Embattled Manager of the Week: Arsène Wenger

Embattled Manager of the Week: Arsene Wenger, Arsenal
Wenger... Embattlé (Img: Mr. Alexander Ottesen)

Oh dear – the knives are out again for Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger after Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United at the Emirates made it three defeats on the spin for his Gunners side. Knives out on the spin? Sounds dangerous. Join Football Burp in another one of these things…

Embattled Manager of the Week…

Arsene Wenger, Arsenal

Stands accused of…

“On my way home from post mortem drinks, and I have to say, that was the only time I’ve ever seen a substitution booed. And rightly so, I joined in. Awful decision and we all know how awful Arsene can be tactically but this really was some next level sh*t. The Ox was quite clearly one of our most dangerous and threatening players, not only did he bring on the ineffectual Arshavin, he did it at the expense of the Ox and not Walcott who was typically woeful. Then Arshavin lost us the game in a respect with his awful effort defending on their second goal. No wonder he doesn’t want to explain the reason ehind the substitution and is talking sh*t, the guy knows how awful a decision it was. And this isn’t Captain Hindisght coming to the rescue, we all knew how bad a decision it was immediately! Such an utter joke, I’m so angry at such a tactical decision. Im close to the end of my tether with him” – Jakey Boy, Online Arsenal 

“It would be with an incredibly heavy heart that I would wish Wenger to leave, but we are extremely close to that situation.

The refusal to spend, change our tactics and offload the dead wood is making his position untenable.

I almost wish we could substitute him for a couple of seasons for another manager who would come in, clear out the dead wood (Arshavin, Bendtner, Denilson, Djourou, Squillaci, Fabianski, Diaby, Walcott etc), force the board to spend to rebuild the squad, and sort out both our defensive and offensive tactics.

Then sub Wenger back in so he can have his last hurrah. Because it’s sad to see such a great manager’s career going down in flames as it currently is.

But the reality is that if he refuses to make the tough decisions, rebuild this squad and organise the team properly, then he simply has to go.” – McIntyre, Arsenal Mania 

“Losing his eye for players hasn’t completely faded, incoming that is but his transfer policy sucks. Outgoing is a complete joke. Tactically I couldn’t agree more, he’s messed up which I’ve voiced and got ridiculed in the process.” – prolific, Arsenal Land 

“he stuck with all these shite players when we could all see they were crap.
wengers loyalty to his players is costing us bigtime.
he pays them wages so big he can’t get rid of them. WHY? none of those players you mentioned ever warrented big wages. they never won anything for us. most of them struggled to get in the first team.
WHY PUT UP WITH THEM FOR YEARS?” – lengooner, Online Arsenal 

“The team has stagnated the past 3-4 years and he does not have the quality or drive any more to lead us. He ushered in a new way of football but has been unable to change with the times and is relic of the past ho;ding us back from taking the steps we need to.” – awooga83, Arsenal Mania 

“Our wage structure, which AW implemented is crippling us, we can’t sell players who are rubbish because their wages are too high and can’t sign big players because we can’t afford their wages.

As the article says, its mismanagement of the highest order, and for anyone who doesn’t believe that AW implemented our wage structure, you are a fool, he wanted project youth and the only way to steal all the youngsters is to pay them inflated wages to see off competition.

Fat lot of good thats done us and a fat lot of good moving to the Emirates has done as well, i’d have rather stayed at Highbury.

Wenger has taken this club as far as he can, he is no longer the man for the job.” – GunnGunn, Gooners World 

“I don’t think Wenger should leave now. The time will come in the summer when our European status will be confirmed. If we don’t finish in the top four then I do think that he should go. We aren’t moving forward, and the team are displaying traits that are just not right for a Champions League side.

I just want this season over and done with so that we can sort this squad out.” – Danni, Arsenal Mania 

“It really has become clear imo that Wenger is past it. He isn’t the manager he was 7+ years ago. Just like players abilities diminish with age, as do a manager’s. And just as it became time for Bergkamp to move on, so it has with Wenger.” – Leody, Gooners World 

“It’s pretty blatant that the modern brand of football both on AND off the pitch has passed Arsène Wenger by.

His stubbornness and refusal to adapt his philosophy with the time is shocking and it’s cost us over and over and over again…it’s a trend now.

The same excuses are always rolled out for him but the problems remain and they are GLARING and everyone but he can see it.

It’s amazing to me that other old school managers like SAF can adapt and see the changes in the sport and adjust accordingly and be successful but AW just refuses to…it’s mind numbing.” – AFCFan4Ever, Arsenal Mania 

“Arsene is a very good manager but his strong point isn’t touchline tactics and we saw that again today. He made a very good decision to play Chamberlain from the start and then made an absolutely stupid decision to take off a player who was very instrumental in us being on top at the time. I don’t believe for a second it was because of “fatigue” for me, it was a predetermined token gesture to put Arshavin on.

To further back up the point, at halftime when he had a chance to think and reorganize he made the right call to take Dojo off and bring on Yennaris.” – Adams6, Online Arsenal 

“It’s becoming very clear that things just need freshening up. Wenger is too close to the players and the board. We need someone else to come in with no loyalty to the squad, somone that is willing to drop the under preformers and bring in some new faces.” – Hypogooner, Gooners World 

“He basically whines about everything, yet offers no innovative (or even obvious) solutions.

Sometimes you have to pay over the odds if you are ambitious and want to win. You have to take chances when it gets to a certain point.

Everyone knows we need to change our wage structure. It shouldn’t be used as an excuse.” – morrisc311, Online Arsenal 

In his defence…

“I think Wenger’s doing a good job in the circumstances, its clear there are restrictions on what he can spend, hes working within very tight limits

With the team we have, and average quality of players, and the resources available to the manager, i would say we are punching above our weight if anything.

A lot of people have already done it, but some fans still need to start downgrading their aspirations about Arsenal, as sad as it is to say, the glory days are over. We aren’t going to and wont attempt to compete for the top prizes for the foreseeable future. Theres just no way we can compete with the resources of our competitors.

We probably wont get fourth spot, and Im sure RVP will be off, but whats the point of killing ourselves over it? just enjoy the occasional highlights of the season when they are happen.” – kav, Arsenal Mania 

“Am not trying to defend Arsene as there are a lot of things that I don’t agree with him on but that one decision to sub the Ox seems to have really pushed most people over the edge and I cannot understand that. It was just another silly decision by Arsene, one of many he has made, like sticking with Almunia for so long, like playing the likes of Eboue, Bendtner, Walcott on the wing, like persisting with Denilson and Diaby and now with Arshavin, like not reinforcing the team over the last so many seasons.” – Sunny310c, Online Arsenal 

“Easily his worst season, and we’re fifth. It’s amusing.” – Airknight, Arsenal Mania 

“If anything AW’s abilities should’ve increased with time and his experience should’ve helped him as well. This is why some suspect the board of foul play.
Having said that there’s a good case to support the argument that AW is the perfect manager to win titles in a league that doesn’t contain teams backed by sugar daddies.
Now that the billionaires are here the possession football and promising youngsters thing is no longer enough to beat them. We have to spend money ourselves.

Basically what I’m saying is that the ‘He’s going senile’ line is not an approach that carries a lot of weight with me. I don’t think age is anything to do with it and the tramp up north is proof of that, he’s just as old.” – Inchpractice, Gooners World 

“I don’t think the problem solely lies with Wenger.

Arsenal have always been notoriously tight, in this modern football age it’s the one thing you can’t afford (excuse the pun) to be.

If anyone thinks we could sack Wenger and drift someone in to make us competitive whilst continuing to penny pinch is in for a rude awakening” – goonerwarsh, Arsenal Mania 

“I dont think his going will make a notable difference to us. Yes it will improve our style of play, but don’t expect big signings or anything of that sort. I mean look at how badly Wenger needs to sign right now, and he’s not doing it, I refuse to believe anyone can be so stubborn. Its the board that’s obstructing him, and we need a massive overhaul of players, manager and the board for something to change radically.” – ayN, Gooners World 

“We’re a club on the slide, but don’t go overboard on how far we’ve fallen just yet.

I’ve heard this thing about ‘RvP is our only remaining world class star’ a couple of times now.

While he may now leave, we still have Sagna, Wilshere, Koscielny, Vermaelen – all of which are absolutely top drawer players and Koscielny is in the early stages of proving himself Wenger’s best defensive signing in 16 years.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is still here and the likes of Benik Afobe and Chuks Aneke are just around the corner too.” – Robin_L, Online Arsenal 

“I’m not saying Wenger is blameless, I’m saying that he is not the Greater Evil. Sacking him means a new manager with the same chronic underinvestment – even if the new guy IS capable of working better with the same budget (would have to be seen before confirmation either for or against, but of course it’s possible), It would achieve very little. The squad lacks quality first and foremost, everything else is a side issue.” – DJ Mark_star, Arsenal Mania 

“Do some of you really believe that a world class manager, who had achieved so much in so little time, would suddenly just forget how to manage a team successfully? Do you really think it has nothing to do with our blatently tight fisted, un-arsenal, profit focused scum on the board and the new stadium (which they built to make money not to challenge better)?
I’m pretty certain wenger’s had his hands tied and has had to operate a tight ship, and whatever you say he’s done it better than just about anyone else can.” – friedslice, Gooners World 

“Wengers loyalty is under rated, he could haven taken easier jobs with massive rewards years ago but he didn’t – I’m thinking Bayern Munich and Madrid of a few years back.” – GDeep, Arsenal Mania

“Thinking of it who could replace him????
He is a great manager who created huge amounts of world class players from places no one would look…
I mean… give me few billion dollars and I’ll create next Barcelona, or Real Madrid… That what teams such as Manchester City are doing…
Mancini a great manager??? What kind of manager doesn’t keep conduct in his team… Only the fact that Manchester City owners have over $20 Billion dollars, makes Mancini and his $400 million dollar team good…
I see only two managers in the world out of best teams, that are good just because rather then the clubs money..
Arsene Wenger
Sir Alex Ferguson….” – ModRofl, Online Arsenal 

“Slag Wenger off all you want but you can’t deny he’s not a genius on a tight budget, when we took over we were the level of everton and villa and on that type of budget he make us a global club. you forget that in your hate filled eyes, but in reality the blokes still doing relatively well on the budget (still haven’t lost a CL place under him) and to be honest I don’t know if many other managers in the world could match that.

I want fresh ideas and I want changes and signings to start to be made, but I don’t want to see us go through a turbulent period where no manager can fill Wenger’s boots and we start to lag even further. Despite what some of the (quite greedy) fans on here say, we’re still not doing bad, 5th spot is not bad at all, when you consider you could support one of the few hundred clubs lower than us in the English leagues. It’s not all that bad being a Gooner, I just wish we’d start spending the money they charge…” – friedslice, Gooners World 

“I reckon the board are more to blame with the way things are at the moment. No one seems to know for sure what went on last summer but whatever happened it was one big mess. If Mata had signed in the summer and Wilshere not been injured for so long this season could have been quite different. That is for sure.” – Red Member, Gooners World 

So, How Does Arsene Wenger Square Up On The Embattled-O-Meter?

Unpopularity rating…


Derisive nicknames…

Le Professour (okay, we made that one up)

Estimated number of games left to save his job…

Until the end of the season – and even then, he is unlikely to be sacked unless things get really bad.

Embattled Manager of the Week: Arsene Wenger says…

The extent to which Wenger is to blame cannot properly be assessed without knowing for sure how much of Arsenal’s relative transfer market abstinence is down to him. As usual with these matters, the rest of us are unlikely to find out the truth anytime soon, but it has to be said that a top four finish would be a feather in his cap this season. That might not be palatable to the hungry of trophy, but it would mean he’d have done his job.

Standing in the way of that is likely to be either or both of Liverpool and Chelsea, neither of whom have looked all that impressive of late and neither of whom can boast a goal-scorer as frequent and spectacular as Robin van Persie. By now, it goes without saying that losing him to injury would be a disaster.

Still, maybe Wenger could end his trophy drought with the 2013 Europa League…

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