What needs to be changed?

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Post by Vanig Bostanian on Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:19 am

Ozy Hreish wrote:
Van Roy Bostanian wrote: Take van Persie out of the squad and we would be comparable to teams like Everton and Sunderland.

That's just a ridiculous statement.
How?

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Post by ChippyBrady on Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:05 am

Wenger. Change or go.
It's that simple. If there aren't any significant signings in the first week of the summer transfer window, I want him out.
There is no potential in this squad. This is as good as this squad will get.
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Post by Evan Mullins on Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:07 am

ChippyBrady wrote:Wenger. Change or go.
It's that simple. If there aren't any significant signings in the first week of the summer transfer window, I want him out.
There is no potential in this squad. This is as good as this squad will get.

Do you mean there are no players in the squad with potential? Or do you mean the squad doesn't have the potential to win anything. If the former, you're crazy. If the latter, I agree completely.
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Post by ChippyBrady on Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:08 am

I meant the latter. Obv.
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Post by Vanig Bostanian on Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:29 am

Well I have to agree. It has to be Wenger. After watching (the stream wasn't good) glimpses of the game today, with the sideway passing and defensive stupidity, I think it has to be Wenger. I am one of his biggest admirers and it's really tough for me to say this, but he has to go.

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Post by Dan Hakim on Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:36 am

I've been leaning toward the "Wenger, please step down" side of things for a little while now, but I just have a terrible feeling that - should Wenger leave - we'll be going through a new manager every season, and the club as an organization will be in disarray.
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Post by Marko Maksimović on Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:40 am

Van Roy, did you see AW today? Whenever our players did something silly or a pass backwards led to Sunderland pressure the camera went to AW and he was up in his technical area barking shit to the players... Big difference to the Milan game. Whether the players follow his orders is a different story. You don't know what he tells the team in the locker room. Maybe he's swearing them off or gearing them on, and telling them to get forward and when they go out they get put under pressure and don't look forward... As fans we can only estimate and guess, none of us (unless AW is your grandad, or someone close to you works directly with the club) know what happens and how our tactics look.
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Post by Vanig Bostanian on Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:43 am

Really? Two games in a row, make it three (last week's Sunderland game as well), the opposition manager knows what to expect from Arsenal, sets his team up against it, we start playing, the opposition are closing us down, we have no clue what to do next, we're absolutely clueless. Who is to blame for this? The players?
"Whether the players follow his orders is a different story."
Isn't it his fault if the players aren't listening to him?

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Post by Chris Chan on Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:48 am

Lack of creativity, lack of goals, lack of quality throughout the side. We need an overhaul, whilst we have decent prospects, we don't have a team with the ability to compete at the top level. Song has gone backwards this season, Rambo for all his endeavour just can't cut it playing week in week out, there is no one to back up RVP, individual errors all over the park which lead to goals. This team needs an overhaul in both personnel and mentality

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Post by Durrell on Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:03 am

Van Roy Bostanian wrote:Isn't it his fault if the players aren't listening to him?

Absolutely. Big big 3 months for him now. If he doesn't turn it around massively soon and we miss out on the CL, he should be sacked.
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Post by Hisham El Mawan on Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:23 am

Van Roy Bostanian wrote:I tried as much as possible to avoid posting yesterday after the defeat to avoid writing something reactionary or stupid. I was thinking about it calmly today and said, and let's face it, we are not a quality team anymore. Take van Persie out of the squad and we would be comparable to teams like Everton and Sunderland. So the question is, what needs to be changed? Since 2008 we've been saying we are two quality players away from a title winning squad. Are only two players enough now? Or is it more? Forgetting prices of players and our financial ability (or inability) to get top players, forgetting that players are mercenaries these days and wouldn't come unless we pay shit load of money, how many players do we need to let's say challenge City and United? 2? 4? 8?
Goalkeeper: Maybe getting someone like Al Habsi or Sorenson wouldn't be such a bad idea. Not for them to be number 1, but to give Szczesny some competition who hasn't been great these last few weeks.
Right back: despite how poorly Sagna played yesterday (people's reactions about him being poor in general is stupid), he still is one of the best RB's so I think we're OK there.
Center back: On paper we have a very nice balance of 3 center backs. An organizer, an aggressive Verminator, and a very classy Koscielny who looks good in every department. I don't think we should get new center backs but rather find a solution by strengthening our midfield.
Left back: can we rely on Gibbs? Is Santos's defensive weakness a major issue (let's be honest, we miss his attacking contributions and he was getting better defensively)? Again let me remind you that this is theoretical, I know selling Santos after less than a season is financially and practically stupid.
Midfield: I didn't take each midfield spot alone as I did with the defence because I believe the three spots are more interrelated. Is Song good enough? He hasn't been his beast self of 2010 in the past two seasons and especially this season. He is probably our highest assister in the team, but that's not his job. How can we fix this issue? Should we get someone who can do the combined job of attacking and defending in a better manner than Song or should we keep him and get a better creative midfielder so that we won't need Song to attack and stay more disciplined like he was when Cesc was here? I think the latter option is better. We all think that Rosicky up until last night was doing a good job, and we all (well most of us) think that Ramsey and Jack have the potential to form a great partnership, but let's be honest, we have failed to score more than 1 goal at home for fuck knows how long up until the Blackburn game, clearly that's an indication to both, lack of creativity and goals from midfield. I think getting someone of Cesc's quality (or at least someone close) is a necessity if we are not going to change our style of play. Get someone with experience and quality to take the creative burden, keep Song disciplined and let Arteta do whatever he's been doing so far and I think our midfield would look great. Meanwhile we can let Aaron, Jack, Frimmy, and Coquelin grow into the finest midfielders in the world without putting too much pressure on them at such young age.
Attack: It's quite obvious that we need a backup for van Persie. One who can score more goals than Chamakh and Park. An unfit, 34 year old Thierry who has been playing in a lower league for 2 years, scored more than both of them combined (of course, Thierry is a legend and those two are useless clowns). And on the flanks, I really like The Ox and he is one of the best things that have happened this season. Arshavin is close to being useless with a couple of exceptions here and there. Theo is too inconsistent. We can say that he is young and this is the first season in which he has stayed injury free, but I personally don't mind selling him and getting someone to replace him. I know he stretches other teams' defenses with his pace and all that. I know that he has given many assists to RvP, but thing is he can't be relied on, he so far, doesn't know how to cut in and take a shot (and whenever he does that the shot usually ends up in row Z), he can't possibly play as a striker like he wants to because he's physically to weak to be a striker in the EPL and more importantly, too wasteful when in front of goal with one on ones. Then we have Gervinho who is in his first season, has looked OK times, frustrated the shit out of us at other times. He certainly has quality, but would he be a starter for a team with title winning aspirations?
The thing is, the quality that some of our starters have should be the quality within our bench, and the quality (or lack of it) that some of our bench players have should never exist in a team like Arsenal. Again, in real world I am not saying that we should go all out and buy 8 players out of which 5 should be 30m plus superstars, I am a big admirer of Arsene Wenger and this sustainable financial model we are implementing. I am just trying to figure out how many players and where we need to be a seriously challenging team.

A few points i disagree with you on:
1) You have no basis whatsoever to make a judgment about Wilshere, as he hasn't played a single game this season. I guarantee you that it would've been a different season had he been fit. If Wilshere is even half as good in 2012-13 as he was 2010-11, then he'll be starting easily.

2) Gervinho started for Lille, the current champions of France, last season. I think he is good enough to start for a team with title aspirations.

3) Instead of selling Walcott, just bench him. Oxlade-Chamberlain has made his presence in the first team known. Walcott hasn't been inconsistent because he's a bad player, he's been inconsistent because he hasn't had anyone to compete for the RW spot with until now. If Wenger keeps on starting Chamberlain, then perhaps that's the kick in the ass that will let Theo know that he has to step it up. But to sell him would be a waste, because a) I don't see us getting anyone who would be as good as or better than him and b) I see the potential in him to become a real threat in our attack. He just needs competition. And in the meantime, he makes a good option for an impact sub.

And now a few points I strongly agree with you on.
1) We should get a new left back. I've been saying for two years now that we should get Aly Cissohko. He would be a perfect pairing for Sagna; they're both Senegalese Frenchmen who play as attack-minded fullbacks. And he's only 24, meaning that he has time to get even better than he already is. And let's face it, Gibbs is good as well but he's injury-prone. This isn't a problem with Cissohko, making him a more reliable LB.

2) We need a playmaker. I don't give a microfuck about Nasri leaving, but Fabregas leaving effectively ruined us, especially since we haven't signed an equally capable playmaker. Arteta is good, but he's more of a midfielder that is good at keeping the ball and starting attacks. Fabregas was vital for us, especially since the 4-3-3 formation was built around him. We've been poor this season because we're just not as good at creating as we used to be, and THAT is because we're using a system while missing a key piece of it. We need a playmaker, and I recommend Marvin Martin. He's a rising player in French football, and I think we'd be able to secure his services.

3) Arshavin has to go. I hate to admit this, but he was one of Wenger's unsuccessful buys. He's been poor for too long, at a time when we least need it. So why not sell him to Anzhi or Zenit, make a quick buck, and let Miyaichi take his spot?

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Post by Joey Schwab on Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:29 am

Arsene really should give the Russian a chance through the middle. We all know he has it in him to play killer passes in the final third, and that way he doesn't have as much defensive responsibility as he would on the wings. We're dreadfully lacking in creativity and Ramsey/Rosicky just don't seem up for it at the moment. How much worse could Andrey be?
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Post by John Foxall on Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:33 am

Chris Chan wrote:personnel and mentality

Well the first part will be difficult with all the cushy contracts the deadwood are on,

the second will be impossible without a change of manager. Our mentality, style of play and all the problems that go with them start out from the manager and how he sets the team up to play. So ultimately, the manager has to go or we see the same thing or worse next season.

The problem under Wenger is that we can criticise players beyond the obvious deadwood. Arguably Song and especially Walcott have hit a wall and won't continue to improve, yet they will be rewarded with extended contracts etc.

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Post by Hisham El Mawan on Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:34 am

MarkoMaksimovic wrote:Van Roy, did you see AW today? Whenever our players did something silly or a pass backwards led to Sunderland pressure the camera went to AW and he was up in his technical area barking shit to the players... Big difference to the Milan game. Whether the players follow his orders is a different story. You don't know what he tells the team in the locker room. Maybe he's swearing them off or gearing them on, and telling them to get forward and when they go out they get put under pressure and don't look forward... As fans we can only estimate and guess, none of us (unless AW is your grandad, or someone close to you works directly with the club) know what happens and how our tactics look.

Imagine if Man City went on a losing run. Mancini is doing the exact same thing that he was doing when they took the league by storm. But the team keeps losing. Mancini begins yelling his ass off and swearing at them at halftime talks and team meetings. But they continue to lose. Mancini begins switching up the starting lineup, and starting less experienced players, hoping that something will change. He tells them before one game that if their performance isn't up to par, then he's selling and replacing them. Man City once again loses. Now tell me, who is to blame for all the losses?

Blaming the manager is the easy way out. He can come up with the best game plan in the world, but if the players aren't up to it, nothing will work. And if this is the case, then they need to go, not him.

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Post by Alex Hadjicharalampous on Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:43 am

Hisham El Mawan wrote:
MarkoMaksimovic wrote:Van Roy, did you see AW today? Whenever our players did something silly or a pass backwards led to Sunderland pressure the camera went to AW and he was up in his technical area barking shit to the players... Big difference to the Milan game. Whether the players follow his orders is a different story. You don't know what he tells the team in the locker room. Maybe he's swearing them off or gearing them on, and telling them to get forward and when they go out they get put under pressure and don't look forward... As fans we can only estimate and guess, none of us (unless AW is your grandad, or someone close to you works directly with the club) know what happens and how our tactics look.

Imagine if Man City went on a losing run. Mancini is doing the exact same thing that he was doing when they took the league by storm. But the team keeps losing. Mancini begins yelling his ass off and swearing at them at halftime talks and team meetings. But they continue to lose. Mancini begins switching up the starting lineup, and starting less experienced players, hoping that something will change. He tells them before one game that if their performance isn't up to par, then he's selling and replacing them. Man City once again loses. Now tell me, who is to blame for all the losses?

Blaming the manager is the easy way out. He can come up with the best game plan in the world, but if the players aren't up to it, nothing will work. And if this is the case, then they need to go, not him.

But we've already blamed everyone other than the manager for years now. We keep changing personnel and yet the same problems remain. Besides, he signed these players, he trained them, ultimately if they don't perform then he is responsible for that. It's not the first time we've seen a performance like this one.
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Post by Mario on Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:48 am

Looks increasingly like it should be the manager. No ideas, no motivation, no ability to bounce back from setbacks. Now, you can say we've seen that a lot these last few seasons (especially the latter). But to this extent? This season alone we've had about 5 or 6 performances that are relegation standard. 8-2, 4-3 to Blackburn, the 3-2 to Swansea, the Milan game, today. I'm sure we can find more.

He has been hampered this season though because the quality has been as low as it's been at Arsenal for quite some time. But then, who told him to wait so long to sell/replace Cesc and Nasri? I guess this is where we go back to what's happening behind the scenes, maybe it came from upstairs, maybe he truly believes he could convince/trick them into staying. I have no idea what's happening there, so until I do, I have to assume that Wenger is not maximising all of his budget and is showing too much trust with a bunch of average players. And rather than combat that with better organisation, sending out a highly motivated 'we shall not be beat' side, we see the same disjointed, tactically naive and half-arsed approach quite often. Too often.

I would be quite happy to see the back of: Almunia, Fabianski, Mannone, Squillaci, Djourou, Rosicky, Benayoun, Arshavin, Chamakh, Park, Bendtner, Vela, Denilson, Diaby

Bringing in:

- A solid keeper to challenge Szczesny
- Another CB
- Another defensive utility player (left back, maybe)
- Two central midfielders, one creative, one similar to Scott Parker (boy does he look like one that got away?)
- A creative wide player
- 2 new strikers


Clearly that isn't going to happen, and if it did then I would be happy for Wenger to carry on. But is scraping into 4th spot good enough? Is that the ambition, finishing 4th despite playing like shit and being embarrassed in the cups? That isn't good enough. We are not moving forwards. We can't sell 'we aim to finish 4th' to new signings, well, ambitious signings. And then there's RVP. Head and shoulders above the rest of his team mates, he would be foolish to sign a new contract right now.

Now, we can point to how much we have spent. And by our wage bill, which is the 4th highest so therefore finishing 4th is the aim. But again, Djourou on a new improved 3 year contract, is that money well spent? Are the wages that Squillaci and Almunia are on acceptable? We may not spend like the other top clubs but we can waste money as well as they do. And what's this about rewarding Rosicky with a new contract? He has been our best midfielder these last 3-4 weeks but that right there is the problem. Maybe if we showed that we were doing our utmost in maximising our resources, you can accept this. But we aren't. Players here that aren't good enough, better players that are needed not brought in, window after window. Alex Ferguson doesn't have the same quality of players he once had but look what he manages to pull out.

But then part of me thinks, does Wenger really think this is good enough, he can't have let his standards drop so much? Surely there's more to it? I think there is. I don't know what. What is the ambition of the club? What the fuck does Kroenke do? Will he take the money and run? I don't know. But something has to give.

Maybe a different formation? Maybe go 4-4-2 until the end of the season, but then, with the same players with the same slow build up with and the lack of central playmaker, will it change much? Probably can't get worse.

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Post by John Foxall on Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:51 am

To paraphrase the excellent Simon Kuper,

Even if it is the players' fault more than the manager's, it is far easier to replace the manager than a significant part of the playing staff. In Arsenal's case, the playing staff hasn't stopped turning over since 2005. That was hardly by design either, he set something in motion that he couldn't control.

Besides, 16 years is a long time. He's done a lot for this club. But knowing when to go is important too.

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Post by John Foxall on Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:00 am

Adding to what Mario has written,

I'd argue that the biggest problem is that we're trying to play a very difficult brand of football under Wenger. You are either get it right and play it very effectively (to my mind, he did get it right in 07/08, but then he couldn't sustain that team's style) or you are creating problems for yourself. Certainly when you're playing possession football, you can't afford to have as ineffective a defensive game as we have when we lose the ball. This is perhaps the thing that frustrates me most about Wenger, he just seemingly doesn't give a shit about our game without the ball.

As for the transfer market. We've become so unambitious that we no longer have players with the technical ability to play the game Wenger wants, so that's made the problems we already had worse. Arteta, Ramsey and Song attempting more difficult passes just feeds the opposition counter-attacking opportunities. Of course nearly everyone in this league plays counter-attacking football, because it's ingrained into the culture. It's what we played when we won titles under Wenger. Now it's one tactical model, success or failure.

Last summer we signed Arteta. I know we were outbid for Mata but what about Cazorla or some other startlet? I think we really needed to have some more ambition. We find ourselves in a situation where only Rosicky has any experience of playing one of the two key positions in a 4-3-3 and he's not even trusted all the time. Ramsey is getting picked for a position he is nowhere near ready for. I was also sceptical about the idea that Wilshere was going to come in and directly play Cesc's role, it's far harder than playing back-up to Cesc.

The kind of technical level of striker we're also getting now is just rubbish. Chamakh and Park just aren't very technically gifted players. Why buy them then if we insist on playing a one-striker system?

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Post by Chris Chan on Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:48 am

Agree with everything Mario has said.

It is all right if we are ambitious and fall short, but at the moment it doesnt feel like the club has any ambition. In the transfer market, on the pitch etc. Of course it is easy to say at the start of the season wanting to win the quadruple, but then when you sell you stars and buy in budget replacements, it all looks like bullshit.

The team continues to make the same mistakes year in year out. I mean part of the beauty of football is its unpredictability, however this team is completely predictable that it is fast becoming depressing to follow us. There are no surprises, our injury list is never ending, mid season implosion and a weak finish to the season...


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Post by Hisham El Mawan on Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:12 am

Alex Hadjicharalampous wrote:
Hisham El Mawan wrote:
MarkoMaksimovic wrote:Van Roy, did you see AW today? Whenever our players did something silly or a pass backwards led to Sunderland pressure the camera went to AW and he was up in his technical area barking shit to the players... Big difference to the Milan game. Whether the players follow his orders is a different story. You don't know what he tells the team in the locker room. Maybe he's swearing them off or gearing them on, and telling them to get forward and when they go out they get put under pressure and don't look forward... As fans we can only estimate and guess, none of us (unless AW is your grandad, or someone close to you works directly with the club) know what happens and how our tactics look.

Imagine if Man City went on a losing run. Mancini is doing the exact same thing that he was doing when they took the league by storm. But the team keeps losing. Mancini begins yelling his ass off and swearing at them at halftime talks and team meetings. But they continue to lose. Mancini begins switching up the starting lineup, and starting less experienced players, hoping that something will change. He tells them before one game that if their performance isn't up to par, then he's selling and replacing them. Man City once again loses. Now tell me, who is to blame for all the losses?

Blaming the manager is the easy way out. He can come up with the best game plan in the world, but if the players aren't up to it, nothing will work. And if this is the case, then they need to go, not him.

But we've already blamed everyone other than the manager for years now. We keep changing personnel and yet the same problems remain. Besides, he signed these players, he trained them, ultimately if they don't perform then he is responsible for that. It's not the first time we've seen a performance like this one.

First off, we've been blaming the manager and only the manager for years now. I don't remember us blaming anyone else for a bad season. Second, your assertion that the performance of the players is all Wenger's fault is perfectly reasonable - if I was missing a few lobes of my brain. Look at the names we have on our roster: Szczesny, Fabianski, Sagna, Djourou, Squillaci, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Andre Santos, Wilshere, Diaby, Ramsey, Song, Park, Chamakh, van Persie, Walcott, Gervinho, Arshavin. These players all have caps on their countries' national teams, and a good number of them are established starters on those teams. They are good players. However, it's quite obvious that they're not at their best together. But how is Wenger supposed to know that? Sorry if I wasn't aware that someone gave him a shopping list of players and said, "If you sign these guys, you'll win the league for sure!" Squillaci was spoken highly of when we signed him. Park Chu Young has been scoring like crazy for South Korea lately. Chamakh was Bordeaux's best player alongside Gourcuff and was a free agent as well. Walcott was the next big thing when Wenger brought him over from Southampton. Gervinho had just won the French league with Lille of all teams. Arshavin took Euro '08 by storm and was easily one of the best players in the tournament. These players were all good when they were signed. We all know what happened after that. Squillaci, Chamakh, and Arshavin quickly became nothing short of disappointing. Walcott and Gervinho had their ups and downs, but most Arsenal fans are such picky bastards they've been made out to be complete and utter failures.
But let's be honest with ourselves for a minute. At the beginning of this season, we lost Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, two very good players who were supposed to be with us for a very long time. But they moved on to "bigger and better things", if you will. People were expecting us to be a mid-table team and crash out of the Champions League, and MAYBE do decently in the Carling and FA Cups. And things seemed to be going in that direction, until we picked up a good run of form. And all of a sudden, we raised our expectations. We probably shouldn't have done that. Because now we're in worse form than before, and things don't look too good. In fact, the best we can hope for is a top four finish, maybe top three if Tottenham slip up. This was never going to be the fairytale season people quickly assumed it would be. We were just supposed to get by until the summer, when we could quietly rebuild.

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Post by Jonathan Prendergast on Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:27 am

Hisham El Mawan wrote:
First off, we've been blaming the manager and only the manager for years now. I don't remember us blaming anyone else for a bad season. Second, your assertion that the performance of the players is all Wenger's fault is perfectly reasonable - if I was missing a few lobes of my brain. Look at the names we have on our roster: Szczesny, Fabianski, Sagna, Djourou, Squillaci, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Andre Santos, Wilshere, Diaby, Ramsey, Song, Park, Chamakh, van Persie, Walcott, Gervinho, Arshavin. These players all have caps on their countries' national teams, and a good number of them are established starters on those teams. They are good players. However, it's quite obvious that they're not at their best together. But how is Wenger supposed to know that? Sorry if I wasn't aware that someone gave him a shopping list of players and said, "If you sign these guys, you'll win the league for sure!" Squillaci was spoken highly of when we signed him. Park Chu Young has been scoring like crazy for South Korea lately. Chamakh was Bordeaux's best player alongside Gourcuff and was a free agent as well. Walcott was the next big thing when Wenger brought him over from Southampton. Gervinho had just won the French league with Lille of all teams. Arshavin took Euro '08 by storm and was easily one of the best players in the tournament. These players were all good when they were signed. We all know what happened after that. Squillaci, Chamakh, and Arshavin quickly became nothing short of disappointing. Walcott and Gervinho had their ups and downs, but most Arsenal fans are such picky bastards they've been made out to be complete and utter failures.
But let's be honest with ourselves for a minute. At the beginning of this season, we lost Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, two very good players who were supposed to be with us for a very long time. But they moved on to "bigger and better things", if you will. People were expecting us to be a mid-table team and crash out of the Champions League, and MAYBE do decently in the Carling and FA Cups. And things seemed to be going in that direction, until we picked up a good run of form. And all of a sudden, we raised our expectations. We probably shouldn't have done that. Because now we're in worse form than before, and things don't look too good. In fact, the best we can hope for is a top four finish, maybe top three if Tottenham slip up. This was never going to be the fairytale season people quickly assumed it would be. We were just supposed to get by until the summer, when we could quietly rebuild.

Great post. And to add:
- some are saying 'Fabregas was always going to leave'. at some point yes. but he had signed a very long term contract. so it is unfair to say that Wenger should have known, and not expected him to stay for a couple more seasons. remember the cunts at barcelona brought it on by being absolute pricks
- we've got to play the game. it's fine to assert that we should act irrespective of financial constraints, but it is simply not possible. chelsea and man city have an unsporting advantage that the rest of the clubs don't. they have incredible funds coming from outside their usual business earnings. we will be able to sell chamahk, arsharvin and park and recoup most if not all of the money spent. this is a much better position than having wasted 35m pounds on Carroll for example, and never being able to recoup it. once you do something like that, you are hamstrung for 1 if not more seasons.
- as you say, there is no magic shopping list for buying the right players and knowing they will work for the team. Mancini, AVB/Mourinho/Ancelottie have spent multi millions on players, many of whom don't work out that well and spend a lot of time on the bench. maybe in time, some of those players will work out (eg. Luiz, Balotelli, Adebayor, Johnson, Nasri etc etc), but it is unfair to judge Wenger disregarding this.
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Post by Alex Hadjicharalampous on Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:33 am

''Second, your assertion that the performance of the players is all Wenger's fault is perfectly reasonable - if I was missing a few lobes of my brain.''

I don't recall making any assertion like that. Of course, it's not all his fault, but the majority of the blame has to fall on his shoulders. And maybe you should think about why ALL these players are suddenly terrible and/or out of form. Maybe they just can't get motivated by Wenger anymore. I don't see how anything you've just said contradicts my post to be honest. It just makes it seem as if Wenger lost the dressing room.


Last edited by Alex Hadjicharalampous on Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by James Lock on Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:35 am

The problem is that players' careers can't wait for things to progress and develop at the rate that the manager is wanting. That's what's led to the continual revolving door and the constant excuses regarding transition seasons. I don't blame any of the players for leaving the club to want to find success, and some of them have fallen short. I won't blame RvP either as I suspect he's going to be the next name out of the door this summer, leading to ANOTHER transition season.
The manager has to understand the reasoning for all of this. As has previously been suggested, the players individually apparently have the talent, yet while they produce for their respective countries, they don't for Arsenal... this isn't down to luck. It's simply the system we're adopting. Big example: Chamakh. Here he's shocking. Yet wind the clock back and put him in a side who get forward quickly and get aggressive crosses into the box, he's deadly. I suspect the same would be true for Walcott as I don't believe where he's playing is ANYWHERE near where he should be. Mertesacker too... is it a surprise that a big defender with little acceleration doesn't look good when chasing balls over the top as he's been told to play a high defensive line??
All these questions and more lead to the same conclusion... the players are constantly changing, yet over the last 7 years we're still coming to the same result... what else is there left to change but the man who makes those decisions?

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Post by Jonathan Prendergast on Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:45 am

Alex Hadjicharalampous wrote:''Second, your assertion that the performance of the players is all Wenger's fault is perfectly reasonable - if I was missing a few lobes of my brain.''

I don't recall making any assertion like that. Of course, it's not all his fault, but the majority of the blame has to fall on his shoulders. And maybe you should think about why ALL these players are suddenly terrible and/or out of form. Maybe they just can't get motivated by Wenger anymore. I don't see how anything you've just said contradicts my post to be honest. It just makes it seem as if Wenger lost the dressing room.

Blaming and excusing blame is only a small part of the debate. If you don't consider all the circumstances and reasons, poor decisions can be made that we will regret.
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Post by Hisham El Mawan on Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:47 am

Jonathan Prendergast wrote:
Hisham El Mawan wrote:
First off, we've been blaming the manager and only the manager for years now. I don't remember us blaming anyone else for a bad season. Second, your assertion that the performance of the players is all Wenger's fault is perfectly reasonable - if I was missing a few lobes of my brain. Look at the names we have on our roster: Szczesny, Fabianski, Sagna, Djourou, Squillaci, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Andre Santos, Wilshere, Diaby, Ramsey, Song, Park, Chamakh, van Persie, Walcott, Gervinho, Arshavin. These players all have caps on their countries' national teams, and a good number of them are established starters on those teams. They are good players. However, it's quite obvious that they're not at their best together. But how is Wenger supposed to know that? Sorry if I wasn't aware that someone gave him a shopping list of players and said, "If you sign these guys, you'll win the league for sure!" Squillaci was spoken highly of when we signed him. Park Chu Young has been scoring like crazy for South Korea lately. Chamakh was Bordeaux's best player alongside Gourcuff and was a free agent as well. Walcott was the next big thing when Wenger brought him over from Southampton. Gervinho had just won the French league with Lille of all teams. Arshavin took Euro '08 by storm and was easily one of the best players in the tournament. These players were all good when they were signed. We all know what happened after that. Squillaci, Chamakh, and Arshavin quickly became nothing short of disappointing. Walcott and Gervinho had their ups and downs, but most Arsenal fans are such picky bastards they've been made out to be complete and utter failures.
But let's be honest with ourselves for a minute. At the beginning of this season, we lost Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, two very good players who were supposed to be with us for a very long time. But they moved on to "bigger and better things", if you will. People were expecting us to be a mid-table team and crash out of the Champions League, and MAYBE do decently in the Carling and FA Cups. And things seemed to be going in that direction, until we picked up a good run of form. And all of a sudden, we raised our expectations. We probably shouldn't have done that. Because now we're in worse form than before, and things don't look too good. In fact, the best we can hope for is a top four finish, maybe top three if Tottenham slip up. This was never going to be the fairytale season people quickly assumed it would be. We were just supposed to get by until the summer, when we could quietly rebuild.

Great post. And to add:
- some are saying 'Fabregas was always going to leave'. at some point yes. but he had signed a very long term contract. so it is unfair to say that Wenger should have known, and not expected him to stay for a couple more seasons. remember the cunts at barcelona brought it on by being absolute pricks
- we've got to play the game. it's fine to assert that we should act irrespective of financial constraints, but it is simply not possible. chelsea and man city have an unsporting advantage that the rest of the clubs don't. they have incredible funds coming from outside their usual business earnings. we will be able to sell chamahk, arsharvin and park and recoup most if not all of the money spent. this is a much better position than having wasted 35m pounds on Carroll for example, and never being able to recoup it. once you do something like that, you are hamstrung for 1 if not more seasons.
- as you say, there is no magic shopping list for buying the right players and knowing they will work for the team. Mancini, AVB/Mourinho/Ancelottie have spent multi millions on players, many of whom don't work out that well and spend a lot of time on the bench. maybe in time, some of those players will work out (eg. Luiz, Balotelli, Adebayor, Johnson, Nasri etc etc), but it is unfair to judge Wenger disregarding this.

You're exactly right. If Fabregas was always going to leave, would Wenger have built an entire 4-3-3 system around him? And I always hear people saying things like "let's sign Hazard, Goetze, and (insert extremely expensive world beater here)." The problem is, we don't have a vast budget like Manchester City and Chelsea do. Just look at how Chelsea stole Mata at the last second. We had him ready to put ink to paper, Chelsea offered a higher salary, and Mata was on his way to Stamford Bridge before we knew it. And what about City and Nasri? We offered Nasri six digits, City offered him about 90,000 pounds more a week, and now he's showing off his boxers and a sky blue shirt in Manchester. And what do people say? "Wenger should've paid more." They're right, I completely forgot about the forest of money trees at Ashburton Grove. The fact of the matter is, it's very ignorant to simply spout things like "This is all Wenger's fault. Let's fire him and replace him with Mourinho/Guardiola/Hiddink/Benitez". It's a lot more complex than that.

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