Arsene Wenger IN or Arsene Wenger OUT? – Part 1- Wenger Out

Last week I talked about how our targets for next season would pan out if we were to lose the title this season, and as promised in that piece I am back with another question that is soon going to become pretty big in the ultra-divisive Arsenal fan circuit: Do Arsenal need Arsene Wenger to renew his current contract at the club or should we look to stop here and get someone in to move us into the future?

I have always been extremely pro Arsene, many times to the point that people think I worship him. Therefore, I will not be presenting only one view in this piece (because I personally want him to stay) and will try to look at both sides of the argument and be as unbiased as possible. When I began thinking about the question in depth I realised this was not to be answered in one blog so this will be a two part series so here we have this week’s piece.


Wenger out

Wenger out

Part I: Arsène Out

The kind of stay Wenger has enjoyed at our club is more than gracious, let us not kid ourselves otherwise. No manager anywhere else in the world has stayed for as long as Wenger has in his role with the number of trophies he has won and the huge gap between trophies at times (‘the austerity period’). Now a wildly pro Arsene Gooner would jump at me with the example of Sir Alex Ferguson at United but they wouldn’t have read the above statement fully. I added the caveat of number of trophies won, and looking simply at the hard and cold facts Wenger has underperformed in that respect. At any other club this in itself would have been enough reason for him to be out on his ass after the first couple of trophy less years. He has simple overstayed his welcome.

Next we come to the football that Arsenal have been known to play for the last two decades with the Frenchman at the helm is legendary by now. Slick passing combined with vision and technical ability like never seen before have been the hallmarks of Wenger’s play. In recent times one could contend that Arsenal have not been playing consistently brilliant football. What happened to the Arsenal which beat Barcelona in 2011, the Arsenal which was hailed as ‘little Barcelona’ in many parts? Arsenal have regularly slumped to defeats against opposition who can hardly be talked of as world class and in recent years that has happened with alarming frequency. The run of games in January this year is threatening to derail yet another title challenge.

World class stars

World class stars

We have players of the highest pedigree such as Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Petr Cech and even Per Mertesacker (You don’t get into one of the world’s best national teams if you are not world class) and even now we are faltering in a season where we should have been running away with the title. If the players are there, the only component which is not working in our set up is the manager right? Wenger’s tactics have been walked over and found out by even lower level opposition. All the hubbub about the league being ultra-competitive is hogwash, Wenger is just not the man he was and his methods have not sufficiently changed with the times. His stubbornness and inability to change have cost us, his pursuit of perfection is doomed and his passing games hit the snag of a low 4 man defensive block far too often.

Arsene no longer the one finding the unpolished gems?

Arsene no longer the one finding the unpolished gems?

The scouting of players which brought Wenger so many laurels has now been turned into a farce. We bought Krystian Bielik for about 2 mil and Leicester bought Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez both for less than that amount! What’s Wenger doing all day sitting on his ass? Even the Spurs have a team built around youth and stand above us in the league while we have a manager who is famed for being youth friendly and still players are not given as many chances as you’d like. Why have we been investing more on youth this entire season than we have been on actual squad players? Apart from Mohamed Elneny we have not signed any outfield players and while Cech was a master stroke, we can ascribe that to the fact that he himself wanted to stay in London and apart from Chelsea we are the biggest club there is.

He has won the FA cup a record six times and the EPL three times but that is it. The other cups are arguably not worth mentioning plus the solitary Champions League Final appearance is simply not enough to suggest that Arsenal have been given the impetus to challenge in Europe by Wenger alone. Before he came along we were a functional team and after he came we were a stylish team but we lost the fight we had in us. The titles before him were won through grit and fight and we have arguably lost that part of our game. 1-0 to the Arsenal may not be a pretty final scoreline but we would take that any day over 8-2 to United, and 1-0 every match would arguably lead one to the title which our current scorelines do not look to be doing.

Being an economics major he may well know the lay of the land as far as money and spending goes, and it is very apparent that he can predict trends in the market such as the blown up transfers fees that we see today. However, you can argue that if he is in the know about the inflation, why does he not spend big one summer so that he can get as many signings he can at the same rate of inflation?!

Leicester’s rise to the top of the table has been a big thorn in the side of everybody like me who has always said that it is tough to succeed in the league without money. What have they done with their players is an absolutely remarkable feat. Claudio Ranieri has around the same experience that Wenger has and had arguably lesser resources than we have had, yet they have signed youngsters who have gone straight into the team like Demarai Gray and the manager before him who brought them up to the Premier League signed talents such as Mahrez and Vardy. We sign players who spend years in our reserves and never seem to get to the quality we require.

Too much faith in crocks?

Too much faith in crocks?

Another finger that is pointed at Wenger relates to the way he has continued to keep faith in injury plagued players such as Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and most spectacularly Abou Diaby. While many also point the finger at Wenger’s mismanagement of players as a reason for their frequent injuries I do not think the injuries can be linked to Wenger or his coaching because other people in the squad are fine and seem to recover from injuries as they should. What happens inside a player’s body is not Wenger’s responsibility but because he has such a high level of control at the club it is his responsibility to see that the club’s resources are not wasted. Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Abou Diaby all wasted a considerable amount of our money not just on their wage bills but also on their medical bills which I believe would have been substantial. If they were found to be injury prone, why were they not discarded at that point of time?

No penny pinching on my salary

No penny pinching on my salary

Also, since we are talking of money spent on players we should also talk about the money spent on the manager himself. A quick Google search will tell you that Wenger is supposedly on £8.30m a year. That is big money, especially considering the fact that it equals out 150k a week. Wenger is supposedly among our top earners and that has been the case for quite some time. Even before he broke our wage structure to accommodate Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. So do we question his ethics? The man who speaks of a low budget and tightened purse strings gives himself a feast from the same purse? If he were truly all for a successful Arsenal maybe he could have lessened his own salary and signed a player.

All the thoughtful, intellectual interviews and the class are fine and well appreciated but we are a football club and a big one at that, so success in the game must be the number one priority for anybody at the helm. We might be better known across the globe because of Wenger but if the revenue from marketing deals and shirt sales across the globe is not translated into investment on players then what is the point of it all? What sort of person speaks about excellence and perfection all the time but does not shell out the cash to buy it when said cash is at his disposal?

To be continued…….

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7 Responses to Arsene Wenger IN or Arsene Wenger OUT? – Part 1- Wenger Out

  1. Geekaybee February 11, 2016 at 8:00 am #

    After all your standing up for Wenger reports in the past this seems like the first backwards step in

    • Sohum Sen February 11, 2016 at 8:30 am #

      This is part of a two part series. These are not my personal views but these are real issues that people have and so this blog has been posted. This is not me retreating. I will stand up for Wenger till my last breath but I also understand that there are people who don’t want him around and this is simply an amalgamation of those views, which I do not share but have to acknowledge as I am also an Arsenal supporter and I cannot say that those who want him gone are stupid or do not support the club.

      • Victor Thompson February 11, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

        I was not going to comment on your article until I had read the second part and I applaud you for recognising that fans who are anti Wenger at the moment are genuine and dedicated fans of Arsenal, the club and not Arsene Wenger. I wish the Wenger worshippers who regularly berate the dissenters would take the same view.

        Look at the response of the owners of Liverpool to the reaction of their fans to the increase in ticket prices. An instant retraction and an apology for the fans for the hurt they had caused. They recognise that the fans are an integral part of the club and unlike Wenger, their manager actually sided with the fans. When has Wenger and the current owners of Arsenal done that?

        I, like you and fellow supporters of Arsenal will still support THE ARSENAL long after Wenger has gone and hopefully it will be in better hands than Kroenke.

        Wenger has almost done his work. We have a fantastic stadium and we have been treated to watching the best football of any team in the Premiership for many years. He did all that whilst he was under financial constraints but he is now well rewarded for his efforts considering that Arsenal who had won the double a few years before he arrived took him from an obscure Japanese club into the elite league in the world. The benefit to the deal was mutual.

        He has consistently said that our present financial status puts us in the top tier of all football clubs and we have money to spend. In those circumstances, why do we collapse at the business end of the season every season. Is it enough for him that we finish in the first four? When we were top of the league in January, then drop 9 points out of 12 at a time when our traditional rivals are in turmoil.

        Going back to the Liverpool fans, we are paying the highest ticket prices in the world and we have all of the assets which Wenger has listed. We do not have a sugar daddy owner like Chelsea and Man City ( or even Man Utd ) but even so, do we as fans get value for what we pay? Patently we do not. If Arsenal can justify the prices we pay then why did Arsene not use the £80m in his war chest. Since he chose not to and we don`t look as if we are going to win the league this year when we should have, what does Kroenke put that down to? When will he give some consideration to the opinion of the fans who are deeply disappointed by the constant failure to deliver?

        This issue has gone way beyond the traditional emotional attachment of the loyal fan of the club that is in his blood. Arsenal are owned by a company which is mainly owned by a man who has no emotional relationship to the club and is simply running it as a business. Thanks to Arsene his investment is delivering profits and that is how we have to look at the performance of Arsenal FC.

        You and I, and all those fans who are pro or anti Wenger share a love of Arsenal FC. We all want to see our club win trophies, but the Wengerites are prepared to continue to pay for his huge salary and for Kroenke`s and his fellow shareholder`s dividends whilst having nothing but constant failure for our trouble. In the position he was in this season in particular; a Chief Executive of any company who was being paid such a handsome salary would not be expected to make the lamentable judgements that Wenger has made this year.

        The correspondence at Gunners Town is regularly split, as you say, between those who will not entertain any criticism of Wenger and those who are so disillusioned by him that they have to complain. Until we all start singing from the same hymn sheet, nothing will be done to change things.

        The fact that all of the bad results this year can be traced back to poor team selections, poor tactics, stubbornness, regarding substitutions, complacency towards inferior opposition and failure to reinforce key areas of the squad when the traditional injuries kicked in. Wenger was a key player in all of them. It is time to go Arsene.

        Don`t worry about a replacement. No one is bigger than the club ( Mourino take note ). If a club had to provide a CV to impress a manager, consider our fixed assets and the salary offered. There are not many better. I don`t think we would have long to wait.

  2. Wolfgang February 11, 2016 at 8:15 am #

    Wenger shd go if he cant win the epl. Ancelotti was axed even though he had won the epl.
    12 years without the epl crown for a premium brand is unacceptable.
    I say enough is enough. Wenger always seems to stumble/ falter at the sight of th e
    finishing line. Its simply not acceptable at Arsenal,a world class premium soccer brand .
    Just imagin e if the gunners had won the cl .It will be fantastc.

  3. Crazy gunner February 11, 2016 at 8:23 am #

    Well writtten piece the issue of Wenger in and out will always divide you raised lots of good points but altimately it is not Wenger it is the board it is kroenke ..

    I gave up my seasons ticket when l found out we were being fooled….in life as in anything you put your money where your mouth is….we put our money they don’t simple..

    The bottom line as I see it is that kroenke has made a deal with Arsaene …keep the club profitable….(that means CL money) and you can keep your £8m ….Wenger knows this and as much as he loves the club he also loves the money and power…

    That’s why he won’t buy an outfield player if there could be a threat to profits..(ie his £8m ) so long as he is sure the team can guarantee 4th place…he has a job and his £8m..

    The problem with football is as fans we think with our hearts but the other guys think with their wallet…the idea of giving up that seasons ticket is inconceivable …we are more likely to divorce our wives than support another club that’s what the stats show…

    It is all a scam l tell you…the best scams are the ones that you will never suspect…Arsaene Wenger is a con man it hurts to say it…l hate saying it…becos l love him too!…it is like discovering your child is a drug addict …you will hate saying it…but you are thorn…as much as l love him…l know he is part of the scam along with kroenke and the board…they are all in it together…it has been a scam all along…

    That’s why l gave up my seasons ticket 4 years ago…

    I don’t need to tell you l am a Wenger out man but it’s a waste of time …he is not going anywhere as long as kroenke owns the club…

    They will give him a new contract at a convenient time when we are riding high and flattering to deceive again…

    • Victor Thompson February 12, 2016 at 1:56 am #

      Thank you for your response. Obviously there is a lot of truth in what you and I have said.

      That makes me think that there may be unforeseen consequences of the behaviour of Kroenke & co. If their ambitions are simply to milk the golden cow then what incentive is there for Sanchez and Ozil to play for them? Despite their undoubted talent and effort, what are they ever going to achieve? It seems that as you say, the target each year is to finish in the top 4.

      We are regaled tonight by stories in the press that Man Utd. have another £500m on the way and that they are going to rule the world. At least their carpetbaggers recognise that achievement attracts money, so whoever manages them will always have money. With the notable exception of Leicester, it will not be possible for other clubs to compete for the top prizes and we shall be amongst the also rans.

      Kroenke may be the architect of the present policy but after all he is an entrepreneur. Wenger on the other hand is supposed to have football in his blood. How much money does he need to live on? Are you seriously saying that he has sold his soul and the welfare of Arsenal FC and its supporters for filthy lucre? By all means if that rocks your boat, those of you who follow Arsene unconditionally and to never have your opinion matter, then carry on uncomplaining. Your beloved football club will be on the inevitable slide downwards. Do you think that that is what you deserve?

  4. zex February 11, 2016 at 2:36 pm #

    Wolfgang, exactly when did Arsenal make the step to become a world class soccer brand?

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