Arsène’s lack of support

WTTGT Writer: John Montanye – Follow me

Sometimes the football transfer window can be enjoyable. For Arsenal supporters the window brings about loads of expectation, more speculation and in the end this leads to frustration. The reason is not the club or the lack of movement. The reason for the frustration is the inability for the average supporter to filter the utter nonsense served up by the various magazines and programs that want your attention for advertising dollars.

Let’s face it. We had a monumental collapse last year. If we were Chelsea, Man City or Man United, that collapse would have been followed by a spending spree of hundreds of millions of pounds. But we’re not, we are Arsenal. The sooner the supporters realise that, the easier these transfer windows will be.

Arsène Wenger has been criticised the last few years for his lack of initiative. The criticism has to be leveled elsewhere. Managers, even those with the power Wenger does, answer to the board. The board sets goals for the squad and sets the spending limits. Wenger has done well to add to the squad within those limits given the current transfer environment and has obviously up until now met the goals set by the board.

Until last year it is obvious the board’s goals included staying in the top four while the small task of building a new stadium, new training facilities and updating the youth setup were the actual priorities. That does not seem fair to the supporters, but the future stability and success of the club was being assured at the expense of the here and now. Wenger has done a masterful job of coaching in that time. We broke up arguably one of the best teams in the history of the modern game, the ‘Invincibles,’ and replaced them with teenagers and little known players. The result of this gamble was Champions League football every year when many expected a huge collapse, and we came very close of winning the league on a few occasions, a League Cup final, a few semi-finals and quarters, all the while becoming the third richest club in the world. Not bad.

Many forget that we started last season with Almunia in goal, without Césc and only had RVP and TV5 for a couple of games before their respective injuries. Take into account also that Arshavin had a down year by his standards and Nasri might as well have been injured the second half because he was nowhere to be found. Everyone has fond memories of Clichy now that he is gone but he was a gaping hole in the back and the loss of TV5 left two first year starters to fend for themselves at the back.

All of this surely should have added up to us finishing out of the top four and barely halt top of the table right? No. We made a final, were 30 minutes, a negligible red card and a Bendtner miss away from upsetting Barcelona in the Champions League, and maintained the top four status the supporters have been spoiled to expect.

This transfer window comes and everyone wants more and more additions. Some are warranted, like the need for one or two centre-backs. Some are not. The problem is, going back to the beginning, that we have no way of knowing the internal situation at Arsenal. We can rely on the media that tell their version according to unnamed sources, but we should rely more on the word of the coach that has won us so much and brought us so far.

An example of Arsène telling you exactly what is happening is the Mata situation. When asked about the player ,Wenger clearly stated he liked the player, but added, just because he likes him, does not mean that Arsenal will buy him. Wenger told EVERYONE straight out the situation and everyone blew up the blogosphere with ridiculous assertions of, “But when he said it, did you see him smile after? Surely we will sign him!” It was absurd to read the trash being passed off as real news on this matter.

The Césc saga is a sad situation, but why should Wenger sell the captain of the club to the only team he wants to go to for mere scraps in comparison to the other transfers being completed? Arsène can’t. He must either convince Césc to stay or Barcelona must pay what he is worth. Simples.

Nasri wants to go elsewhere for trophies. In mercenary speak trophies means money, but if Arsène can convince Nasri to stay and a happy Nasri can put together a full season to match the first half of last year, is that not worth more than bringing in someone that may or may not fit in our system?

Wenger added Jenkinson to the team for a very small fee. This looks to be an absolute steal, but no one mentions that. Arsène has also added Gervinho for £11m. Another coup in my opinion for the type of player he is, but there is also little mention of that. We have managed to add a few young players among them Toral and Bellerin from the Barcelona’s youth ranks; both surely will make a contribution in the future. So we have not been as still as you may want you to think. Don’t even get me started on what a good addition Miyaichi may be to the team.

We need additions surely, but we don’t need to overhaul the squad. Hopefully some of the lingering issues will be resolved soon and the squad can go on about the business of the season. One thing we cannot do is second guess without having all the facts on hand. Don’t let biased reporting sway you in your support of Arsenal. In the end, that support can make all the difference in the world, whether you believe it or not. Let’s leave the transfer movements, player ratings and personnel decisions to the professionals and let’s start cheering our boys instead of booing them for a meaningless pre-season result.

26 Responses to Arsène’s lack of support

  1. en August 4, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    Brilliant, well-written, balanced and rational piece!

  2. patrick.gould@aol.com August 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    Equally, if we were Chelsea or Manure, the manager's position would have become untainable after the collapse. OR have you simply chosen to fill us with lobside truths?

  3. mike August 4, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    Your reasoning for a being a loosing team is ridiculous. What happens to Winning, which is the only criteria by which a sporting team is judged ?

    My belief is that all money available to the club is spent on paying off stadium related debts.

  4. greg.foster@aol.com August 4, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    A happy Nas is out of the door. Losing him for nothing at the end of next season is not a gamble worth taking bearing in mind the financial constraints you have so clearly pointed out. Bringing in a capable replacement with the transfer fee would make a lot of sense. First, you have a player who wants to be with us – that is the making of a happy player. From what we know of Nas what is the prognosis that he could repeat the form he showed during the first half of last season … for a whole season? It is quite possible that he could left off. This would indeed leave us with the worst of everything – An unhappy player with bad attitude, playing badly and watching the clock. The finaly indignity would mean losing the transfer money.

  5. greg.foster@aol.com August 4, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    I meant to say “It is quite possible hat he could CONTINUE WHERE he left off.” last season

  6. markfoo76@yahoo.com August 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    The number one thing that frustrates me is we still haven't signed a centre-back till now! It's already August for God's sake. This is just ridiculous. And the other thing that frustrates me is Wenger actually believes Gibbs is up to the task of becoming the first choice left back. C'mon. We have been trophyless for 6 freaking years! How can we bank on someone 'who has the potential'? We need freaking solid players who have already proved themselves in all positions! Period.

  7. ejbap@live.co.uk August 4, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    John,

    Absolutely brilliant articlle mate, fantastic.

    Elton

  8. charlie37bc@yahoo.co.uk August 4, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    Mark i totally agree. Even if we do sign someone now they'll need time to settle and won't have had a month to train with the club. Arsene has done great things for the club but his niggling over transfer fees is becoming an unhealthy obsession. Yes that's based on press reports but only the most paranoid conspiracy theorist would claim that the press makes up all stories about Arsenes' bids being rejected. Yes Gervinho will probably prove to be a bargain but at what cost, who else have we missed out on over small amounts in football terms ?

  9. fab1981@gmail.com August 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    You should stop writing this article to prevent inciting the fans. Nobody wants an overhaul but addition of A centre-back.You are taking things out of context and the diusgruntled fans reading your articles may not like what they read.

    for god sake, stop writing and go do some reading!

  10. majorr August 4, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    Good post..

  11. thelman@live.co.uk August 4, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    Personally I think you have a rose tinted view of the world where Wenger can do no wrong but each to their own. You say obviously the board… why is it obvious? The board says one thing while Wenger does another.

    My point however is Wenger is his own worst enemy and brings all the criticism upon himself. Example, last year the famous quote, we have the funds to complete with Chelsea. He built massive amounts of expectations and did we compete with Chelsea for any signatures? Nope. This year more of the same claiming; we will be very active in the transfer window, along with some mumbling about completing most of the transfer business in June. Have we? Nope.

    Transfers take a while to complete I’m not naïve, but if you open your mouth and fail to deliver year after year you end up looking like a lying idiot and get all the criticism you deserve.

  12. Ricardo August 4, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    is not that I don't support arsen or the who,e team, but ore season games are supposed to

  13. slywhale@gmail.com August 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    You ar a FOOL for writing this trash why cant you mention squillacy and koscielny and tell me they ar bargain buy. Why cant u say chamack and vela ar top rated striker. Why live in past glory and not talk of present truth. Lets face d fact wenger is an arrogant idiot. He shuld be sack with hillwood. Mtcheew

  14. Bernice August 4, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    The trouble here is that everyone associated with the club has been misleading everyone else! The Board does not share the ambition of the supporters, and the manager continues to play fiddle with the Board as an employee. The only unrealistic segment here is the supporters. Here is one for the supporters: you have an unrealistic view of the Arsenal FC; the new owner will not spend to win–he has not spent much to win in the United States (he is a business man only interested in the future value of the club so that he may unload it at a gigantic price; Arsene will say what ever is required of him to keep one of the best jobs in professional sports. So, dear supporters, wait for the crumbs to fall your way, but for heaven's sakes don't equate your club with the best of the world or even the EPL. And this, from a supporter!!

  15. leetemps123@hotmail.co.uk August 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm #

    Were not all stupid fans we are sick of all the transfer sagas
    IF AS SUPPORTERS WE KNOW WHAT WE NEED AND I'M TALKING THE MAJORITY NOT THE MINORITY
    THEN WHY CAN'T THE STUPID BOARD AND MANAGEMENT.GET IT RIGHT WE NEED 4 DECENT PLAYERS AND WE GOT THE MONEY WE AIN'T STUPID MUGS

  16. arjungopal999@hotmail.com August 4, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    wow, its really sad to see what some arsenal supporters have become……
    bernice, legoon lordwhales, fab1981, mike, patrick…
    just the kind of supporters arsenal FC does not need, by all means **** off to man city or chelsea where your needs will be satisfied

  17. Sammy August 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    What is going on with arsenal fans is relly fickle. The addition of new faces is exciting if you have a youth system in place. Arsene has set up a fantastic youth system and is bringing promising kids every year. They are slowly growing every year and loaned out to gain experience. Once they integrate with the first team they have to be considered as new signings. Or else no youngster will be willing to spend time for no chance a la the other premier league teams. I consider Ryo, Vela, Gibbs (England international), Kyle (Rangers player), Frimpong, Traore and others as new signings for this year. I am sure they are much better than what the rest of the teams are buying these days. Who do u think is better than Henderson/Adam compared to Frimpong. Time will soon answer this. Don't lose hope and please don't be negative as u are dragging the team dow.

  18. charlie37bc@yahoo.co.uk August 4, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    So please explain why Arsene said we would be “very active in the transfer window” Sammy. If he didn't build up the hopes of the fans every year to let them down he'd get a much easier ride.

  19. Sean August 4, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    John, I disagree with most of your comments. The most fundamental isue that has been forgotten by Arsene and the board is the supporters. The price of tickets are the most expensive in the Premier compounded by a 6.5% increase for the coming season. 6 years without a trophy is absolutely appalling given Arsenal's status. Yes the move to the Emirates was a costly affair but the funds are there. Arsene has stated that he would by happy to qualify for the Champions league for the next twenty years – so winning trophies do not count then? Arsenal FC is run as business not a football club but the flaw is you need to reinvest money to make it sustainable ie purchase experience players. If the current team do not win trophies then fans will stop coming, then the funds will dry up. Arsene and the board for goodness sake wake up and start buying quality and experienced players ie 1-2 centre backs, a top goalkeeper, a top left back (Kieren Gibbs?) and a winger who can cross a ball ( switch Walcott as a striker). Lets build from the back as we have enough flair in the side.
    Alas Arsene is too arrogant anad stubborn but unfortunately his youth plan to build for the future has failed. Time to change tact Arsene or dare I say lets bring in a manager who will have a winning mentallity to bring the silverware to this great club.

  20. khentishr@yahoo.com August 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm #

    I absolutely disagree with you. You must be on the team's payroll as you seem to forget the basics. In today's business (if you consider AFC as business model, because that's what it is) each and every year you have to upgrade your structures and continue to move ahead as your competitors will always try to close the gap on you. Furthermore fashion, people’s wants, technology evolve so quickly nowadays with the result that if you do not do something to continually improve your product the latter may become obsolete and useless.
    That’s where I cannot share your point of view, it is too easy to predict what Arsene or the board are going to do. People like you and all those who believe in what you say are completely off the mark for the following reason:
    1. Each and every year the board and Arsene promise to strengthen the squad, yet they do not do so. Defensive frailties are still here. Why did Wenger recruit Squillaci for 7 million, such a useless player? Same applied a few years back for Sylvestre, both are French. Does it mean that there is a French connection through both deals? We should not forget that these two players cost us a lot of money. Arsene could have done a lot better with the money. Very fishy, indeed.
    2. Every organisation has to invest in its core business every year, at AFC, each year a large profit is made in selling players. The money is not reinvested; at least half the amount of sales could be reinvested so as to keep the business going. That’s how Arsene dismantled a winning team.
    3. Tickets at the Emirates cost more than at any other team in the EPL. Does it mean that fans have to subsidize the stadium? Is it better to watch a losing team at the Emirates than a winning one at Highbury? Do the fans have their say?
    4. There is an argument that once debts have been paid for the new stadium, AFC will have lots of money to invest in players. This is absolutely false because the board and Stan are the real owners. They will do exactly the same since our dear AFC is now A BUSINESS MODEL. THEY HAVE SET UP THE ‘SYSTEM’. Wenger is not a fool he knows how to build up a competitive team out of moderately gifted players. He knows just how many of outstanding performers he has to bind to his team. And as an economist he knows how to balance the books. He also knows that he cannot win the league with kids being promoted each year, and he absolutely does not want to win the league. He knows that to do so he has to splash the cash both on transfer fees and in wages (by the way he did not bend the wages structure to keep Flamini).
    AFC owners do not want trophies, they have shown that they are more interested in share value, selling their shares for millions of bucks. Stan will now surely want AFC’ value to rise above a thousand million bucks. There is one way to do so, INCREASE SHARE VALUE. That is, to show that AFC makes profit and that it is a very reliable business model. So money cannot be invested so easily, as profits will go down. Players have to be sold and young ones promoted, and Wenger must keep the balance( as well as the balance sheet).
    5. Arsene tells a lot of lies; he is compelled to. He needs to keep the stadium full; he has to encourage fans to have faith in him. Six years without a trophy. Do you really believe that AFC will win the title this year with injury prone Walcott, Diaby, Fabregas, Van Persie? Can Chamack, Djourou, Gibbs, Rosicky, Frimpong, Ramsey raise their level to be title contenders. How is it that players of the best team that Arsene has ever trained are so difficult to sell, such as Bendner, Anderson, Chamack, Squillaci etc.
    6. High performers that are needed to bind the team together are weary of the situation at Arsenal and they want to try their luck elsewhere.
    7. Do fans really believe that we are going to win the title with the same back line? Something is truly wrong, wake up and go and buy some shares at least you will get back your money plus a bonus.
    Unfortunately I could go on like this for a long time. WAKE UP, the days of glory are gone until WE CAN SHOW THE BOARD THAT WE WILL NOT PAY BLINDLY UNLESS THEY INVEST SOME MONEY INTO THAT SHIT TEAM ( NOT HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS BUT ENOUGH FOR PLAYERS LIKE CAHILL or SAMBA or PARKER or other proven ones, INSTEAD OF SQUILLACI, CHAMACK …….etc).
    Then maybe we will lift a trophy. Amen!

  21. Me August 4, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    Chamack was free, and he was proven in the CL.
    Squillaci too was proven.
    Kos has been good, only 1 year in the EPL and thrown in the fire.
    Gervinho is a great signing.
    Jenkinson another great signing.
    Miyaichi amazing talent.
    Ramsey is back, RVP is back hopefully for a full campaign.
    TV5 is back hopefully for a full campaing.
    Frimmpong back.
    Arshavin is actually fit and motivated.
    Afobe looks to make an impression.

    WE are sure to add a CB.

    Everyone has forgotten about Szcezny…he is going to be great.

    Talk to me when the season is over and all of you are cheering and forgetting these complaints.

    Awesome “fans” you lot.

  22. bex4real@yahoo.com August 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    i dont agree wt d article at all, so u mean arsenal fc is nw jst a number in d league and nt ready 2 fight for trophy, well d fustration is just startin until wen we dnt mk d CL spot AND no CL money in d bags as usual, dats wen d lyks of you and d greedy board will sit up. i dnt jst lyk liers n sick 2 c players nt worth 2 wearing gunners shirt.presently we only av, 5 world class players, hw wuld d project work if there are none in other positions 2 learn 4rm.

  23. danjonesbonesy@hotmail.com August 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Yet another Wenger apologist charlatan has been given a keyboard and allowed to write a blog about his Messiah… it almost makes me want to vomit.

    Oh, and if you're trying to be clever by putting an accent in the dictator's name, at least get the right one: it's ARSÈne (with a grave) not ARSÉne (with an acute).

    I'm sorry to be patronising and please don't take it personally, but you AKBs really do get my goat.

    I can't wait for the dictator to leave, the champers is on ice for the end of October, when we'll be languishing in mid-table.

    WENGER OUT!!!

  24. lady_marmalade_85@hotmail.com August 4, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    as last season and the season before etc i still have great faith in arsene wenger and the squad, whoever that ends up to be, i am thinking possitive thoughts, we are going to succeed this season but if by chance we dont, i will look forward to next season, i love the arsenal if they are playing amazingly and scoring shit loads of goals and i love the arsenal if they're just shit. to me they are the best in the world and always will be.

  25. paulgspker2@gmail.com August 5, 2011 at 2:42 am #

    We need additions surely, but we don’t need to overhaul the squad. Hopefully some of the lingering issues will be resolved soon and the squad can go on about the business of the season. – John, auther of this pathetic piece.

    John, this arguement that everything at ARsenal is not that bad can only be written by a sell-out or a loser. No reasonable fan is satisfied with the condition of club, including the players and most former players. Excuses, hoping things turn, and that our gaggle of wenger groupies we call a squad is worthy of the shirt is pure fantasy combined with a generous portion of absolute brainlessness/ that or this is just more shameless club advertising.

    Everything is not ok at Arsenal, you'll see in Aug/ Sept. what fans with brains have been talking about for years.

  26. Anon August 5, 2011 at 12:15 pm #

    The fact many here lack the tact to tackle this situation without insults pretty much is a perfect example of the very vocal minority that should go ahead and donn Man City or PSG colours from now on. We are not a spending club, pure and simple. Come to grips with that and you will be much happier. Or simply don't, but stop the insults, really.

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