Arsene Wenger: Time to leave? Part 1

TKTG looks at the best articles about the aftermath of Arsenal losing to Bradford in the Capital One Cup. We take a look at the arguments for Wenger to stay or leave and try and assess what lies ahead for both Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. In Part 1 we take a look at why Arsene Wenger needs to leave Arsenal.

Part II  looks at how Arsene is still the best man for the job. In Arsene We Trust

Arsenal v Queens Park Rangers - Premier League

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No grounds for complaint. Arsenal are a modern football tragedy

Neil Ashton writes that in 1995, Man United went on one of the biggest stadium redevelopments in modern football. During that time, it did not stop United from winning the trophy.

” Between 1995, when the old North Stand (now the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand) was knocked down, and the completion of the quadrants in the north east and north west of the stadium in 2006, United won nine major trophies.

Arsenal, their rivals at the time for the game’s big prizes, will have you believe it’s not possible to move to a new stadium and compete for silverware.

Don’t let them have you over. It’s simply not true.”

He claims that Arsenal which started building their stadium from 2006 onwards have not had any success but keep using the stadium as an excuse.

” The bottom line is that United proved that the serious players in the game can continue to lift trophies during the disruption of a move to a new stadium or the inconvenience of major rebuilding work on their own.

Arsenal cannot trot out the stadium excuse again, but it’s the reasoning the club have stuck rigidly to since they moved into the Emirates in 2006.” 

However most football fans would recognize that football finances have greatly changed from 1995 to 2006. In 1995 I belive there was only one billionaire club owner (Blackburn) which incidentally won the title in 1995. From 2006 onwards not only does Arsenal have to compete with super rich clubs like Manchester United but also billionaire funded clubs like Chelsea, Man City or even clubs like Stoke and QPR.

Read No grounds for complaint on the MailOnline website.

Over at LadyArse they have this to say

Arsenal v Queens Park Rangers - Premier League

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Well, here we are.

The precipice. The edge of the cliff. The end of the line. The point of no return. Or any other tried and tested cliché that describes how close we are to losing our minds at how the team is playing.

…Do I think Wenger is capable of identifying these players with a sizeable budget at his disposal? Yes, I do. Do I think Wenger is capable of holding his hands up and saying “I need to make drastic changes to a team I built and trusted”? I’m not so sure. This club has been forged in his vision and anyone in that position would find it hard to admit fallacy. Athletes and people engaged in high-level competition are always super-confident in their own ability and are mostly lacking in self-awareness when things are going wrong. Arsene Wenger will be no different in that regard. Last night should have opened his eyes as to how far short of where he wants the club to be, that being at the top. Now we’ll get to see if he thinks the same. If he does, then it’s fair to expect a pretty busy January transfer window.

 But what if he doesn’t? Then this is where we’ll find out exactly what priorities the board have placed as to the running of the club. If the club are as ambitious as they claim to be, and Arsene refuses to buy players on the premise that the team is good enough, then they need to step in and tell him otherwise. If they’re so keen to inform him that Samir Nasri had to be sold because of the financial implications of turning down £25million as opposed to keeping him for one more year in the hope of persuading to sign a new deal, then they should be just as forceful in informing him that this team isn’t good enough and that there is more than enough money to buy who he wants.

If he refuses, then the only course of action would left available to the board would be to tell Arsene that his services will no longer be needed once the season is over. Under no circumstances should he be fired now, and Arsene should be allowed to present his departure to the public as his decision, as that is the least that a man that has done so much for this club deserves. But if the club is indeed interested in winning over anything else, then intransigence now cannot be tolerated, as seven years without a trophy will soon become eight, then nine, and more.

Read the entire article on the LadyArse website: Zero Hour

While also on the LadyArse website this paragraph sums up the feelings of Arsenal fans:

” Arsene once created a team so good that I got a text from a mate asking if I ever got bored of watching Arsenal win. My response was as predictable as Ian Wright’s when I heard him asked if he ever got bored of scoring goals (more than) a few years ago. I often think about that text, I think it haunts me to a certain extent. Because it doesn’t seem so long ago and yet, now, it feels like a lifetime ago. When I watch Arsenal now, there are no guarantees and nor should there be. But I miss that Arsenal. I miss the Arsenal you felt safe watching, safe in the knowledge that even if they lost a game, at least they’d give you something to remember them by. As I said to Jo last night, it comes to something when you can’t even relax watching them against Bradford City. There are some of you reading this, no doubt, who think I’m being arrogant and ungrateful; but this is, as we all know, about much more than just 120 minutes against a League Two side. I also said to Jo last night, just before Bradford’s final penalty- the thing is Jo, even if Bradford miss this, you wouldn’t bet on us scoring our final one.

And we all know what happened next.” 

Read the death of a party by RockTheCasbah77

 ArseBlog: Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse

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...And ultimately, when results are bad and performances worse, the buck stops with the manager.

It’s worrying in the extreme that Arsenal lurch from one game to the next and nobody has any idea of how we’re going to play. Some of what we did on Saturday against West Brom was excellent but that game has been book-ended by two displays of such wretchedness that it’s impossible not to be reminded of the end of previous eras. Questions will rightly be asked as to whether the manager is capable of getting what he should from the players he has and, even with the acceptance that the players he has are an issue, results show that he is not.

…So while Arsene will be criticised and the pressure on him will grow, and rightly so, I still have that same worry that nothing will change because there’s more to what’s wrong with us than the fact the manager and his team are falling short. There’s an owner who, probably sensibly in fairness, leaves the running of the club to those who he feels are better and more knowledgeable about football than he is – but he’s an owner who looks like he just doesn’t care that much. He’s content to let things trundle along, with no input, no passion, no desire to make things better or to make Arsenal anything other than a successful investment. He doesn’t have to be hands-on, but couldn’t he at least pretend to care?

…But we have not used all the resources available to us to make the team better. If the manager has been tasked with balancing the books at the expense of the football team then we ought to know that. We have cash reserves, not all of which are transfer funds, but without selling a £20m player for the last few seasons we’d have made significant losses. There’s a perpetual state of confusion which doesn’t do anyone any favours.

 …Maybe in private he’ll let the players know what he thinks but it would ease some of the frustration to air some of our dirty laundry in public. It might not be the Arsenal way but the Arsenal way isn’t working right now.

There is under-performance from top to bottom. The lack of drive and ambition from those who run the club is transmitted to the manager who transmits it to the players and that’s why we lose games to Swansea, to Norwich, and to Bradford City. Something needs to change, and needs to change quickly. Not just in terms of personnel but the whole attitude of the club. Do we exist simply to milk the cash cows of the Premier League and Europe (perhaps not for long the way this season is going), to make a handsome return on an investment for a hands-off, stay-away owner, or as a football club that wants to win things and be successful?

Sadly, tragically, it’s not the latter.

Read BRADFORD 1-1 ARSENAL (3-2 PENS): JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT COULDN’T GET ANY WORSE

Arsenal have never been worse under Arsene Wenger

In the 16 years Wenger has been in charge of the club, Arsenal have never had a worse win ratio. A 44 per cent victory rate, as this season’s figure currently stands, is lower than the 44.4 per cent equivalent in his first year at the club, and down from the high water mark of 65 per cent in 2002.

Just as worryingly, after the opening 16 games of a season Arsenal have only once accrued a lower number of points in the Premier League era, before Wenger’s time in the 1994/95 season. A total of 24 points from a possible 48 this term represents Arsenal’s worst return under Wenger and speaks of a club going backwards.

See the chart plotting Arsenal’s Win ration under Wenger.

Directionless Arsenal must chase attainable Guardiola

FC Barcelona v RCD Espanyol  - Liga BBVA

…The north London side are barely mentioned as candidates to hire the sought-after former Barcelona manager – available to return in the summer after he completes a year-long break from the game – yet there is enough reason to believe that, with a persuasive pitch, they can lure one of the Catalan club’s greatest sons into bringing his Midas touch to Emirates Stadium.

If Wenger departs first, that is.

…Thanks to Wenger the club shares a similar footballing philosophy to that incubated at La Masia (“I like to watch Arsenal play,” Guardiola has said in the past) and offers the sort of fertile youth setup that the great manager likes to harness.

Having stabilised the ownership situation and recently agreed a lucrative new sponsorship deal with Emirates Airlines, if Stan Kroenke gives reassurances to Guardiola that money will be available to spend, the 41-year-old may just be presented with enough reason to believe that he can win the biggest prizes in north London.

…If he can bring his winning edge, Arsenal could become the Barcelona of England. As he has said previously: “When they [Arsenal] win the first time, they will change the mentality.

“They will realise they are good.”

Nine ways Arsenal can try to persuade Pep

  • Club shares a similar footballing ideology.
  • A solid infrastructure is in place.
  • A vibrant youth culture available to harness.
  • Money available to spend.
  • A midfield to build around (Cazorla, Wilshere, Arteta).
  • A great city to live (and raise kids) in.
  • No ‘Mourinho Effect’ to worry about.
  • The freedom (and time) to implement his ideas.
  • The chance to bring success, not continue it.
Read more at ESPN
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