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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:52 pm 
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I can't believe how some people here claim we haven't gone forward the last couple of seasons. Many teams around us are getting doped financially and yet the only reason why we won't (likely, there's still an off chance) be crowned as champions is our unbearable injuries. For me that is getting forward. When all the main competitors are living beyond their means and they haven't made a clear distinction between us and them is enough progress for me.

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.

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.


That would make sense if Arsenal would pay dividends over the odds for it's owners or all that money saved would line the pockets of Wenger. Usmanov complained some year ago or so about Arsenal not paying dividends at all and all I know that is still the case. I don't know what Wenger's salary is but I'm sure it is any higher than a manager of his stature deserves. So where is all that money going? Could it be shortening that huge loan that's looming over Arsenal? No, must be it all goes in the pockets of those board fat cats. Why I like the good Arsenal transfer policy is because it makes possible the rapid loan repayment and when we are on the clear all those boring money details you so abhor will come a long way to enable those big transfers you so crave.

What the financial obsession means for me is the continuity of Arsenal. Of course I would want us to win something. At this point I would like us to win anything, even the mickey mouse cup would feel nice. But what I don't want Arsenal to do is gamble it's whole future for success. Arsenal was before me and when time gets the better of me I would very much like Arsenal to still keep on going. What I don't want is that one sub-par season (it will come inevitably) makes us go the way of the Leeds or god forbid even worse.

PG wrote:
I like Wenger and dislike him also. I understand he has information that we are not privy to. But to have a guy like Silvestre in against Barcelona, I cannot fathom the reasoning and why Lorik Cana was dismissed though he would have cost nothing. I still think that there are players out there who could improve the squad and they are overlooked. The fact that Lloris is at Lyon and not with us is inexcusable, Drogba at Chelsea, we turned him down at Guingamp, Ribery, judged not good enough at Metz. I repeat myself, but Wenger's eye for talent has not been what it was. Maybe he has too much on his plate but you can build a squad and not spend a fortune. I think the question is not how much you spend but on what you spend.


In my opinion it is impossible for a manager to reign as long as Wenger has without dedicated fans having some gripes with him. Just to mention some of mine I didn't like him keeping Seaman for two seasons after his expiration date, I hate the fact he chose half-fit and uninterested Cole to play in the Champion's League final instead of Flamini who did a tremendous job in helping us that far (that is in my opinion one of the key factors that made Flamini look for a better deal), I still can't believe he stuck with the most overrated player of Arsenal history (and history of football and history of overratedness) - Gilberto and he benched a world class keeper after just two high profile mistakes and replaced him with Almunia. Now some of that might sound absurd but so does the notion that you're implying that one manager could make all the best transfers in the world or even most of them. If that was the case there would be no competition, just that one particular team winning absolutely everything. All those players you stated haven't gone to play for some one mastermind but in several teams. Don't you think any manager would dream signing Cesc for free or both Van Persie and Bendtner for a combined fee under the going rate for an average premiership striker? Don't agree on that whole declining of Wenger's eye for talent as there are plenty of recent good signings and in my opinion he has restricted the amount of transfers and tried have some stability in the squad. The thing you have to do is look at the big picture and let go of your petty grievances, there is hardly anyone who would have made better choices as a whole than Wenger.

Just a quick summary on our main opponents for those dreaming of greener pastures


Man United - Despite selling their best player for a world record fee they haven't been able to reduce their debt. The owners are spending like there's no tomorrow like there maybe isn't for their relationship with their club. They are just happy to keep collecting those smaller pay checks while waiting for the ultimate pay-off.

Chelsea - All their best players are over 29 years old except for the young Essien who is still only 27. The big question is will Abrahimovic loosen the purse strings or will they plunge to the mediocrity from whence they came.

Liverpool - Unless a miracle happens and they qualify for the CL the owners either have to sell the club or sell their best players. Selling the club could bring any kind of future ranging from Chelsea to Portsmouth way. Selling their best players would mean mid-table mediocrity for many years to come.

I don't think I'd want to chance prospects with any of those, even though they all have been winning something more recently than us.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:09 pm 
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I've just spotted this thread and have read through the first page of posts in detail, but don't have time to read the rest. So on those first posts, here's my reaction:

Anyone suggesting that Arsene Wenger should be shown the door is a disgrace. How ignorant and narrow minded are you? We haven't won a trophy in the last five years, and if that is the only yard-stick for success, then Portsmouth have dwarfed our recent achievements by winning the FA Cup in 2008. They broke the bank to achieve success, and now look at them: relegated, in administration, fighting to stay afloat. But hey, they won a tropy two seasons ago, so it's all happy days.

How blind are you if you cannot see that Wenger has massively over-achieved on a shoe-string budget. We had reduced the stadium debt to just over £200 million by the end of November last year, and we have remained a top four club and progressed to the knock-out stages of the Champions' League each season. Wenger has spotted, signed and nurtured young players with potential into some of the finest players in England, if not the world. We cannot compete with Chelsea, Man Utd or Man City financially. Simple as. So he has pursued another avenue. He oozes integrity and class. We play the best football in England. We are everyone's second team. We are championed across Europe and everyone wants to see us do well. Why? Because we develop young talent and play fantastic, flowing football. We do not throw silly money at established world stars aka Real Madrid. Speaking of which, where has the £160/70 odd million they threw at Ronaldo, Kaka and Benzema got them? We got further in Europe than they did.

But the most sickening apsect of this thread is its timing. We are still fighting for the league. We are three points behind, with five games to go. We should be rallying behind Wenger and championing his title quest. Championing the fact that against all odds, having been written off at the start of the season and continually throughout it, we are still in the hunt. I for one am proud. I think we have had a good season - and it is not over yet.

Roy Keane, of all people, said last year of Wenger, that people would not fully appreciate what he has done for Arsenal and English football for another 20 odd years. Wenger is a visionary. A living, reignng legend. When he does finally retire, which unfortunately he will have to do at some stage, as no-one lives forever, then maybe his doubters will look back and be ashamed at their lack of support for the man who is the greatest infuential figure in the history of Arsenal Football Club. The foundations have been laid. In ten years or so we will be able to compete financially and have a world class stadium and no debt. All this will be down to one man - Arsene Wenger.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:46 pm 
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In light of financial restrictions I am loathed to be too critical of him backing certain players, indeed in doing so we have some unexpected surprises. Whilst it's true we have those whome need replacing that perhaps have been persisted with for too long we also have some players where the persistance has paid huge dividends, think Alex Song.

Some players have had a long enough oppurtunity now though, there are funds avaialbel to make changes so now the time is right to be ruthless in wielding the axe.

With the climate right to do so now is the time to judge Wenger in the market. Previous seasons would not be fair if the context was not taken into account.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:02 pm 
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Haven't been about here much lately so only came to this late on. I completely disagree with the suggestion Wenger has had his time. We are pretty close to the greatest achievement of Wenger's tenure, winning the title this year with the most horrendous injury problems I can ever recall would represent just that. We have continually during this barren trophy spell punched above our weight and done better than much bigger spending clubs, all due to one man - Arsene Wenger. Without him we'd be strangers to Champions League football.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:02 pm 
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Skoosh wrote:
We have continually during this barren trophy spell punched above our weight and done better than much bigger spending clubs, all due to one man - Arsene Wenger. Without him we'd be strangers to Champions League football.


So are you suggesting that we are nothing more than a mid-table club?


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:12 pm 
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Tubzinho wrote:
Skoosh wrote:
We have continually during this barren trophy spell punched above our weight and done better than much bigger spending clubs, all due to one man - Arsene Wenger. Without him we'd be strangers to Champions League football.


So are you suggesting that we are nothing more than a mid-table club?


I think Skoosh may be alluding to the point that we've spent less on players than Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City, Spurs, Villa and Sunderland and have maintained a top 4 league position (with definite improvements this year), rather than calling us a mid table club. In this sense, I would certainly agree.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:35 pm 
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Tubzinho wrote:
Skoosh wrote:
We have continually during this barren trophy spell punched above our weight and done better than much bigger spending clubs, all due to one man - Arsene Wenger. Without him we'd be strangers to Champions League football.


So are you suggesting that we are nothing more than a mid-table club?


...and where did I say that? We have operated within our means unlike many other clubs and with a lesser manager at the helm we may well be struggling to finish in the top six. We do not operate on a level playing field. A chimp could manage Chelsea but at Arsenal we do require a skilled operator to get every last ounce of value out of what we can afford to invest.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:40 pm 
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Skoosh wrote:
Tubzinho wrote:
Skoosh wrote:
We have continually during this barren trophy spell punched above our weight and done better than much bigger spending clubs, all due to one man - Arsene Wenger. Without him we'd be strangers to Champions League football.


So are you suggesting that we are nothing more than a mid-table club?


...and where did I say that? We have operated within our means unlike many other clubs and with a lesser manager at the helm we may well be struggling to finish in the top six. We do not operate on a level playing field. A chimp could manage Chelsea but at Arsenal we do require a skilled operator to get every last ounce of value out of what we can afford to invest.


I took that from your points that we have punched above our weight and that Champions League football would be a stranger to us, meaning that we wouldn't be playing in it and so be reduced to that rabble scrambling to be 4th best, the Everton's, Villa's of this world. What I consider mid table teams.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:48 pm 
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Tubzinho wrote:
Skoosh wrote:
Tubzinho wrote:
Skoosh wrote:
We have continually during this barren trophy spell punched above our weight and done better than much bigger spending clubs, all due to one man - Arsene Wenger. Without him we'd be strangers to Champions League football.


So are you suggesting that we are nothing more than a mid-table club?


...and where did I say that? We have operated within our means unlike many other clubs and with a lesser manager at the helm we may well be struggling to finish in the top six. We do not operate on a level playing field. A chimp could manage Chelsea but at Arsenal we do require a skilled operator to get every last ounce of value out of what we can afford to invest.


I took that from your points that we have punched above our weight and that Champions League football would be a stranger to us, meaning that we wouldn't be playing in it and so be reduced to that rabble scrambling to be 4th best, the Everton's, Villa's of this world. What I consider mid table teams.



I never said we are "nothing more than a mid-table club" Take whatever interpretation you like but don't tell me what I am saying.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:41 am 
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Not quite sure why there is side-stepping of the point. Under the circumstances that we have found ourselves in the last 4-5 years, we should be mid-table. Some of it may have been self-inflicted, but simply on the basis of what we've had to work with, I think it's quite remarkable that we are where we've found ourselves on a consistent basis. Another manager might have struggled badly. Wenger has done just about enough to keep us near the top for this challenging period.

So, although the question wasn't meant for me, I do think that on balance of the money we've been able to spend, we ought to be mid-table. However, we are not. Whether another manager would have been able to reproduce, or even eclipse our results over this period is speculation, however, the odds are that FEW managers out there could really stake that claim.

I think we've also started to turn the corner. There is (obviously) more to spend now and we know where needs strengthening. The last year of Wenger's contract is coming up and, I completely agree with:
Corny wrote:
.....Some players have had a long enough opportunity now though, there are funds available to make changes so now the time is right to be ruthless in wielding the axe.

With the climate right to do so now is the time to judge Wenger in the market. Previous seasons would not be fair if the context was not taken into account.


What he does this summer (and maybe next January) and how everything plays out over the next year is what he needs to be judged on. Quite simply, I think he has to deliver next term.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:13 am 
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Well a lot of people seem to think Wenger has over-achieved considering the lack of money he's spent, squad depth etc. But does anybody else sometimes think another manager, although perhaps not able to spot the Diaby's, Denilson's, Eboue's etc in the global transfer market, would actually get more out of them. What I mean is, perhaps a more traditional manager who instills loyalty to himself, and pride in the team, and most importantly instills some bravery and responsibility in these players. I sometimes think what Diaby would be like at a Villa or Everton, maybe even a Blackburn or Bolton for example, and I personally think something would click inside him and he'd start to thrive on the determination side of the game.

I honestly believe some of our players firstly, lack bravery, and secondly, perhaps lack hunger. The two obviously co-incide.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:34 am 
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Not sure Wenger doesn't instil these qualities Gregor. I think team spirit and hunger have not been our downfall this year or indeed in previous years. Its clear from comments of former players that they'd walk over broken glass for Wenger. In the face of horrendous injury problems this year I would say team spirit alone has carried us through some games. What do you see in O'Neill or Moyes that you think Wenger lacks?


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:07 am 
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I don't think you can instill bravery into a player, he either has it or hasn't, Vermalaen for example has it in bucket loads, Eboue, Diaby Uh Uh ! it's a no from me. I don't care which manager you choose they just can't add that to a player.

As others have said, be very careful what you wish for, for me the man is a legend and a visionary and I for one am more than happy to pay for my season ticket to see the type of football and players he brings and I've been watching and supporting Arsenal for over 30 years.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:10 pm 
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Skoosh wrote:
Not sure Wenger doesn't instil these qualities Gregor. I think team spirit and hunger have not been our downfall this year or indeed in previous years. Its clear from comments of former players that they'd walk over broken glass for Wenger. In the face of horrendous injury problems this year I would say team spirit alone has carried us through some games. What do you see in O'Neill or Moyes that you think Wenger lacks?


Team spirit I agree we have, and faith in the way we play and the manager's footballing philosophy has also been demonstrated. I guess what I'm talking about, and it seems quite obvious and petty to say, but I sometimes think we look scared of the ball (especially when its in the air), and scared of the tackle. What I see in O'Neill and Moyes, and obviously Allardyce, Fergie etc, is the ability to mentally prepare the players for the physical battle (I am in now way condemining going over the top, this isn't my point), I mean come on Diaby should be absolutely dominating most midfield battles, but you could argue that our footballing principles are self-defeating in some aspects. Unfortunately no other teams play total football and are prepared to out street wise us, whilst we allow other teams the respect to play as we would like to ourselves - i.e. by not going in for a 50/50 aeriel ball, or standing-off a runner etc. Pienaar is a great example of a player who struggled initially but Moyes has obviously instilled the mental toughness and physical bravery into him, which I'd say Denilson, Eboue, Rosicky etc lack.


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 Post subject: Re: Has Wenger's tenure run it's course ?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:17 pm 
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block132 wrote:
I don't think you can instill bravery into a player, he either has it or hasn't, Vermalaen for example has it in bucket loads, Eboue, Diaby Uh Uh ! it's a no from me. I don't care which manager you choose they just can't add that to a player.


I dunno, I think you can become braver. Even from a personal level I admit to being scared of headers and getting a clout in the face etc, but once you get over the psychological fear and realise that the ball doesn't hurt and 99/100 both parties come out of challenges unharmed you get more confident in doing it. Plus once you develop better technique at timing and heading you become more confident etc.

Again, I know this seems really petty and basic, but it really annoys me to see Toure (i know he's left), eboue, Denilson, Diaby either just jump behind another player with their head tucked into their body with their eyes closed, or standing 3 yards off "pretending" to be anticipating the oppositions flick.

These are fundamentals these players come into our squad without - perhaps a cultural thing? - but don't adapt.

If you put Diaby into the Bolton or Everton squad he would either toughen up double quick or not play.


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