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Nitesh: What is the road ahead for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger?

Posted on February 20, 2012 by Nitesh

After Arsenal’s loss to Sunderland left us with next to no chances for silverware this term, I’ve had to rethink my ideas and think where to put my support. Should I continue to put my worth behind Arsene and everything he stands for, or should I shift over to the other side and clamour for him to be thrown out of the club. It wasn’t the easiest decision to make, and I’m still pretty split apart as to what side I choose to support….

I cannot even classify Saturday as a shock defeat. It was building up over the last month or so, with reports of Van Persie having rejected a contract extension only adding to it. The wins over Blackburn and Sunderland went some way to rebuilding trust in the club, but the humiliation in Milan really threw it all into the open. Arsene came out and openly criticized his players, and demanded a response from them against Sunderland. Sadly, it was not to be, and the only realistic thing Arsenal are fighting for now this season is a spot in the Champions League next season, and that too a playoff spot in 4th place in the league!

At this point of time, it seems a bit prudent to keep my trust in the manager. Anyone who reads my articles know that I’m a full-on AKB, but I’m open to criticizing the club and the manager where it’s needed. And sadly, they haven’t really been doing much that would warrant praise from me. They seem to be a digging a hole for themselves, and it’s always about the future, and never the present. Many Arsenal fans can straightaway point out that love for the club is more important than being a glory-hunter, but it hurts when your club is being raped apart in this sense. I do keep my trust in the club for everything possible, but it hurts when I see my trust ripped apart so comprehensively, and I find myself to be a complete stranger to everything that’s happening. Surely fans are part of the club, and shouldn’t the club do its part in making sure that fans get what they deserve? Even if it’s not trophies, surely the fans deserve to see the club try its best in every aspect? No matter if it’s not successful even then, but not trying and making a mockery of the fans really is an insult..

Arsene Wenger has always had my respect, and he has it even now. It’s always easiest to hammer the manager when things are not going according to plan, but when things are right off the script for so long, you just have to wonder. Still, Arsene has my support, and he’ll continue to do so till he is at the helm and is the main man in the dressing-room.

I have always stated that the club’s problems are not solely the manager’s responsibility, but are a major result of misdemeanour on the board’s part. The takeover by Stan Kroenke raised hopes of seeing more input by the board, and fans were hoping that we wouldn’t have to see the days of the Will-Wood family and the Lady Whatshername anymore. But sadly, his introduction hasn’t really brought about the change we wanted in the club, and he has played the role of a silent spectator, rather than the ringmaster we were hoping for.

In a recent article, we asked fans who you wanted as the man who’ll control Arsenal. An overwhelming 93% of Gooners opted for Usmanov against Stan Kroenke, and there wasn’t anyone willing to trust in the present board setup among the comments. I wouldn’t speculate much on this as my knowledge on Usmanov is pathetically limited, and I’m not one who adds fuel to the fire without any reason. Still, I have to say… nothing can be worse than the present, can it?
by Nitesh

23 to “Nitesh: What is the road ahead for Arsenal and Arsene Wenger?”

  1. samuel says:

    The manager Arsene Wenger picks the same rubbish players
    match after match while better players are sitting on the
    subs. bench week in and out ,ben Ayoun,Chamakh,Park,some
    examples,so the manager must take the blame for his inept
    1st eleven ,not Stan Kroenke or Usmanov,but why do Arsenal
    bloggers such as Nitesh get it so wrong with ludicrous pos
    tings like above?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

  2. Ankit says:

    Awesome article Nitesh. I have utmost respect for Wenger but his recent Managerial tactics have been least to say bad. eg:-

    1) He never changes his formation……which he should according to the match situation. In fact since 2007, he has not changed his formation. Think !
    2) Transfer Issues – During the Pre-season, everybody knew that Fabregas & Nasri were going to leave. He should have done that atleast one month b4 the starting of the season. The replacements came at the transfer deadline day and as a result team never got the time to gel together. Result we all know. Think !
    3) Persisting with Johan Djourou – a 6yr old will tell that this defender is not ready to play at the highest level. Wenger thinks otherwise. Let me remind the games against Fulham,Swansea,AC Milan,Man Utd,Sunderland etc which literally lost us the games. Tactically WENGER FAILED AGAIN.
    4) Remember the hooting-booing when Chamberlain was substituted for Arshavin. That was a crunch situation. We were gaining upper hand in the game at that point of time. For sure he could have made couple of good runs at that point of time. We might as well have won that game. THINK !!!
    5) AC Milan game – Now in this game when Koscielny was injured, Song should have been shifted back to CB position.Everybody knows that we have injuries galore and SONG I am sure that he would have been 100% better than Djourou. We were literally hammered in that game. THINK !

    These are only some of the many occassions were Wenger was exposed. I believe that he has done so much for Arsenal that I don’t want to see him get sacked,but if he leaves then that should at the end of the season.NOT MID-SEASON.
    Come nxt season he should move to the Admin level !

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  3. Peter Snoop says:

    Arsenal’s current problems are just to be blamed on its board which is very economical,mean and selfish with money and also to Wenger who doesn’t buy experienced elegant players who can make a team to win trophies but instead buys very young [UNDER-20s] inexperienced playerswho CANNOT make/help a team to win trophies.
    So I think WENGER and the whole of Arsenal’s current board/ management should either just resign now or be SACKED/FIRED NOW AND REPLACED with a serious board and coach which will help Arsenal to be winning trophies yearly.
    Also Arsenal fans who stay in London you should just mobilize each other unitedly and protest and demonstrate bitterly, persistently and tirelessly to make Wenger and people like Ivan Gazidis to either resign by themselves or be fired and replaced immediately,enough is enough and too much of something is poison

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  4. nickinportugal says:

    Money is the bottom line and there are strong signs that the bitter disappointments of last year and this are seriously affecting attendances at the Emirates. Sure the seats are all paid for but secondary expenditure must be radically off what it was last season and as we fall out of contention earlier and earlier this will be reflected in balance sheets. This is the kind of issue the board take very seriously and with endorsement contracts up for renewal we all know that 4th place and the world wide exposure of the CL is vital if the so called financial model is to continue to pay for the new stadium. Much as it may hurt fans like us the game on saturday was a sideshow compared to the next three Premiarship games, these simply define our season and our immediate future as a club. They are that big. The bullshit about 55 million in summer being avaliable is not to be taking too seriously but if it is there somebody has to help Wenger in the market, he can’t do everything and we keep VP. Both issues depend on the next three games, lose those and there is no way back.

    I support Wenger, he is a different class to the Daglishes and Redknapps of the world with a vision of a CLUB not just a team. he has made errors but we do not know the full financial reasons behind the relative parsimony of recent years. he had to seel cesc, right to sell nasri (who wants a moody disaffected player who does not believe in his team?. The imports are better than many say, Mersaaker is a helluva player, look at his positioning, look how we miss him. Arteta has been our best player many times this season. Jenkinson was getting better and better after the shaky start as was santos, (stupid decision playing him in greece). Wenger is right, we need to stay unified especially against the Spuds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  5. Charlie says:

    I am one of the 93% but if I was to offer advice to this board it would be to stop spending 5m here and 5m there on gambles that never pay off. Buy who the manager wants, the first choice. So you only buy one player instead of 5 but that player is almost certain to be a key contributor to the team rather than just sucking up wage budget. There are so many players in the squad and many are totally expendable. The talent in the youth squad should fill in the gaps when you are selling many more players than you are buying.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. Angelito says:

    I’ll just repeat the obvious: Stan Kroenke doesn’t force Arsene to start Ramsey in every game, now does he? It’s as simple as that.

    The problem is there within the board and the wage structure, which is obsolete. From what he has, Wenger has done a terrific job within the club, but that’s not to say he is flawless. The main problem is that Arsene doesn’t learn from his mistakes and when it comes to big CL games, he seems to be tactically inept (I’m sorry). We have never done well in CL except for one season. Even with the Invincibles, we never reached the CL Final. Something has to be wrong, isn’t it? At that point, the Invincibles were the greatest team on the planet. But with that team, we couldn’t even reach the final of the CL.

    Does Kroenke force Arsene to play Arshavin out of position? We already have a ready made attacking midfield player in Arshavin to fill in for the “Cesc role,” but why in the world is Arsene hellbent on using Ramsey–who clearly isn’t ready? Then he shoves Arshavin wide–where he is not effective at all. It’s something that I’ll never understand. Wait, I know that Ramsey provides more “defensive securities,” but he provides NOTHING to the wide players and RVP. What we desperately lack is creativity and only Arshavin has that natural creativity amongst our current players. The others aren’t creative players. We should have bought Mata because we had to fill that hole left my Cesc and Samir, but Arsene decided to loan Benayoun instead–a player we didn’t even need. What the heck?

    Have you realized that we’ve lost 5 of the last 6 games Ramsey has started and the game we won against Blackburn and Sunderland, Ramsey didn’t start those games? Ramsey came in to score against Sunderland and that’s what he is best at: impact substitution.

    I trust Arsene and I’m still a believer, but this season–we’ve lost so many games due to tactical errors. It’s not funny anymore. It’s getting ridiculous.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. Chessmaster says:

    The FA: “Erm Arsene, you have picked Abou Diaby, im sorry but you cant do this”
    Wenger: “Why not, you want me to play Lampard? This will kill Diaby”
    The FA: “No Arsene, you dont get it, he isnt English, you can only pick English players”
    Wenger: “I look at quality, not at passports”
    The FA: “Well, you dont seem to get it. Diaby is out, who do you want instead?”
    Wenger: “Mobongo Kakapo”
    The FA: “Sigh……”
    BREAKING NEWS: Wenger sacked after just 2 days incharge.
    The Sun: “Arsene, quite an embarrassing stint incharge for you? Can you explain why you chose to try and pick Diaby?”
    Wenger: “I have picked 50,000 players in my career, I dont have to explain myself to you”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  8. giddy says:

    For heavenly sake i would prefer wenger to be at arsenal but not as a coach. tactically i think wenger has lost the plot. he has also lowered his standard to the level where he is thinking that finishing fourth is like a trophy. surely arsenal must look beyond wenger and get a coach who can make total overhall to the current playing unit. that would mean that players like diaby, Squilachi, chamack, park, benayoun, almunia, bednar, denilson, Djorou, and many others should live to free in the spaces for other better players.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  9. ppontus says:

    Great post Nitesh.
    Guys, do you really think that Arteta, Mertesacker, Santos and Yossi were AW:s first choices? They’ve been allright but I am absolutely certain that AW started off trying to get other players. We know he tried for Mata but couldn’t get him due to wage caps and/or not being able to cempete transfer wise.
    They were brought in simply because the board wouldn’t spend bigger and because the board and AW have lost their touch when it comes to making a deal happen.
    We miss Dein or someone like him. He would have made more deals happen and he would never have let Fab leave like he did. He would have told Barca 40mil and pay up before the end of June. Now we let them stall with both deal and payments and it was clear to anyone to see that there was no money in the war chest. I guess the dividence payouts were too bloody high that month.
    Next year I would like too see this:
    - Wenger in charge but a new voice on the bench instead of Pat Rice, preferably someone who knows defence and is not afraid t speak his mind.
    - Someone to come in to make transfer deals happen
    - Either a new owner or a new policy

    We will lose RVP, that’s a no brainer and I think we need to get rid of some dead wood (Ros, Walcott, Arshavin, Chamack, Squid and a few of the players currently out on loan).
    That should bring in about 120 million pounds for us to spend (counting the 55mil rumoured to have been promised already).
    If we spend that money wisely we can get back in full steam next year with a team looking something along these lines:

    Starting:
    Scezny
    Sagna – Verm – Kos – Santos
    Coquelin
    Wilshire – Hazard
    Ox – Podolski – Gervinho

    Sub XI
    Howard
    Jenkinson – Mertesacker – Bartley – Gibbs
    Song (Frimps)
    Ramsey – Shaqiri
    Ryo – Guidetti/Pato – Taiwo

    Not too bad if you ask me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  10. ppontus says:

    sorry forgot about arteta, he should def be there somewhere!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. John Collard says:

    Wenger in David dein back.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  12. wengernumb says:

    wenger out….collate all the flaws pointed out by AKBs in their laudable quest to be honest and fair and you have a big pile of examples to support the view that he really isnt good enough.
    The author repeats over and over that he supports wenger, and it seems to be a habit…almost self-hypnotizing!…One point i believe should be raised is that all of us were heaping praise on wenger when we were winning trophies..its only fair to blame him when things are so unbelievably bad as they are now…or can wenger only be judged when we are winning?????
    martin o’neill!…now thats what i call a manager.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  13. anxious gooner says:

    Clear out and save on wages , buy 4 quality players ,
    As easy as that….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  14. Zinc says:

    We were never going to win anything this year, we just need to get behind the manager and the lads and get to as many matches as we can and give them our support – this is our team and we need to be proud of what Arsenal is and stands for. F*** the haters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  15. John collard says:

    It seems so easy lol anxious I respect your views highly and love the way u state your views in a proper manor and when u don’t agree u show us how to debate without getting to nasty. But it’s not as straight forward as that bud. Wenger needs us all now like we needed him 15 years ago. I’m so ashamed at some so called arsenal fans.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  16. nicw says:

    I just heard that Djourou is on a new £50,000 per week contract. If this isn’t bad management I don’t know what is. Everyone can see this guy is not premier league standard let alone Arsenal standard. He is worth a goal a game to the opposition and now we are stuck with him on the wage bill because no other club would dream of paying him anything like as much. Don’t ge me wrong I like the guy he is a character and very likeable, but that is not criteria for playing for Arsenal. Why can’t Wenger see what we all can it’s Senderos, Denilson, Silvestre, Bendtner, Chamakh, Almunia… all over again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  17. anxious gooner says:

    @ john , appreciate the kind words , Wenger will always have my support and more importantly the Arsenal will always have my support BUT i dont think the youth philosophy that Wenger and the board love so much is going to work now more than ever for 1 reason , because we cant keep them when they mature into great footballers and i hear a lot of nonsense about afc becoming a selling club but unless you are Madrid or Barca you are a selling club . (and now City)
    I appreciate a lot of afc fans have seen harder times than this but we were never in the position we are now its like someone is scared to take us to next level like we were promised when we moved to the emerites.
    Last year we were 2 quality players short of winning everything yet they refuse to buy.
    We have a decent team but a lot of the players dont turn up and look like they dont want the ball ,i really think there is problems in the dressing room, there is never a plan b , and Wenger has to take some responsibility.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  18. brooklyn says:

    i dont see djourou is not premier league standard…he is better than cahill, luiz,…if chelsea would have opportunity to select between djourou and cahill for same price they would have gone for djourou

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. kent says:

    Arsenals problems stem from the board and manager together.Wenger and the board shd wake up and know the times have changed,ur nt goin to cap salaries when City r throwing away 200 grand pounds per week and players on 70k are crying.
    2)Certain players lyk Walcott,djorou to mention bt a few shd b thrown out.3)A manager who says finishing fourth is lyk wining a cup is totaly out of his mind,expect such hogwash from Moyes and co.bt nt AW with his stature.wt u think goes on in doz players minds wen he says that,there is just total luck of ambition in da club and dat has to change.
    Like someone said,everything starts and falls on leadership and I think AW,has totaly lost it,period

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0



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