Wenger damage may already be terminal for Arsenal

Wenger damage may already be terminal for Arsenal


Arsene Wenger is under increasing pressure at the Arsenal helm

Saturday afternoon at the Emirates there was a strange atmosphere as Arsenal walked out for their opening fixture of the 2013/14 Premier League season against Aston Villa. There was an air of apprehension; an uneasiness had swept the viewing 55,000 thousand home fans in North London. Yet, this was not an alien feeling. It was all too familiar for many.

When Olivier Giroud opened the scoring at five minutes past three on Saturday, there was no immediate sign of the turmoil that was to unravel come five o’ clock. Then as Wojiech Szczesny brought down Gabby Agbonlahor for the equalizing penalty for Villa – despite Szczesny saving his initial attempt – and Anthony Taylor controversially awarding Villa their second penalty,(converted by Christian Benteke) when Villa new boy Antonio Luna found the stationery Gunners defence exposed, by galloping forward from left-back to slide foot past the hapless Pole, the feeling was not of shock, but of inevitability.

Boos rang out on the final whistle, with chants of the now familiar ‘Spend Some ****** Money’. The Arsenal faithful were not amused. The result was compounded by the worrying injuries picked up by Aaron Ramsey, Bacary Sagna, Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – who now appears to be out until the new year with knee ligament damage – just mere days away from the perennial make-or-break Champions League qualifier. There are serious doubts about whether the Gunners will be able to field a complete senior eleven.

How this situation has arisen is nothing short of criminal for the two-time Premier League champions. Unfortunately the buck has to stop somewhere and that is at the feet of Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal Board. Back in May, Wenger stated that they ‘needed stability and to strengthen in the Summer’ but this is not the first time the Frenchman has promised big signings before a Summer window.

Even in January he mentioned he would buy if there was the ‘right quality’. As the calendar approaches September, nothing seems have differed. Despite a more concerted effort to bring big names in of the ilk of Suarez, Higuain, Rooney, Gustavo, having not finalized a single high-calibre name, the pill is a far more bitter one to swallow for Arsenal’s extensive and desperate fanbase after Gazidis infamous statement that Arsenal were now entering a new age of financial power.

This summer’s lack of transfer activity is surely now an insight into Wenger’s mindset. Having last week spoken out of the alleged difficulties as he sees it, these statements now seem more and more foolhardy as he makes them. As with this one from Goonerhead:

“You look at us, Chelsea and Manchester United – it’s difficult to find quality players to strengthen the team and squad because there is a shortage of top players who are available.”

“It is not the question about spending the money it is a question of finding the right players, you know. As I told you, you are well informed, you for certain have heard that we are not scared to spend money but we want the right players.”

So he thinks that Chelsea have a problem with finding quality? are Andre Schurrle, Marko van Ginkel, Mark Schwarzer and Kevin De Bruyne not that? Heaven knows Chelsea already have Oscars, Matas, Ramires’ and Hazards. That is just midfielders. In United’s case they are the current champions and already have arguably the deadliest finisher in Europe and a squad depth that is capable of competing on all fronts.

Even across North London, Spurs have had a very impressive transfer campaign (forgetting Gareth Bale concerns) bringing in Paulinho, Robert Soldado and they seem far from done. If Andre Vilas-Boas’ side do hold onto Bale, they could not just be top four contenders, but league title contenders. One thing Arsenal fans have never let their rivals forget is they have never won the Premier League. AVB is doing his best to remedy that.

In the Telegraph in December 2009, Wenger predicted a ‘quiet’ transfer window and that football was in a ‘dreamland’. Earlier this summer he spoke – speaking on Arsenal transfers – of a quiet market and that ‘not much has happened’.

Radamel Falcao is one a long list of strikers Arsenal have missed out on
Radamel Falcao is one a long list of strikers Arsenal have missed out on


Across Europe, just off the top of this writer’s head, Falcao, Rodriguez, Moutinho, Abidal and Toulalan have moved to Monaco for the combined sum of 120m plus Euros. Manchester City have recruited Negredo, Jovetic Navas and most expensively Fernandinho. PSG have bought Cavani for 61m euros. The list goes on.

Fairly quiet, that.

These sort of statements are just indicative of Arsene Wenger who seems to see things differently to 95% of the footballing world; He sounds like a lost man; The former young, hungry and innovative attacking manager whose footballing philosophy was the envy of the many, now seems to have been replicated by many and sadly for Wenger, he (and Arsenal) have been left behind.

This summer was seen as the perfect opportunity for Wenger and Arsenal to re-establish themselves as main contenders for the League crown, not just also-rans. new faces in Pellegrini, Moyes taking the thankless task of succeeding Sir Alex and the return Jose Mourinho. Once again the manager has failed to stamp his authority on the league when the door was wide open, after yet another season where fourth place was attained by a mere whisker.

Most pertinently and perhaps Wenger’s biggest crime to date is the current state of the squad. Having finally shifted a lumberjack’s haul of deadwood (Chamakh, Gervinho, Arshavin, Squillaci to name four), not a single adequate replacement (bar Yaya Sanogo) has been added. When Mikel Arteta was ruled out for six weeks on Thursday, it was just the start of the injury crisis.

It leaves Arsenal struggling to field a first eleven for the game versus Fenerbahce, never mind a bench. Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Walcott, Cazorla, Giroud and Podolski are the only players fit to start in Istanbul, with Ramsey, Rosicky and Sagna all doubts. For a manager of a team no matter whether its Arsenal or Accrington Stanley, to let the squad numbers dwindle to such a unstable amount in pure mismanagement, to a level which is tantamount to negligence.

Arsene Wenger preaches ‘quality’ over ‘quantity’, however it now seems that quantity is the prime concern for the Gunners. For a man with an Economics degree, he should know of the theory of Supply and Demand and quite simply there is not enough ‘supply’. The twenty year Arsenal boss suggests on many occasions that football is in a dreamworld. Perhaps though, it is just Wenger…



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  1. Is it really worth writing a blog for this. I don’t think so.

    Arsenal club is gone case. Arsenal club is not going to win anything. They are just looking for CL birth to get more profit. If we expect anything still from this club, we are stupid. They are not going to change at all even if they get 1000 Million. They will not spend because they need only 4th place.

    All stupid words and offers from Arsenal board and Wenger is just for cheating fans. We fans are stupid protesting to spend. They will never do it.

    It will definitely continue till top management and manger like wenger changes. This year transfer market proved clearly Arsenal is not a football club who is looking to win trophies, Arsenal is just an organization looking for profitable balance sheet every year.

    • I feel Wenger’s success the time he came to Arsenal FC was that he found a very good team already in place, of the likes of Tony Adam Martin Keown in defense just to mention a few. What Wenger did was just signing some players not known and blend these players into already well established team, in so doing Arsenal was on the winning track. This time around all those quality players have gone that sums up it all to eight years with no silverware. Time is ripe for Wenger to leave he is run out of ideas.

    • Spot on Cin, well said. The REALITY is only fans care about winning titles & cups, whereas the money is so huge, a team simply has to be involved in the top 4 and “Champions” League. Look at Liverpool & Spurs: supposed “big” clubs but the level of ambition is the same as Arsenal – to scrape into 4th place (and whoever does celebrates like they’ve won the World Cup). At least Wenger openly admits as much, unlike the rest who continue to pretend otherwise. With Arsenal’s squad and their ability to destroy teams ‘on their day’, £70m on a few key/top players could get them back in the mix for a title… but the prize money isn’t all that much different… not when fans continue to pay more and more, and will do so again next year.

  2. Wenger says he works 24 by 7 looking to recruit good players. He hasn’t got any yet (except the free transfer). This is inefficiency.
    Arsenal is now at a worse position compared to before the start of season. Other clubs will surely know this. They are not going to sell cheaply to Arsenal. Wenger and the management have not acted despite almost every fan and even players made it clear we need to buy quality players. So sad to say – This is a club going down.

  3. nothing is ever pointless writing about. especially now as the AKBs are beginning to turn. its vital for any seismic change to happen at the club.

  4. One the one hand I might say you seem to have your analysis spot on except for one little detail, the extent of Wenger’s necrosis. He did’nt even try to bring in mediocre players as he usually does.

    On the other hand if we assume Wenger is still Lucid we have to admit that behind all this is his desire to come from behind to surpass lowered expectations and his theory might be that even 70 million cannot get you the EPL so why spend it? (I’m just guessing)

    I just think Wenger deserves more respect and honour from us all fans, journalists, troll etc. We were once Aristocrats but no more. Why choose to extract the deepest hurt from this defeat. There will be others so save your grief.
    I know you long for those silky runs of Pires and Henry’s finishing and how we controlled the middle an also the flanks. We could stretch the pitch or compress it to microscopic proportions at will. Only Man U could trouble us… but that was before Chelski and Man City and Now we got Mourinho reloaded older wiser and more emotionally intelligent so what good is 70million??. Pls stop worrying, sit back and enjoy history as it unfolds. I can just see the headlines now ARSENAL COMES BACK FROM A DISASTROUS START TO CLAIM THE…fill in the trophy you want us to win….

  5. Quite spot on analysis in my opinion, Cheadle sentinents are good but just wishful thinking.
    It seems criminal that Wenger did not exploit this opportunity to strengthen the squad this summer and make Arsenal serious contenders for all 4 trophies since other clubs were going through transitions. But no, yet again with no early additions to the squad and injuries piling up, 1 game into the season and Arsenal are are already playing catch up.

    It’s a situation that was always preventable and no matter what happens, even if Arsenal sign 4 more players, the damage has already been done having had our weaknesses exposed by Villa, we’ll be seen as there for the taking by the rest of the Premiership!

  6. completely. i dont like writing articles based on my team as I find it difficult to lambast the man who i idolised for a decade. but unhappily he is not the man he was and his reputation takes a dive every summer as he conducts his player searching in innapropraite methods. I see a lot of Wenger in Michael Laudrup. how he was

  7. Arsenal fc will win nothing unless arsene wenger is sacked .A new manager will change d board of d club in transfer decision .

  8. Lets just hope dat wenger makes some drastic decisions as the club is in a drastic stage already who knows, he may endup selling carzola to spurs just lik he did with RVP. I guess top 4 hope is gone then.

  9. If only all Arsenal fans mostly those ones leaving in London can boycott three consecutive matches to show their displeasure on how the club is been managed. Wenger and the so called board will not change.

  10. i have been saying to a few season ticket holders that they have an obligation to boycott games. and when they do they may even get cheaper tickets, long term

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