before taking into account far worse injuries than what the champion candidate had? Maybe struggling for that top ten finish? Unless that said team had some ace up their sleeve that made them punch above their weight time and time again.

One thing that Wenger seems to know better than the average Arsenal fan is that every single transfer is a gamble. You cannot just throw away 30 million pounds, wave a magic wand and have a great player who will ensure you will win things. Now a team like Chelsea could afford to take a gamble of that magnitude on some Argentinian midfield player or an Ukranian striker and the gamble could pay off but if it didn't they wouldn't be hurt. Arsenal in it's current state just can't take that gamble. As far as I know Wenger's (and Arsenal's) record signing is still Jose Reyes and second is Wiltord (going to be moved to third by Walcott depending on clauses). Just by looking those two players it is evident that even when the money is spent by one of the most frugal contemporary managers spending isn't a short cut to success.

Also suggesting that we are a few players short (as always) is only true as long as you expect the injury crisis to continue. With any luck with injuries we would have too many players competing of the three forward places. Arshavin, Nasri and Van Persie would start practically every match with any importance and on the wings we'd have Rosicky, Bendtner, Eboue, Walcott, Eduardo and Vela hoping for game time in vain in pretty much that pecking order. The suggestion that we entered this season lacking a forward to me is absurd at best. Our main defensive cover was expected to return near the new year but since we lost him for the season Wenger did react by getting Sol. Next season we could use another centre back as Gallas isn't getting any younger but the balance was good going into this season. In my opinion the players going in the summer must be replaced (apart from some fringe players like Merida) and take a new centre back if a decent opportunity comes along but for midfield and attack get a new player only if he is better than we got starting in said position.

To part ways with Wenger only makes sense if we could get a manager who would do better with the same resources. Since to my knowledge such manager doesn't exist the whole debate in my eyes is pointless.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wengers's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:23 pm 
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Jules wrote:

Jeff Justice wrote:
I would love for Wenger to spend over the odds on a quality player, doesn't have to be a name, but if we picked up, for example another Vermaelan for twice the price we got Mark 1 for, I would still be over the moon. Will that happen? :roll: .....let's hope so.


Why is this so unlikely? Basically Vermaelen was already Mark 2 because he was just another Sagna. I don't see why Wenger shouldn't be able to find another player for the right price to slot in right from the start and do well. Add to that another player doing a Song and seriously stepping up - no idea who - maybe Diaby performing more consistent and Chamakh coming in and we have at least three more quality players in our squad. I don't want to start another discussion about squad policy and squad depth, but it's not unlikely for Wenger to pull off another Vermaelen. If that's what your verdict depends on.


I honestly can't see huge spending this summer. What I meant was if he found exactly the same player as Vermaelen, I couldn't see Wenger paying twice the price (approx. £20m) he got the original for.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wengers's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:49 pm 
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Nice post Henri, I think you summed up the situation.

Pretty much everything has been said now, just to be clear I wholeheartedly agree with those that still think Wenger is the man for the job.

Find me another football expert with a masters degree in economics and they might be able to take over, but I would imagine they're a rare breed indeed. Having spent £470m on a new stadium the club are now only £200m in debt. I know that the finances are handled by board members and other employees of the club, but having a manager who understands what is happening and acts accordingly is a phenominal asset. Bring in a 'top manager' and he'll spend all the while bitching and moaning about how he's not got any money to spend. Look at Benitez at liverpool (I'm not suggesting he falls into the category of 'top manager' but he has managed a team that play champions league football every season for a number of years), he has spent more than double what Wenger has and he still whinges about his lack of funds.

I could go on, but it would just be deja vu for everyone.

I wonder, if Arsenal and Barcelona swapped leagues, how our injury situations would compare. Thats another thing to consider, if Wenger's teams didn't get the shite kicked out of them every time they played a team that were afraid to try actually playing against them we might have had a bit more success.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wengers's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:02 pm 
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Personally i think Arsene Wenger has done a job that not many managers could have done for all the reasons that have been stated above.

My frustration and i think the frustration of many comes from the fact that while spending next to nothing Arsene Wenger has put together a team that is 1 or 2 quality players away from matching teams like Barca. With a quality CB, GK and maybe another Quality forward (Arshavin should have been this if he wasn't so lazy) we would be challenging any team in the world. I truely believe this!

Its frustrating because it has been like this for a couple of years now and for what ever reason wether it be lack of funds or stubborness from Arsene Wenger we haven't brought the players in to change this.

That said with what is happening in the US with Kronke's St Louis Rams this could be a very interesting/nerv racking off season, but it could also provide Arsene Wenger with the funds needed to bring in the 1 or 2 quality palyers that we need. Fingers crossed.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wengers's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:38 pm 
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I would happily accept a lot more years of trophy less seasons, with present youngsters maturing and the club becoming richer and more stable financially. That is only possible with Wenger at helm.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wengers's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:49 pm 
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I would not want anybody else in charge of our club. We have halved the amount of debt we have, while the other sides are strapping themselves up to the eyeballs we are on the way to becoming debt free. We can then plough money into the squad, with a top class (paid for) stadium behind us. The way we are living within our means in this day and age is admirable. I am willing to accept a few baron seasons for the greater good of the future, and while we go through this chapter I think we have the best man for the job in charge.

I think this thread is nothing but knee-jerk, had we beaten Barcelona last night would these 'thoughts' people have 'had for ages' surfaced today? I doubt it.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:01 pm 
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Well for me the long and the short of it is 'no' in my opinion his tenure hasn't run its course.

I like having him as manager, I like his integrity, his class, his compassion, his dedication. I like the fact that he upholds and enhances the values and traditions of our club that make it so special.

I do think that changes need to be made and Mr Wenger needs to tweak his approach to squad building somewhat. We always seem to have the problem of not enough players rather than too many, I'd prefer to see the latter. We also need a bit more leadership in the squad in my opinion, look at the huge difference Campbell has made, 2 more players with his mentality would set us flying.

For me, supporting Arsenal isn't about collecting trophies, its about enjoyment, entertainment and pride, under Arsene Wenger we get a heavy dose of all of these every year.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:13 pm 
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This financial obsession of Arsenal's is impacting on the team and the teams objectives. Part of it is Wenger, part of it is the board but all I hear now not just from the press conferences but from supporters as well about the objectives of Arsenal Football Club are its all about breaking even, making a profit, buying players in cheap and selling them on at a profit, all money / business objectives. The only sporting objective Arsenal have is to qualify for the most lucrative competition in the world, and then that is purely driven by money and the cash we recieve for participation. It seems everything Arsenal strives for now is money, it seems the sporting aspect has almost become a secondary thing. It seems Arsenal PLC comes first and oh, by the way, we are actually a football team as well.

I want Arsenal's primary ambition not to be to break even but to be what it used to be, winning the Premier League and being the best team in country and I think this has been lost on the club and supporters over the last 3-4 years. Yes its good to have financial control and so forth and I am not saying that the financial aspect of Arsenal is not important but it seems to have taken over as the be all and end all and as I mentioned, it is now an obsession which has detracted from what should be the real obsession, being the best in the country.

Pre-invincible era this was the ethos, to build a squad capable of challenging Manchester United and then beating them and becoming the best team in the country. Arsene Wenger did this by building a great core of players and adding to the squad every season until we were there. He rarely spent over the odds on players, in fact he is probably spending more now on players than what he did then. I wish Wenger could recapture the reasons why he came here and remember the great days of the Invincibles and how great it felt to be the best.

A new manager would make the sporting objectives their number one goal. They would want to make their mark the same way Wenger did and George Graham did before them and therefore the financial objectives would play a second fiddle to winning the league. I don't think that is a bad thing at all and unlike many, I certainly do not dread the day Wenger walks away, which is coming soon. Shit happens, life goes on but I always support Arsenal, not Wenger, not Henry, not even my hero Wrighty but Arsenal. I remember when our second most successful manager was sacked and I thought it would be a long time before we could have the success we did under him but two years later along comes Wenger. We don't know what the future holds and we certainly shouldn't be scared of it.

My hope and wish is that Wenger and the board realises that the sporting objectives must take higher priority and that they make winning the title their biggest priority. Because if they do that, I'm sure we will become the best again just as we did twice before. However I fear that is not what Wenger and the board is about anymore and perhaps we have reached a point where a change may well be a positive for the club in the long term.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:45 pm 
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Simply no.

Last night we were humbled by THE best team in the world right now, and particularly by the best player in the world. Yet we are in with a decent shout in the title race still and at the moment no one can say for sure who is going to win.

The simple thing is that those building teams to beat Man U was a much simpler job. There really only was one team with all the money and our run of 10 seasons or so in either first or second shows how much of a two horse race those years were. Those titles were all pre-billionaire era. Now we have to compete with Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, and even Tottenham in the spending sweepstakes. And yes we do have to consider our financial position. It's an apples and oranges comparison to me to compare how we build and spend on the team now compared to how we did it in the 96-04 years. We're trying to balance that team building with bringing our debt to nothing. Sure that's hardship for a few years, and maybe for a couple more but at the end of it we'll be a debt free power.

In the meantime we still have a competitive and enjoyable team to support. I balk at this must-win now attitude and I don't like that sense of entitlement that demands it.

Having said that we do need to realize that in order to increase a level we do need to spend a bit more in certain areas. After all we really can't say Wenger has been shy to spend with high priced deals to bring in Nasri, Arshavin and Vermaelen. What Wenger needs to recognize is that for all the attack we can boast when fit, our defense and goalkeeping situations are laughable. From Wenger's post game interviews I hold hope that he begins to recognize this. If the manager has a fault it may be that he is too loyal to the players, not ruthless enough to cut ties with weak links like Silvestre and Almunia.

Tell you what, and I know this squad issue isn't exactly the question here, but if we bring in a defender, re-sign Gallas and bring in a top class goalkeeper then I don't see why Wenger isn't exactly the man we want. And even if we don't sign anyone I still won't have any one else in charge.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:57 pm 
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Just to point out, Wenger is a man, an individual who represents a football club and has had success with them, he isnt God, he isnt the messiah and he sure as hell isnt Arsenal Football Club. Tubz is right, we constantly hear about being in a strong financial position, but what good is that to us if it doesnt relate to success on the pitch? So we're not in the shit that United, Liverpool, Chelsea etc etc are in, good, Im happy about that and it makes me proud to be an Arsenal fan, but sometimes youve got to wonder if Wenger forking out 20 million for a certain player would make such a difference. Yeah thats not how he operates, but in the grand scheme of running a football club, 20 million isnt going to kill us, we could get the money no bother if we dont already have it. We have a strong team, but if Wenger was to come out and spend money that we are told he has that will bring success now, and not in the future then I feel that a lot of fans would be in a better position with him. We are ARSENAL FC, not bloody Fulham, Birmingham, Blackburn and the likes, we should be showing ourselves to be the best team in the league, if not in Europe, and right now we arent doing that, and are a distance away from that.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:10 pm 
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As I mentioned though, we have spent big money on players recently - Vermaelen, Arshavin, Nasri etc. It's not like he refuses to spend at all. Perhaps we don't see it the same because we also have made recent big sales. If anything I sometimes question the areas that we spend in, not whether we spend at all. Unless 10 million is not big enough money, I guess.

Of course Wenger is not infallible, nor is he bigger than the club, I just struggle to think of a manager who is available who would do a better job of all 3 of these ideals that we want - winning, playing nice football, and being very fiscally responsible. I think one or both of the other two would suffer and for myself, I'm not prepared to mortgage our future, nor accept pragmatic football just to add to the trophy cabinet. I can think of one man who could make us a contender maybe, Mourinho, and I am not sure I want him at all. I don't see too many other names that I'd say would do better. I'd like to hear some names bandied about though if people think Wenger should go.

Who specifically would be preferred? Because if we just want a spender I'm sure we can get Rafa or Redknapp, not that that would actually get us anywhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:50 pm 
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Anarion wrote:
As I mentioned though, we have spent big money on players recently - Vermaelen, Arshavin, Nasri etc. It's not like he refuses to spend at all. Perhaps we don't see it the same because we also have made recent big sales.


Those acquisitions though are made because we have to replace departed players with quality. When Wenger set out with this "masterplan" the aim was to build a team and then let it grow together. The problem we have had is every season we have lost a key player and had to replace them with someone. Hence the majority of any budget has been spent on repalcing players rather than serving its intended purpose, to reinforce the squad. In this area I believe Wenger's ideology has failed and I believe also a key reason in why the club's progress has stagnated.

Anarion wrote:
If anything I sometimes question the areas that we spend in, not whether we spend at all. Unless 10 million is not big enough money, I guess. Who specifically would be preferred? Because if we just want a spender I'm sure we can get Rafa or Redknapp, not that that would actually get us anywhere.


In regards to recruiting players its about getting the right players, not how much we spend. I don't care if we spend £2 or £20million pounds on the players we need, as long as we get the 4-5 players we need to potentially kick us on to the next level.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 7:53 pm 
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Tubzinho wrote:
This financial obsession of Arsenal's is impacting on the team and the teams objectives. Part of it is Wenger, part of it is the board but all I hear now not just from the press conferences but from supporters as well about the objectives of Arsenal Football Club are its all about breaking even, making a profit, buying players in cheap and selling them on at a profit, all money / business objectives. The only sporting objective Arsenal have is to qualify for the most lucrative competition in the world, and then that is purely driven by money and the cash we recieve for participation. It seems everything Arsenal strives for now is money, it seems the sporting aspect has almost become a secondary thing. It seems Arsenal PLC comes first and oh, by the way, we are actually a football team as well.




My hope and wish is that Wenger and the board realises that the sporting objectives must take higher priority and that they make winning the title their biggest priority. Because if they do that, I'm sure we will become the best again just as we did twice before. However I fear that is not what Wenger and the board is about anymore and perhaps we have reached a point where a change may well be a positive for the club in the long term.


Completely agree with what you have written Tubz.
I have said it before in the "Is Arsene Wenger bigger than Arsenal thread" but I believe a change of philosophy is needed at this club, sooner rather than later. This obsession of finishing third and it being okay is ridiculous for a club of our standing to be aiming for, for those who need reminding please see the following link http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010 ... al-chelsea
I've mentioned this before but the reason why Wenger got the sack from Monaco is because of the current structure we have at Arsenal he tried to implement at Monaco, he got rid of all the experienced older players and replaced them with youth, although they had just won the French league, 1993/94.
The difference with us is that because of previous achievements with Arsenal, the board, and fans have afforded him more time to see this project through, I for one did not think he would get rid of all the older heads of the squad, I think we should have at least kept a few around just to help the younger players know what it means to be pulling on the Arsenal shirt and what the principles of the club are. You look at Man Utd and they have kept players who are well past their sell-by date, Giggs, Scholes, Neville, but one of the reasons they are still around is that they embody all the attributes of what Man Utd stand for, they are Ferguson's voice on the training field, or at the Club party, they will tell a younger player that this is not the Man Utd way, we don't do that here, also they act as a reminder of what it means to be playing at such club.
Some of Wenger's decisions have baffled me to say the least, you won't give Pires, Vieira, Campbell, a 2 year contract but you sign Silvestre :puzzled:

He asked for patience I think we have been extra patient to be honest, the maximum we should have given him is 3 years, that's more than enough time to get things going in the right direction.
People will say we have been operating under financial restraint but a counter argument is that we have missed out on so many players before they were even known, also on players who openly stated a desire to come and play for us, we could have gotten a few of them if we had pulled our thumb out.
I don't want to replace Wenger, but I really do feel that he needs to drop the pride and the stubbornness, admit his mistakes, faults and come with a new game plan. I also think he has been tactically naive in the big games, and in those games it does come across as when it's not going our way we don't have a plan B or he doesn't have that tactical nous to change personnel and game play. He's been out smarted by all of the other big four managers in crunch games, at home and in Europe.
He's come out with comments yesterday that he recognises the team needs players, but we've heard that before for the past 4 seasons in fact, so I don't really believe what he says anymore, I'll just wait and see what materialises come the end of August.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:01 pm 
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Do you not think he has realised that too one extent though? You only have to look at the age of our team now to what it was two or three years ago and you can see a difference. Bringing in Gallas, Campbell, Arshavin, Eduardo, all shows that he is willing to bring in experience if he thinks its needed, and perhaps thats something he is learning.

Perhaps his biggest mistake was going from 'Team A' to 'Team B', without really accomodating for that transition period. It seemed a logical decision to build a new team in a new stadium, but perhaps things changed a little too quick for the team and Wenger to cope with, sometimes not all his fault, Flamini, Campbell, Adebayor etc. The trouble is a lot of those players were only recent signings, we didnt have any long term players at the club like a Giggs, Scholes or like Barcelona have a Puyol, Xavi or Iniesta.

I still have faith in this 'project' of Wengers, but it will need a bit more patience than perhaps we first anticipated.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:08 pm 
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-Jk- wrote:
Do you not think he has realised that too one extent though? You only have to look at the age of our team now to what it was two or three years ago and you can see a difference. Bringing in Gallas, Campbell, Arshavin, Eduardo, all shows that he is willing to bring in experience if he thinks its needed, and perhaps thats something he is learning.


You could argue that point but you could also argue the point that at times his hand has been forced and he has had to bring in players to replace the ones he has let go in order for Arsenal to even reach the bare minimum objective, a top four finish. He had to sign Rosicky because Pires left, he had to sign Eduardo because Henry left, he had to sign Nasri because Hleb left you could even say he had to sign Campbell in January because Toure left. Seldomly has he bought to reinforce the squad.


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