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Embattled Manager of the Week: Arsene Wenger, Arsenal

By Jonny Abrams

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Gunners boss Arsene Wenger
Wenger… Embattlé (Img: Mr. Alexander Ottesen)
A disastrous 2-0 defeat at home to Swansea City sent Arsenal tumbling down into 10th in the Premier League, and unsurprisingly sections of the Emirates faithful (doesn’t quite work as well with a sponsor, does it?) are questioning the leadership of long-serving manager Arsene Wenger, without a trophy in seven years. We loitered around online Gunners joints Arsenal Mania and Arseblog eavesdropping in on what folk had to say…

Embattled Manager of the Week

Arsene Wenger, Arsenal

Stands accused of…

bingobob, Arsenal Mania

Wenger has taken as far as he can without a doubt. His time was up 3/4 years ago when we had world class players and as goonerwarsh we needed one or two to make us competitive and challenging. Why all these references to Bruce Rioch at the likes lets compare Wenger with Wenger. He set the bar as challenging for the title, winning cups, getting to finals compare Wenger to Wenger he is not doing what he use to do, he has gone stale, he has become more stubborn and he has a disregard for the fans. His own players have said we need more, RVP left because of it, Nasri left because of it, Sagna has said we need more and he refuses to do anything…these are the players who see(n) our teams up and close everyday and know what they are capable off and clearly our own players dont think we are capable of challenging.

Galway Gooner, Arseblog…

I dont think that there is anything wrong with the players and Wenger has generally bought well. He just can no longer motivate them.

bingobob, Arsenal Mania…

Wengers hands have been tied, Wenger doesnt have funds etc Im sorry it doesnt wash. The board have said money is there Wenger said if he would spend 30m and every season we are left behind while all the top players move on and we are nowhere to be seen. If Wengers hands are tied all he needs to do is tell us “look listen, the board say there is money but there isn’t Im doing the best I can within the limits I am given” but he doesnt say that he doesnt even hint at that.

3 years too late for this Gooner. People need to stop being afraid Spurs have slowly been gaining ground on us for years it won’t be long until they over take us, we got lucky very lucky with Chelsea winning the CL or they would have spent more in the summer than what they did.

hornygoatweed, Arseblog…

down to us to get the fans behind the team, we werent at our best today we looked jaded

he says this every time we play shit which is a lot

tactica442, Arsenal Mania…

Despite the performance on the pitch and the board unwilling to spend, there is one thing that would hold Wenger the only culprit. He has signed so many players who can’t even make the bench and yet still get high wages. Most of these players can only move on loan, not on permanent. This part of business really hampers the reinforcement of the team. About 10 years ago Chelsea’s Bogarde was a well-known joke, now look at how many Bogarde this squad have.

McKenna, Arsenal Mania…

He generates all this money, but does not spend it on the team. People bemoan the player sales. I don’t really have a problem with them – they’re logical in the face of circumstances. Robin was never going to sign a new deal, and giving a player 4 years on 250k who gets injured regularly is lunacy. It’s what comes after that has been our downfall. No investment. Just sitting on the cash. And that is Wenger – that is where he lacks “tools” – his decision making regarding the squad is awful.

We started the season relying on Diaby. A player who has been fit maybe two minutes of the previous two seasons. Yes he looked good, but there is no way you can hang a team’s season on such a player. Oh – he’s injured? What a shocker. Every Arsenal fan just shrugs in resignation – it was completely expected to us… Arsène, I just don’t know what he was thinking when he was planning his squad at the start of this season. The team now looks exhausted because rotation is not an option. Ramsey is playing on the wing, which is just horrific because he is not now, and will never be, capable of playing there.

Wenger shows little/no tactical awareness during games either. I honestly sit there watching, completely resigned to the fact that whatever Arsenal knew about winning they’ve forgotten, and whatever they knew about good football, they’ve chosen to ignore. It’s painful. Arsenal teams of years gone by actually wanted to win, wanted to compete. These days they seem happy to just turn up, lie down on the train tracks and ask whoever we’re playing to run us over.

At this stage, Wenger leaving would enable someone else to inject some tactical nous into this team. Someone else might actually be able to get them wanting to win again. I don’t see Arsène doing it. The desire has slowly been falling away season after season and, to me, it’s a reflection of his attitude that fourth is okay, and draws are “acceptable” – this is a failure of attitude, desire, and should not be the top man’s belief at Arsenal. It’s a betrayal of the fans. No wonder we lost today.

That said, of course, the board do not subscribe to this, do not care what we think, and will likely reward Arsène’s wonderfully slack hand with even more money that he does not deserve. I suppose it’s lucky that Emirates signed that deal now. Another season and we probably wouldn’t have been worth so much money…

suicidal in sarf london, Arseblog…

Words fail me, just got home from the stadium…. It is the worst arsenal performance I have seen for 20 years. Reminds me of the end of the Graham era… this was like watching the team with jimmy carter and getting excited about signing Glen Helder. We are back at that level now…

If previous experience is any indicator we probably have further to fall, and sadly this is not yet rock bottom.

Wenger has worked miracles with ever decreasing resources, whether it’s him or the board selling all our players or them insisting on leaving we will never know for sure. BUT, and it’s a big BUT… If I had watched that performance from any other team I would say that the manager had “lost the dressing room”. I now think this is the case at out club. You can’t keep selling your best players, and not expect it to have an impact on the morale of the players who remain.

Watching Arsenal 1998-2005 we had a great first XI and a strong squad, we now have a mediocre first XI (how many of this team would walk into City or UTD’s first team?) and a non existent squad.

I think people also don’t realise how weak our squad has become and how badly that effects the first team players who are being played every game.

We will lose to Olympiacos and may get a point at home to west Brom, but TBH if we dont win every single one of the next 5 games we have no hope of champions league football next season. And facing the impossibility of recruiting decent players even if we do decide to open the cheque book. Enjoy the last 16 of the champs league as we won’t be seeing that again for quite a few years.

The fact that I spend three grand for two season tickets does mean that I should be seeing top quality players… however I am watching a mid table team go through the motions. I am paying champaign money for luke warm piss.

We are completely fucked, and I honestly don’t know where we go from here. We are 15 points behind UTD before even half way in the season and things are going to get worse. We are 9 points off relegation so actually significantly closer to the bottom than the top. If we get Champions league football this season I will be amazed but it will need a change of phoenix like proportions, and this year we have no true world class player to drag us into it.

In his defence…

Talking about a new manager now is pointless, we’ve all seen what’s happening at Chelsea and it’d be a lot worse here where our manager is a part of every aspect of the club. Sack him now and we sink, no two ways about it for me. If Chelsea can sack a manager whilst being in third, with a huge transfer fund and a shiny new front line to work with and can only get Benitez then we’re ******.

No reason to be talking about replacements now, leave it till the end of the season.

MDGoonah41, Arsenal Mania…

It’s easy to be angry at Wenger now. But he’s been an incredibly loyal servant for the club, and he’s fallen on the sword for the board during the last 7 years when he’s been told to keep the checkbook closed while the transition happened. Unfortunately for him, when the stadium and new commercial deals start to provide a payoff, he’ll be gone. Its fine to say that he’s taken the club as far as it can go, and that he may have lost it now. But we’ll never know what he’s really had to put up with behind the scenes, and for someone as prideful and stubborn as him, losing and playing poorly must be killing him inside. I think its important that in all of the “he has to go” talk, we’re respectful of the fact that hes the best manager the club has ever seen, and that he’s done more for us on a shoestring budget the last 6 years than just about anyone else could have possibly done.

larrygrayson, Arseblog…

Hysterical bunch of noofters.

Embattled-O-Meter says…

53%

Arsene Wenger: in or out? Have your say in the comments section below…