Friday 10 August 2018


It is here again. Another season of the Premier League kicked off Friday night with Leicester losing by the odd goal just like they did last season when they lost 4:3 to Arsenal Wenger’s Arsenal in a cracking game at the Emirates in August 2017. 

When Arsene announced his exit from Arsenal on April 20, 2018, I was stunned and I was also worried that I might lose my emotional attachment to Arsenal and football. I am delighted that the emotional attachment is still there. While I haven’t quite moved on from Wenger and the disgusting behavior of many towards him, I am hoping Arsenal do exceptionally well this season and into the foreseeable future.

What kind of a season should we expect from Arsenal? As I have always tried to say to anybody who I engage with, it is going to take a while for the legacy of Arsene to disappear from the dressing room. Wenger recruited every single one of the players in the squad bar Guendouzi, Leno, Lichsteiner, Torreira and Sokratis. And all of the five new signings will not start or line up against Manchester City on Sunday. So it is still Wenger’s Team with a different manager. 

Why am I saying this? Every single Premier League Manager has been allowed the proverbial 3 transfer windows to turn things around. Jürgen Klopp finished 8th, in his first season, Guardiola was sprinkled with ‘sand dust’ in his first season with Man City so nobody should expect miracles from Unai Emery. Come back at the end of the 2019/20 season if you want to assess Unai Emery’s work.

If Unai manages to get Arsenal playing good football, makes the Gunners more difficult to beat, and ensures they are very competitive in the Top 4 race, this will count as extraordinary success. Let nobody sell you any snake oil that Emery has come to perform miracles. 

I believe Arsenal have recruited very well in appointing Emery. His pedigree and trophy count speak for themselves. But he has an uphill battle to fight. He needs to face down the deep-seated referee and media bias that is the cross of Arsenal. The club’s executives need to help him here. 

Unai needs to cure many of Arsenal’s opponents and the pundits of ill repute who belief that Arsenal can be bullied. I am 100% positive that Lichsteiner, Sokratis, Torreira and Mavropanos will cure bullyboys of this misguided belief quickly. I am looking forward to Arsenal been referred to as dirty again and I will swim in the tears of opposition and so called neutral fans who dare point this out when the fun starts. 

The below defines Unai’s success this season in my opinion

Good football with the team being difficult to beat

Competitive irrespective of where we finish in the league 

Significant progress in all cup competitions 

Opportunities given to many deserving youths 

Asking for more from a manager who is aiming to turn a juggernaut around is asking for too much. 

With respect to the rest of the league, I have seen nothing to suggest Manchester City wont win it again. I don’t think they will run away with it because I doubt the Premier League will be dire for two consecutive seasons. 

All the so - called pundits are 100% certain Liverpool will be the closest team to Manchester City and it is easy to see why they have this view. Liverpool appear to have bought very well and have shored up / upgraded a number of positions. However do not forget that the Premier League can be a first season graveyard for overseas goalkeepers with big reputation. Claudio Bravo, David De Gea etc. Even Klopp’s judgment in backing goalkeepers is suspect. Maybe Allison will be an exception. 

For Liverpool to get anywhere near the title they will have to convert the following results where they dropped points last season. Home draws with Watford, Burnley, Man United, Spurs, Chelsea, Everton, West Brom and Stoke. Liverpool lost away to Man City, Man United, Spurs, Chelsea and Swansea. They also drew away with Arsenal, Newcastle, Everton and West Brom. For the relegated teams (West Brom, Stoke and Swansea) substitute with the newly promoted sides - Cardiff, Wolves or Fulham. 

To make up the 25 points difference between Man City’s winning tally last season and Liverpool’s points finish, the latter will have to change all their losses last season to wins. That will provide a 21 points swing and two of the draws into wins to overcome the advantage City had over them last season. 

If City start from where they left of in May, it is difficult to see how Liverpool will come close. The points Liverpool dropped last time out was not due to Liverpool playing squad inferiority. Perhaps you might want to look at the Manchester United and Chelsea losses as an indication of so called world class players not been able to handle the pressure on big occasions and point to both managerial and player naivety for the draw with Arsenal. Liverpool’s ability to beat Man City should not be conflated with the ability to win the league. They will have to match City’s results against other sides to have a chance. Next season is always their season. 

Many pundits and social media commentators have made a mountain out of the whining and whinging Mourinho during pre season. I believe this was a show put on for the benefit of the media and gullible fans. United will be as dire as last season, Mourinho will be insufferable but United will die fighting before they give up that second spot. I believe both Mourinho and the United hierarchy are happy to declare the season a resounding success if they finish behind City with less than double-digit points.    

Chelsea are an enigma. As a Top Four club, they have ‘yo – yo ed’ more than any other top club. There is always one crisis every other season. It is almost like Roman Abramovich deliberately sabotages his managers the season after they win the league. Given that Maurizio Sarri the new Chelsea manager comes with huge praise from his fellow managers and seeing how close Napoli came to ending Juventus stranglehold on Serie A last season, please don’t rule Chelsea out of a league championship win if City falters. I want to believe they will be there or thereabout as a Top 4 side. 

Tottenham are my major pick to drop out of the Top Four.  I will go one step further and add that St Totterigham Day will be back this season even if both sides finish out of the Top Four. Tottenham are financially handicapped because of the new lavatory they are building in Middlesex and as a result were only able to buy Jackshit during the transfer window. 

Watch out for Everton because of the Marco Silva factor. Watford were in the Top Four after a few games last season. Do not rule out Everton displaying the same early season form. 

Same with Pellegrini at West Ham. A combination of his pedigree and their summer efforts might mean they are strong contenders for the Rest of the League race (Outside of the Top Six).

Difficult to see how Neil Warnock will survive seeing the sums his fellow promoted clubs have spent. Strugglers from last season like Southampton and Huddersfield will find it tough going. 

The premier league will welcome minor superstars like Fabinho, Seri, Mina, Meyer and Fred.

Bring on the in - game panic attacks, the ruined weekends, the over reactions and moronic social media abuse. 

Infuse the hope drug into my veins again. Make me dream of Arsenal winning the title. Wake me up in May hopefully when we lift the Premier League title again after 15 years. Better 15 years than 30 years. 

Saturday 26 May 2018

The Post Wenger Arsenal Years Are Here

I am still mourning. I am still sad that Arsene is gone. I hope he comes back one day. As a fan; as an ambassador; or as the board chairman cum chief executive. I pray he doesn’t have to come back on a rescue mission as that will mean something terrible has happened. 

If you think I am living in the past and my head is stuck in the sand, I forgive you in advance. I pray Arsenal never experience a tiny fraction of the worst-case scenario of the recent change in management. 

Wenger leaving was always going to happen. In previous comments, Arsene had indicated a desire to retire sometime in 2021 or thereabout. So he was always going to leave but he decided to leave earlier principally given the way some fans have behaved. 

If you are a thinking person, you will see there is more to his leaving than this singular issue. But what is the point of dwelling on the underlying issues when Arsene himself for the sake of the club is keeping schtum for now. I hope one day, we will read all about it in the memoirs of Arsene, Ivan and any other major person associated with Arsenal.

Ivan Gazidis, Raul Sanllehi & Sven Mislintat deserve big commendations and massive accolades for the job they have done in conducting the recruitment process and in appointing a very good manager in Unai Emery. The less said about the part they played in the departure of the previous manager the better. 

It is now all about facing the future rather than holding on to the past. We have not forgotten the past but there is a new manager to support and the club is bigger than anybody including the shareholders. 

I think Unai Emery was very bold in the way he handled his first press conference following his announcement. To open up yourself to the potential ridicule by speaking in a foreign language that you are not totally comfortable with is high risk and Unai carried it off with aplomb. No doubt this is a sign of someone who is ready to take a measured high-risk action and achieve the desired high reward. 

I love Mr. Emery’s antecedents especially his time at Sevilla. That was the only time I knew anything about him. I wish to thank him for destroying Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp in that Europa Cup final in May 2016. 

Thank you Emery also for that 2:1 smack down of Mauricio Pochettino and Espanyol in December 2011. On behalf of all Arsenal fans, I hope you continue to beat down both men going forward. 

I am 100% certain, your numbers against Mourinho and Guardiola will improve significantly as Manchester United will continue to be poor or Jose will get fired and Guardiola will soon go for another sabbatical. 

I hope for great things from Mr. Emery. His record of dealing with the up and coming talents in Sevilla is a huge testimonial of what he can achieve with Arsenal. The absence of any destructive influence like Neymar or Cavani in the Arsenal dressing room is another reason to be hopeful.

While we are hopeful, we must give the new man a chance. The British football media and pundits have always insisted that new managers must be given three transfer windows before demanding results. I hope they extend the same courtesy to Unai Emery and not get on his back for the whole of next season and the first half of the following season.

We have also seen how the media have fawned over Mauricio Pochettino and have unanimously awarded him the title of the best manager in England for winning nothing and choking during semi finals and finals left, right and center.  Please in the name of all that is decent, kindly ensure that Unai Emery benefits from the same accolades irrespective of results. 

The most important group however who should never get on Mr. Emery’s back are the fans and the three executives who brought him in. If Arsenal are not achieving the desired results but are clearly not going backwards, it should be a time for introspection that perhaps we were wrong all along and not because the previous manager was past his sell by date or that the new man is not quite right. 

I fervently hope Mr. Gazidis will find a way to withdraw his comments at Unai’s first press conference when he said a team of Arsenal’s stature should not be 6thin the Premier League.  Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea have all finished lower than 6th. What is it in Arsenal’s stature that makes finishing 6thearth shattering?

If Mr. Gazidis had said a team of Arsenal stature should not be almost 40 points behind the league winners, I will not argue at all. You can finish 6thand be only a few points behind the winners in a competitive league. So 6this not the problem, the lack of competitiveness is. 

Manchester City, United, Liverpool, Chelsea, that club down the road will be back next season. Some of them will spend significant sums to improve their current squad. No Arsenal fan and no right thinking person will argue that City and United have more money than Arsenal and will outspend Arsenal again. 

Liverpool in the last two years have spent c£200m on Salah, Mane, Chamberlain, Wijnaldum, Van Dijk and have committed to spending another £55m on Keita this summer with perhaps £75m Fekir incoming.   Yes they have been helped by selling Suarez and Coutinho for significant sums. But they have only c£70m in debts compared to something like £300m debt at Arsenal. This allows for significant scope for spending which Arsenal does not have.   

Chelsea barring any issues the owner might have with the British government are likely to spend big this season after spending over £200m last season and over £100m the season before. Forget the over one billion pound debts hidden in its books as it is owed to one person and not to any bank. Don’t forget Chelsea are also quite adept at manufacturing record-breaking transfers to some obscure places. David Luiz to a Malaysian Club for £100m must be a deal they are working on at the moment. 

Now to that plucky club down the road. The one with no money according to gullible people. They have almost completed their tin pot stadium at a whopping cost of almost a billion pounds. That scummy lot have been fortunate to borrow money when interest rates are a pittance. They have recently given their manager a massive reward for failure. In the past two seasons, that club that does not spend money (according to the same gullible people) have spent over £200m in the last two years. 

The squad Mr. Emery has inherited needs a lot of improvement and also needs to deal with the expectation of the young lads to break into the first team. While I agree with Mr. Wenger that with the addition of two or three players, the squad will excel, I think even with the addition of the two or three, we will not equal Manchester City in squad talent or ability. 

Amongst the Top 6 goalkeepers, nobody will claim that Petr Cech is the best. Amongst the Top 6 Centre Backs, I would have backed Koscielny as the stand out boss two years ago; I don’t think he is close now. 

Bellerin is very exciting and has defended with minimal support from the players in front of him. Despite the undeserved criticism, I hope he has a long successful career ahead of him but as things stands he is not a standout right back in the Premier League. 

Monreal I will take ahead of any left back but Nacho is not getting younger. Arsenal forwards in Aubameyang, Lacazette, Wellbeck and Nketiah need no additions and might be the deadliest forward next season but we need a bit of steel in the midfield. Ramsey, Xhaka, Ozil, Iwobi, Wilshere, Elneny, Mkhitaryan etc. are all very good at what they do and support the attack but we need some steel in the middle to help with the defence. 

I am excited at the new manager’s plan to play pressing football when we are out of possession and to be protagonists when we have it. I believe this will help ease some of the defensive pressures on Arsenal. 

If Unai Emery can make us more difficult to beat while playing attractive football, if he can challenge competitively for all four competitions we will be playing next season, he would have over achieved in my opinion. Top Four, winning trophies will be a bonus especially with the comments in this link that I definitely share 

Sunday 20 May 2018

My 2017 / 2018 Premier League Season Review

In my preview of the 2017/18 season, I got something half wrong. I believed both Manchester United and Manchester City won’t win the Premier League. 

I am glad that my prediction was at least half right. Having a team that dished up the most diabolical football you will ever see since Sam Allardyce’s Bolton, win zero trophies was a very good thing. To then see Chelsea defeat them at Wembley in the FA Cup Final using the most 'Joseic' tactics ever and watching Mourinho bitch and moan about this lose made the season sort of worthwhile. 

Manchester United have been dire and it is a measure of how bad the premier league has been this season that they managed to get second place. When Manchester City defeated United at Old Trafford in December 2017, the difference was eight points. By the end of the season, the gulf in class had grown to 19 points.  Diabolical. 

If you are deluded or caught in the Jose Mourinho warp, you can talk about progress. But winning three “massive” trophies last season to ZERO this term and playing the most turgid football after spending north of £350m is not progress. 

Quit that nonsense about 81 points would have won the league in 6 previous premier league seasons. So was Arsenal’s 75 points last season. It would have guaranteed a top 4 finish in many other seasons. It was only one point behind Liverpool. It was classed a failure then and so is United’s 81 points now. 

For a squad of equal ability to finish 19 points apart is disastrous and no positives should be taken. Certainly not after United lost to all the newly promoted sides and have racked up their 19th‘watching paint dry’ draw since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. Coming 2nd and ending the season with 81 points was no achievement for this expensively assembled side. 

Overall it has been a poor Premier League season. I have seen lots of statistics demonstrating how dire the season was. This stat comparing the 2003/4 season with the 2017/18 season made a huge impression on me. Please see the link here .

“teams from 8th- 20th had more points (in 2003/4) than today including the bottom 6 teams which means the standard of football was better in 03/04”

You can disagree all you want but be clear that the standard of defending is worse now than it was a few years ago. They don’t make Sol Campbell, Steve Bould, Prime Kolo Toure, Steve Bruce, Japp Stam etc. any more.  Consequently attacking sides like Manchester City have benefitted. 

Manchester City winning by record points deserves some applause but their records are diminished. All the pundits expected them to go the next 10 years undefeated, win the quintuple and the world cup but it wasn’t to be. They lost. 

In fact they were torn a new strip by Liverpool at Anfield and by United at the Emptyhad. Yes they have won the league and broken records but the one that matters most remains unbroken. They can have another go at equaling Arsene Wenger & Arsenal’s Invincibles record next season. I will be rooting for them to fall on this particular endeavor. 

As an Arsenal fan, everything that could go wrong this season has. Right from that game at Stoke. The referees set out their marker very early. And they succeeded in derailing our season. God forbid Liverpool win in Kiev. I might just decide to hide away forever. This is one time I am hoping the bookies are right and the officials genuinely have a Real Madrid agenda and will do everything to make 13tha lucky number for Zidane’s Team. 

The season itself started on a great note for me as a Gooner. I was hoping the fresh legs from non-participation in the Europa League by the first eleven will give us some serious boost. It did a bit but not enough. The first game of the premier league season on that Friday night was spectacular with the 4:3 win over Leicester. Our defensive and midfield frailties were apparent but we had the ability to score goals especially with our record signing Alexandre Lacazette. 

Then the referees struck when Lacazette’s equalizer was denied by a phantom offside call at Stoke. We saw glaringly dodgy refereeing decisions again in October at Vicarage Road, in November at the Empythad and when the issue came to a head with that phantom penalty call by Mike Dean of Thieves at West Brom in December. It is perhaps fitting that West Brom have now been relegated. Shame Tony Pulis wasn’t in charge for this one. But our cards were doubly marked from when Arsene called out the Dean of Bent Referees. 

Transfer sagas also played their part in wrecking the season. First it was the ‘will he, wont he’ with ‘significantly improved but still plays a cross field pass to nobody’ Oxlade - Chamberlain. He then decided not to turn up in a match against the team he wanted to join. The Alexis Sanchez circus was also a factor. I think Wenger deserves a Sainthood for bringing two devils in Sanchez and Manchester United together. You will never see a pair more deserving of each other. I wish them more piano playing days together.

It was one bad away result after another. One bad luck game after another.  We stemmed the tide after a while and delivered a set of spectacular home results overall. We just couldn’t crack our away form. I know Arsene alluded to it been a mental issue, however I have a feeling the players felt they were playing against their opponents and the referee in away matches. These same guys did the business in the Milan and Moscow away games in the Europa League. 

I was never bothered about the rubbish ‘Arsenal are yet to win an away point in year 16xx” bandied about in the mainstream media and on social media. For two years running, Arsenal was the best premier league side in two calendar years. Did our detractors and fake pretend fans pay any attention? Why should I pay any to their silly narrative?

The League Cup final was heart wrenching. Another poor referee call cost us the first goal when we were very comfortable and should have been a couple of goals ahead if Aubameyang had been a bit more clinical. If only Lacazette was fit, if only Monreal wasn’t injured early in the match. If only, if only, if only. 

Our second shot at glory during the season was wrecked by bad luck also. The sort of bad luck you probably remember from the 2011 League Cup final. A miskick in defence by an Arsenal defender gifts the opponent an undeserved goal  coupled with a shit goalkeeper in a relegation bound team having a blinder cost us the final.  

Same way we lost the Europa semi final to Atletico. There were 3 or 4 bad luck moments leading up to Griezmann’s goal at the Emirates. We could and should have killed that game at the Emirates with clinical finishing despite Oblak’s great goalkeeping. 

I couldn’t bring myself to watch Atletico lift the trophy in Lyon. That should have been us. That should have been Alexandre Lacazette lifting the trophy in his backyard. That should have been the boys wishing Arsene a wonderful au revoir. But, C’est la vie  

Yes Life. It kicks you in the gonads whether you expect it to or not. It did it again when the worst possible thing that could have happened this season happened when Arsene Wenger decided he had had enough and made up his mind to leave. Forget what idiots, fools and morons say, Wenger called time because of many issues. I can speculate till kingdom come on these issues but I wont. Wenger wanted to go quietly but the Club wanted his departure to be marked with an almighty bang hence the club announcement and the timing of the statement. 

So we have had the marvelous goodbyes to Arsene both from genuine Arsenal fans who turned up en masse to wish the great man farewell and fans of other clubs like Leicester and Huddersfield. We have seen many fond farewells from many big-hearted people like Sir Alex Ferguson and the management of Huddersfield who specially honoured an authentic Football Great.  

My heart will forever ache at Wenger’s departure but I always believed he will call time when he thinks it is appropriate. And he did. So please ignore any small-minded ungrateful lout who thinks Wenger was sacked. 

Arsenal have lost many greats this season. The greatest of them all, Arsene Wenger is gone. Vic Akers too. Boro P – Wenger’s most loyal assistant has left the building. Colin Lewin after serving for 23 years – gone. Santi Cazorla appears to be leaving. Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud, Francis Coquelin, Kieran Gibbs, Szczesny, Gabriel, Sanogo, Debuchy. All loyal servants, all wonderful individuals. All gone.

An end of many eras. 

I hope we never see a rotten season like this again. I hope we experience many of the Wenger era highs in the future but brace for the ride guys. I think it will be very bumpy. 

Maybe next year will be our season. It is a sad day when you have to adopt the favourite phrase Liverpool fans. 

Friday 4 May 2018


Gut wrenching.
Looking for a silver lining 
What ifs

All of these emotions I have experienced in the last few hours. 

Sad, anger and annoyed that there was no fairy tale. 

Raging that some fans will never let go. 10 seasons from now, they will still be scapegoating Arsene and whichever player catches their vile fancy.

I want to say thank you to Arsene. You have given us joy in the last 22 years. I trust you will continue to give joy in whatever you decide to do following your few weeks of rest. 

I genuinely hope you are happy. I genuinely wish you happiness. As a person who has given so much joy to football fans, you deserve plenty of good things in life. 

I can only imagine your parents raised you to be a thoroughly decent person as it is not a coincidence that in all the clubs where you have played and worked people have nothing but good glowing words to say about you and how you have positively impacted their lives. 

From when life had little or no material privileges to when life had significant resources like it did in Arsenal, you looked after both the emotional, physical, physiological and psychological well being of the people around you. Your good nature, good heart and kind consideration did not start yesterday, it is who you are. 

I listened to your interview after the FA Cup victory last May and your words will stay with me forever. You are happy with your unique and unmatched achievements of winning the 2004 season undefeated and winning Seven FA Cups. I hope and pray that those two records remain unmatched in my lifetime.    

I want to thank you for all the good things you did for Arsenal Football Club 

The 60,000 seater Arsene Wenger Emirates Stadium 

Turning Arsenal into one of European Football Elite

Growing Arsenal’s global football fanbase

Pioneering New Football Management methods 

Prolonging the playing career of many footballers 

Playing beautiful football on a shoe string budget  

Developing young players into global giants of the football game   

Building the back four that went the whole season undefeated for less than eight million pounds.

Watching Arsenal lift six trophies in the last five years 

Arsene I salute you. 

Sadly the philosophy of free flowing football was always likely to have its own drawbacks. Just like any philosophy. But you have done your part and done it well. It is left to others to build on your legacy. 

One Trophy every 2.2 years for someone who never managed the richest clubs and who never managed Lionel Messi, is a terrific achievement. 


Sunday 29 April 2018

The Most Hated Man in British Football. Hated by Fools, Idiots & Mindless Robots Who Regurgitate Nuisance Spewed by Expired & So Called Legends

I think very highly of Arsene Wenger. I didn’t want him to leave Arsenal until he was ready to retire. Sadly that has not happened. Arsenal and the club have announced his goodbye effective at the end of this season. I wish Arsene well in all his future endeavors. I hope the Chairman of a huge European club will appoint him as Manager so the idiots who think his wages at Arsenal is a big deal can collectively choke on their hatred. 

After we lost to Brighton away, all the messages coming out of the club appeared to indicate Wenger had had enough. I wrote this article then. Nothing has happened since I wrote the article to change my mind. 

I am glad Wenger has decided to leave as many of us right thinking people believe he will do if he felt it was time. 

I am glad that my assertion that Arsene Wenger was ready to walk away last summer is now accepted following recent comments by BBC Reporter David Ornstein. I believe David gets all his briefing from sources close to the club’s CEO.

There is nothing I can add to the millions of accolades heaped on Wenger. His stature as a colossus of the game will endure forever. 

The announcement of his departure has also unearthed a lot of hypocritical vermin masquerading as humans. People like Ian Wright, Lee Dixon, Kevin Cambpell, Martin Keown and Thierry Henry. These so called legends are worse than snakes and will hopefully get their comeuppance in life. You can choose to recognize their worthy contributions to Arsenal as players and still recognize their disgraceful and reprehensible behavior as humans. All for the sole reason that Arsene did not allow them turn Arsenal into a circus and refused to switch on the gravy tap. 

This is why 'these lot' hate Wenger. 

They have nothing going on in their life. Ian Wright has lost almost all of his memorabilia from his football playing days because his wife couldn’t pay storage fees. I have seen storage fees advertised for a £1. 

I am glad none of the rumors of imminent managerial appointments include Thierry Henry. We have heard Patrick Vieira and Mikel Arteta get mentions but it looks like Thierry Henry will be permanently confined to the fringes. He deserves worse. A man who went around all our opponents teaching them stuff prior to our games with them, pumping up their confidence to take on Arsenal, encouraging Alexis Sanchez to leave. Yet his countrymen like Lacazette, Aubameyang and Koscielny are all at Arsenal and not for once did he think he should come and do the same for them.  

To all those who believe they have succeeded in getting Wenger to leave, I wish you well. You might think you’ve achieved something but trust me, this is hollow. This is empty. It took you over 5 years to achieve your aim. I hope you will be man enough to own your decision in future. There is a no returns policy on the choices you have made. Enjoy it and revel in it. 

Why you hate a man whose life mission was to bring joy is beyond me. A man who has won silverware 6 times in the last 5 years. Every single one of them enjoyable to millions of Arsenal fans worldwide.  Yes there have been days of sadness but the joy has been more than the pain. 

I know we live in a different world where the majority of the people are self obsessed, entitled and are easily led by negativity but the venom against Wenger is unprecedented. 

Many including so-called legends and public broadcasters who are obliged to be balanced are so invested in supporting the agenda that he was sacked. So what does that do for you if he was sacked? How does it add to your bank balance or emotional well-being?

Many don’t want the team to do well especially in the Europa League because of Wenger but these lemmings genuinely believe they are Arsenal supporters. How absolutely untrue that is. 

Many use his salary as a weapon to clobber him whereas he is earning half of what Mourinho and Guardiola are earning and does more work than either of those two. The fact that he is now likely to double his earnings elsewhere will not make these haters pause.

Many hatefully blame him for everything that has gone wrong in the past even when a discerning person can see Arsene has always been collegiate in his approach and will front up for decisions taking by others without betraying any confidence. The time has come when Arsene no longer has to defend anybody. The Board, the Chief Executive, the Chairman and Owner will now have to answer for their decisions. 

Many are patiently waiting to blame Wenger for any mishaps next season and forever. Any misfortune will be blamed on Wenger. 

But guess what, Wenger’s place is secured. People like Ian Wright, Thierry Henry, Kevin Campbell, Lee Dixon and Martin Keown will never impact the amount of lives Wenger has impacted positively. These snakes will be a little footnote in the history of Arsenal while there will be a huge chapter on Arsene. 

As for the ordinary fan like me, don’t join the Wenger haters’ bandwagon. If you cant see what Wenger has done, please be patient. In a few months time, you will see the good things Wenger did for Arsenal Football Club.

Sunday 4 March 2018

Imagining The Post Wenger Landscape At Arsenal

It looks like the WengerOuters who were previously the lunatic fringe are now the mainstream and might soon get their wish.

The day Arsene Wenger believes his work is done was always going to come and if I had a magic wand, it will not come like this.

Wenger has to go when he wants to go. In my opinion he has earned the right and I say this because I am convinced Wenger will go if he realizes he is the problem or when he knows the club doesn’t want him or need him. Wenger is not there because he needs the money or the status, he can get the same money elsewhere and the status at a few clubs that are better than Arsenal.

A few months ago, Wenger gave this interview and said he was ready to sacrifice his job for the values of the club. If the values of the club are threatened, he will leave and he was ready to leave in the summer.

He is staying on to preserve those values, the same values we Arsenal fans admire about the club. Yes, the on field results are atrocious but there is more. What we are seeing on the pitch is a reflection of a bigger issue that obviously has nothing to do with poor coaching and by inference a lot to do with off the field issues.

I believe Wenger is the bulwark against the employee type at Arsenal. The ‘take take take’ type. When it is finished, it is off to the next gullible employer.

I worry about the future as it doesn’t take a lot to damage a club. Ozil’s new contract is a £52m one. It was negotiated by the might of the new guys and the Chief Executive. If not for the problems partly created by the anti Wenger element within the club, Ozil’s contract would have maybe cost £15m less.

Throw in a few more £200k per week contracts that don’t work and the club is left facing a bill of a few £31m per failed contract extension / signing.

Factor in a few pay offs for managerial sackings, maybe £5m a pop, generous sweetheart agents deal that doesn’t happen now and people start wondering where al the money has gone.

I pray it never happens but the handwriting is on the wall. Just look at all the transfer deals we hear about. Manchester United and City get absolutely dicked about on transfers but because there is an unlimited pot, they don’t care. The continentals appear to do good business and will turn away from financially awful deals. Nobody in Europe was willing to cough up the £40m they knew was going into Raiola’s pocket on the back of the Pogba deal. Only Manchester United did.

Look at the pigs head made of transfers in Everton under Koeman, Moshiri and Kenwright. At the moment, the only place where you think maybe they are getting the financial side of transfers right is Chelsea. Mr. Roman Abramovich keeps a mafia like eyes on the purse. They also do a few selling deals that tell you they are sleek operators and not ignorant willing victims.

Arsene is not a bad manager. As I have tweeted before, Ozil and Sanchez stats have improved significantly since they came under Wenger’s wings. Koscielny famously came from Ligue 2 in France. Iwobi was a boy the Academy wanted to let go at every review because of his height. Bellerin has come from nowhere, Monreal doing great stuff. All down to Wenger’s coaching.

When did Wenger become a poor coach / manager? People level allegations of staleness, stayed too long and whatever spurious things they want to allege but poor management? Absolutely no evidence of that bar the results. I agree you get judged by the results but the results are not a reflection of a manager’s ability.

I have looked at all of our Premier League loses this season and I cant see which one you can blame on a lack of coaching. 

Stoke – referee. Penalty denied. Equalizing goal denied.
Liverpool – dressing room bust up due to Oxlade Chamberlain departure
Watford – 2 goals against Arsenal that should have been disallowed
Manchester City – 2 dodgy goals against Arsenal. Offside and dubious penalty
United – gifting opponents 2 goals and failing to score 10 odd gilt edged chances
Bournemouth – goal keeping error
Swansea – defensive and goal keeping error
Tottenham – dubious goal. Harry Kane foul on Koscielny
City at Emirates – Ok, maybe we were poor
Brighton away – goal keeping errors

Please feel free so say what you like to the above assessment. Can’t be worse than what others have said.

Out of these losses, I want to blame Wenger for our defeat to City at the Emirates. Why? I think Arsenal should have called the match off. We don’t do enough skullduggery.  To be fair, it does appear the Premier League wanted the match to go on. Secondly I though Arsene should have been a bit more cautious / more defensive but my impression is that he went a bit more attacking because the collective decided that was the way to go.

Arsene does not need to teach a senior professional not to give horrible back passes or hospital passes to teammates. If you think Petr Cech and David Ospina are not getting enough training, it is pointless you reading this or having an argument with you.

My view is our players’ confidence is shot. I could blame the Oxlade Chamberlain issue, the Sanchez issue, the referee’s gang up, the size of Ozil’s new contract, AFTV digging out Bellerin, arrival of Aubameyang making it look like Lacazette had been relegated. But I don’t know if that is true, it is all speculation. Only one man, his staff and the squad know what the issues are and I back that one man to solve the problem.

He has made it clear that job security is not the top of his priority. He has made it clear he does not plan to resign. If the board want him gone, they should STOP BRIEFING THE PRESS and make a case to the majority shareholder. If the majority shareholder refuses to pull the plug, the board should come out and make a statement backing the man and should back him wholeheartedly. The Board should stop worsening the situation.

When Wenger goes. Hector is out of the door. I believe Kosc will follow too. Ozil might wonder if he wants to stick around, Nacho maybe and who knows who else.

When Wenger leaves. The vultures will sink their teeth into what is left. The things Arsene didn’t allow them do.

Poor results from the new man will be blamed on Wenger. 

If it ever goes pop in a few years time, it will also be blamed on Wenger.

But I know the good man did a lot for the club. He dragged the club into the 21st century and birthed the most successful period of the club ever.

Until he decides to walk away, I remain in support of him and I am convinced he will walk away if he thinks he is the cause of rot we are in or if he loses the dressing room.