In Arsene We Trust. Part 2

In Part 1 we looked at why some Arsenal fans and experts feel that Wenger should leave. Now we look at why Arsene Wenger should stay.

In Arsene we Trust

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Getty

…Immediately after the final whistle, respected and experienced journalists such as Matt Law and Ian McGarry tweeted “Wenger must go”. There are some disgruntled Arsenal fans out there who will agree. The divine Pep Guardiola is unemployed and suggestions are that José Mourinho will soon be seeking a new employer. Two managers who have been instrumental in developing the current, unfolding, era of the game, it would be fitting if one of these figures were to take over from a man who was so important in defining an era that we may be seeing coming to an end, right?

Wrong.

…This may not be good enough for the Arsenal support, but for as long as the board continue to play financial hard ball for their various reasons, none more so than building The Emirates, the Arsenal overhaul is going to take some time whilst the manager has a hand tied behind his back. The additions of Cazorla and Podolski this term are probably the most inspiring signings that Wenger’s Arsenal have made in a few seasons. Without the spending power of Man City, Chelsea or Manchester United, the rebuilding of Arsenal will take some time. Combine this need for rebuilding with the fan’s desire for trophies and it’s not a challenge that many would willingly undertake without a bulging warchest. Of course, fresh methods and ideas would be welcomed at The Emirates but a breath of fresh air is not enough to build onto the foundations that Wenger has spent years laying down.

Until the Arsenal board are able to throw bucket loads of cash towards massive transfer fees, there is simply nobody who could take Wenger’s place and improve remarkably. The ball is in the Frenchman’s court and he can hold on to it for some time yet.

Read the lovely left foot on why they feel Arsene is still the best man for Arsenal.

Arsène Wenger will not leave and he won’t be sacked. So Arsenal lurch on

Wenger tried to lift the mood of the members in attendace

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Arsenal are not so much on the back foot these days as mired in ever-decreasing circles of anxiety and frustration. It is deeply unsettling. They are football’s version of the soap opera with lots of shouting and the plot-lines have become wearingly repetitive.

…Is Wenger, and the approach that he has entwined with the club’s DNA, right for the future?

Where once it would have been sacrilegious to suggest that Wenger should go, it is now a nagging discussion topic. And yet, part of the angst, part of the dizzying carousel is that, in practical terms, at least for the remainder of the season, it is a non-discussion.

…The pro-Wenger argument also asks who, realistically, could be brought in to successfully re-energise the club’s fortunes and whether Wenger is not the best man to fire the upturn. He did it last season, after arguably his lowest ebb – the 8-2 loss at Manchester United, which compounded the summer from hell in the transfer market.

It is worth noting, too, that Arsenal’s travelling fans chorused Wenger’s name after Bradford had taken the lead at Valley Parade, in response to the taunt from the home crowd that he was “getting sacked in the morning”.

The 4,500 that made the trip on an inclement school night are the true barometer of support, more so than the internet and phone-in angries.

…The broader issues endure: the reluctance to splash the serious cash that is available in the transfer market; the mismanaged wage bill; the loss of top stars. There have even been questions asked about Wenger’s recent record with regard to player purchases, which was once his personal fiefdom. Gervinho’s performance at Bradford offered rounds of ammunition to the critics.

Supporters hope that January will bring reinforcements of quality. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Demba Ba and Wilfried Zaha are prominent on the list of permanent targets while Thierry Henry should return on a second short-term loan.

Read Arsène Wenger will not leave and he won’t be sacked.

Wenger rues selling Nasri, Fabregas and Van Persie as quest for silverware goes on

(Getty)

(Getty)

After guiding Arsenal to earlier great success, Wenger’s plans to build a team capable of sustaining a challenge for honours were shattered by the departures of Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Alex Song.

…In a wide-ranging interview with the January edition of Four Four Two magazine, conducted before yesterday’s loss at Bradford, Wenger admits there will always be a sense of what might have been if the club had been able to retain their talent.’My regret is that we already had a great team two or three years ago which could compete on four fronts,’ Wenger said.‘We just missed out in the Champions League [last 16 tie] against Barcelona, when we could have scored in the last minute, and then we just missed out on the Premier League too.‘But you could feel the potential was there, and I thought, ‘Okay, let’s do this together’. Then the team split up, sometimes after five or six years’ work, it is frustrating, you have to start all over again.’

…Chief executive Ivan Gazidis maintains it is a philosophy which will give Arsenal an edge on the pitch, with UEFA’s financial fair play regulations soon to kick in.’Let’s be clear – we don’t see Champions League qualification as enough, we are proud of our record, but we want to do more, and we will,’ Gazidis told Four Four Two.’Irrespective of financial fair play’s impact, we will be among the top five most financially powerful clubs in the world by 2014, that is when we will really start competing.’

Former Arsenal player Ray Parlour jumps to Wenger’s defence

(Getty)

(Getty)

Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour has rejected suggestions Arsene Wenger runs the club like a dictatorship.

…Stewart Robson – who came through the youth system and played for Arsenal from 1981 to 1986 – branded Wenger “a dictator in many ways”.

But Parlour told Sky Sports News: “Stewart Robson has got his own opinions, but I played under Arsene Wenger and thought he was a great manager when I was there. He was always one of those managers you could talk to.”

He added: “Arsene Wenger is one of those sort of guys who will always try to stick up for his players

…”Steve Bould was a real character in that dressing room area, he’s one of those sort of players that points a finger at people if you weren’t doing your jobs, and I’m sure he’s not changed,” said Parlour.

“People will speculate very quickly about training bust-ups and whatever, but whenever I’ve been there Steve Bould’s been next to Arsene Wenger and they’ve been as good as gold. But if that is the case that is a problem, of course.”

Read Ray Parlour on Arsene Wenger

Have faith! Wenger and Arsenal players deserve more time to rectify situation

AC Milan v Arsenal FC - UEFA Champions League Round of 16

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Arsene Wenger knows he needs to put things right at Arsenal. No-one will know that more than Arsene Wenger himself.

The future without Wenger at Arsenal is unthinkable. The manager has rebuilt his side, so we should give the new team time to show they can bounce back from adversity.

Undoubtedly the talent is there. Young players such as Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs and Wojciech Szczesny should be given time.

…It is in times of adversity that Wenger will learn the most about his players and the players will learn most about each other.

We nearly went out of the FA Cup against Port Vale in 1998, only scraping through on penalties. We raised our game after that and won the Double that season.

So, write Wenger off at your peril. He’s proved his doubters wrong on many occasions – he did last season when he led the club to third. I, for one, would not be surprised if he does it again.

Transfer Market Activity.

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(Getty)

Only three clubs have won the Premiership since 2006: The billionaire owned clubs of City and Chelsea and one of the richest club in the world – United. Liverpool won a Champions league and a FA Cup but no other clubs has done better than Arsenal in the last few years.

And wining the second tier cup (Carling Cup, Capital One) is not really an achievement. Do other leagues even have two domestic cups?

Take a look at the Transfer activity and Nett expenditure of each club by clicking on the link. These are figures from 2003 onwards:

Chelsea £527,000,000

City £434,820,000

Liverpool £157,800,000

Manchester United £128,400,000 (includes the sale of Ronaldo – a world record)

Arsenal -£23,570,000

What do you feel? Should Arsene Wenger resign or be fired or is he really the best person for the job?

Update: Yes, Arsenal are struggling but sensible people should be defending Wenger now – By Gary Neville

AC Milan v Arsenal FC - UEFA Champions League Round of 16

…Football has become a soap opera, which, of course, is partly why the Premier League has become so extraordinarily popular and is one reason why it is beamed around the world. But the actual football can get lost in the drama. For some people the main act can become the sideshow.And so incredible statements come out like: ‘Arsenal will never win the league again.’ Now I’m not going to sit here and say: ‘All’s good and well at Arsenal and they shouldn’t worry about going out to Bradford.’ That’s not the case. They’ve lost a lot of quality in the past three years  and they haven’t replaced it, like  for like. There seem to be some management failures in the number of players who end up with just one year on their contract but I doubt that’s Arsene Wenger’s fault. And they definitely need a bit of the attitude of the 2005 FA Cup final team, the last trophy they won. Without Thierry Henry that day they struggled but there was such a resilience about those players that they were prepared to win ugly and beat Manchester United on penalties.

But for George Graham, someone who has a greater knowledge of Arsenal than I will ever have, to be quoted as saying they will never win the league again leaves me stunned. I’ll be amazed if Arsenal Football Club never win another title. Honestly, I’d be just as surprised if tomorrow wasn’t Monday. It’s like saying Liverpool will never win another title. Of course they will. It’s a fact. Fifteen years ago who would have said that Chelsea or Manchester City would win a title? Things change. They move on.

When I look back at the history of Arsenal, the club went 45 years before they won their first league title. And after dominating in the Thirties and then after the war, they went 18 years between 1953 and 1971 without a league title. And then another 18 years before the next title, which came under George Graham, in 1989. Arsenal are not a club like Real Madrid, Benfica or Celtic who should expect to win the title every year. They never have been.

There’s nothing to say that if you change Arsene Wenger you’re going to be more successful. There’s nothing to say that if you spend £100million, like Liverpool did, you’re going to win the league.

Manchester City and Chelsea have done superbly in recent years and between them have won four out of the last eight Premier League titles. But it has cost the best part of £2billion between them to do it. Are we saying Arsenal should do that?

Arsenal are on the right track. They run the club in a sensible way. When I go there, I watch good players, good football and you sense the history of the place. There is a drop in quality, especially in forward positions. They were the best attacking team I played against and, at the moment, they don’t have that ruthlessness and devastation.

Read Gary Neville and his views on Arsene Wenger

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