Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Monday, May 18, 2009

Wenger: “Judge this team in two years time”.... Again?

By 1970’s Gooner

I was amazed to see those words quoted to Arsene Wenger a few days ago in the aftermath of the comprehensive defeat in the Champions League semi final against Manchester United.

I was really amazed at the audacity to offer this consolation to all the fans who so desperately want this team to return to the glory days of the earlier Wenger years.

Isn’t this what Arsene has been dishing to us after every defeat, after every humiliation suffered at the hands of a top three opponent and after every disappointment in going out yet again in the major competitions.

And don’t get carried away into a false sense of security by the admittedly good performance against Manchester United.

The opponents were on a bad day, obviously nervous to get the draw that they required.

We were comprehensively outplayed in both Champions League games against them and outgunned by a much more experienced and street wiser Chelsea.

How can Arsene expect us to believe him these days. This excuse of “judge this team in two years” was palatable some years ago when he began to break up the invincibles. We were all prepared to give time so that another invincible team could be rebuilt. And that is why these excuses were grudgingly accepted by all.

But now four years later we hear the same things. Every year, over and over again.

The reason is very obvious and we have shown in previous posts on this site that Arsene’s model of football development is appropriate and indeed viable for a team in a state of financial austerity but I am afraid flawed in terms of achieving success on the pitch.

There are two reasons for this and we have reiterated them before.

The first one is that this model depends too much on the one man that can keep it (financially) afloat.

The second one is that unless by some quirk of fortune the young and inexperienced team win the championship, the emerging stars begin to get itchy feet as they see their footballing careers wasting away in season after season of underachievement.

And then Arsene begins to rebuild the team again and again and again.

That is why we have criticised Wenger for sacrificing the chance of winning the FA Cup by choosing to rest Arshavin in the semi final against Chelsea.

The reason was that he could be fresh for the League game at Anfield! So that we could be in a position to challenge Chelsea for third place which would automatically lead, under the new Uefa regulations, directly into the group stages thus avoiding potentially difficult opponents in the qualifying round…

So precarious are Arsenal’s finances you see that we HAVE to qualify for the lucrative stages of the Champions League AND sell one player every year.

What Arsene has to do is simple.

He has to buy two experienced, non attacking, players and KEEP the existing members of the squad.

If this does not happen then there is a real risk that 4th place or qualification to the group stages may not be achieved (Manchester City and Aston Villa will strengthen their squads). And by then we will be very near 2011.

The year Arsene Wenger’s contract runs out…..

So Wenger rested Arshavin in the FA Cup to end up with this shambles?


Anonymous said...

I'll give him 2 more seasons.
Wenger's possible reason is that he'll clear some players and buy in some better replacements.
These replacements need time to gel so maybe we will still be in transition with these new signings for the first year.
In the 2nd year, Wenger will expect to launch a clear title challenge.
Give Wenger some time and I believe glory days are going to come.

Anonymous said...

Do not short change that display by the young gunners at Old Trafford. The reason they controlled that game was from the strength of the spine of that team. Arsenal struggle when they have a small line-up in the Midfield. Arsene's team selection made the difference, Diaby, Denilson, and Song presented the opposition with a strong physical presence in the middle of the park where most attacks were snuffed out by Diaby in the opponents own third.Arsenal's problem is not youth it is a lack of physical player's and the trio of Diaby , Denilson and Song was the difference.

Anonymous said...

All we need to do is sell "Adebarndoor" for 25million! Buy Huntelaar for 17 Million! Then buy Barry OR Alonso and we will be sorted!! Maybe a Huge CB if Gallas leaves! And maybe even Gourouff, but Rosicky's back now so whats the need for him?!

perrygrovesworld said...

yep Rosiky is back and we've almost forgotten how good he was. In fact as someone who was always a holding midfielder he will be most welcome. If you saw Tony Adams on Arsenal TV the other day he made a very good comment that buying experienced players who are available is not quite that easy given the money that Arsene has at his disposal and these day, by the time you are 23 you are considered experienced if you're playing as an international too. Sakho for example is 23 but old enoug and good enough; ask the French manager. We need a good tall central defender to play alongside Gallas to make the most out of corners as well as defend. How many time did Billy Gallas get those crucial bundled goals from corners? imagine that times two. I think Ade will leave so Arshavin's strike partner from Zenit or Huntlaar would complete the package. Next season will be the one and Arsene knows it (and so do we all). No ifs no buts...

Angelos said...

Sakho is 19 perrygrovesworld...

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ! Talk about glass half empty! Your glass is completely dry, the beer is all over your pants and the glass has smashed into a million pieces.

Why don't you judge Wenger on the performances against Man Utd and Chelsea at the end of 2008? You can be selective and paint whatever picture you like and it seems that you are determined to paint a black one.

Gary said...

It's schmucks like you that might actually end up driving Wenger away...

The year Wenger's contract runs out...then what numbnuts!?!

Spike said...

oh and anon 8;28

Yep, we controlled that game, the Mancs tried to get an early goal, couldnt and we controlled that game. But this doom mongering cunt will even try and take that away from the team. Great fan eh?

Who needs spuds with pricks like this about?

Gary said...


Jazbo said...

Doom and gloom again, give it rest or your'll end up cutting your own throat, let's face it this seaosn was poor by our recent standards, but you have to remember we had a poor closed season being shafted by Helb and Flamini, then if that's not enough we had injuries that would have made manure a midtable team, this is not fantasy this is all fact!!!
We also had the will he go or will he stay crap from Adebayor, so let face facts with all that shit going on, Wenger called on the likes of Denilson, Song and Bentner who should realy have had another season as reserve players but these boys came in and steped up to the plate and pushed us up the table, even Eboue had a small part to play in that, check it out, if these boys and Arsen Wenger never put in the hard graft and took the shit from a lot of our so called supporters we would be looking up at Villa in the champions league forth spot and Everton, Westham and Fulham in the Euro league, we owe those boys a debt of grattitude, so to all of you who still have there heads up their arse come out and get real

Anonymous said...

Football is simple only for the simple minded...

Spike said...


You said it a lot more politely than I could fella! Right on!

Joe said...

I hate people like you. What if Wenger does leave, then what? Are we just going to get money from nowhere?

I guess it is simple, we find someone who can mould players who cost nothing, into players that are better than £30M quid players, in the space of an off season!!!

It's so simple.

Everyone sits and gripes about what we don't have. Why not look at what we do have. A team who play football the envy the world over and can still be in there when it counts.

It's widely quoted that Wenger is being offered £13M as transfer fund. If you times that by 2 and a half you could have just about bought Rooney but still would not be able to afford Rio or Berbashite, let alone the pre-requisite 2CBS and a DCM "in their prime" i am hearing.

This is the only way we have to go forward unless we get a rich backer. If you don't like it i suggest you don't let the door hit you on your way out to suport Chelscum.

gazzap said...

I thought it was a good article. whether I agree with it or not is not the point. it creates debate, or its supposed to.
some of the comments above aimed at the author are disgraceful.
you call yourselves human beings? maybe you are children who should be doing their homework? maybe you are thugs or louts who only use language like that in your everday life.

If you cant learn to comment on other people's blogs like a normal human being then go and start your own blog and then wait for every single person to agree with you. Idiots.

Parnhat said...

here here Spike et al, these boys are morons, clearly we'd all love to win some trophies again, but lets face it back when we were winning trophies, we were only really competeing with Manu and becasue we were still at Highbury, we didnt have to do it with one hand behind our back.

Two semis beaten by two of the 3 teams above us in the league, with a team that spent the 1st half of the season without our best strikers and the 2nd half without our defense, IMO thats not that bad, in fact i'm proud of what the team achieved espcially seeing off Villa.
We're not far off competing a years more experience wont hurt - but get rid of Wenger and we'll drop like a stone!

Eric Savage said...

I think a bit of mourning is in order - we had high expectations at the start, especially with all the talent coming through. Our title ambitions were hit quite early with unexpected losses against Hull, Stoke and Fulham.

Once all the smoke has cleared, most fans will realise that one thing hasn't changed: we have one of the brightest young squads in the game, and Wenger is right that in 2 years time the current talent will be the very kinds of stars you want to pay 20 million for now. Or he might be wrong, maybe they'll be ready a season ahead of time and win next season.

Munogwara Imi said...

Spot on mate. This time next year he will saying "people forget this is young team. The average age out there was 23"

So what?

Somebody has got to tell this guy that if he does not want to buy then he has to go.

Its a shame some people cannot imagine an Arsenal team without Wenger. He is plainly stubborn and rigid.

Only a desperate man would have signed someone like Silvestre and have faith in the likes of Djorou.

The perfomance against Manure was nothing to write home about. A few kids spent the day passing around the ball in midfield and someone thinks its a spelendid performance. No threat whatsoevr to the opposition. Numerous crosses from Sgna into the box and no one to receive the crosses. The manager is there scratching his head, why the hell can he not tell him not to cross the ball if there is noone to receive the ball?

If Adebayo goes its a big loss, but looks like he will go.

Unknown said...

You fucking so-called supporters make me sick. You'd have some gobshite come into our club and sacrifice the long term future, possibly bankrupt the club for the sake of some short term gratification.

What a microcosm of all that is wrong in today's world. "Success" at all costs, instant gratification, a band aid to cure a disease.

When this club stands tall and proud as the richest club in the world, provided for through its own earning and relieved of it's debt, when this club is the beacon to which all others aspire to, because of the work of one great man, one genius, then YOU WILL HAVE NO RIGHT TO SHARE IN THAT GLORY.

FE Gooner said...

When Emirates project started, Arsene decided to concentrate on youths because money will be tight. Once the stadium debt is pared down, the club can start spending serious money. This is not a monopoly game, where you simply restart the game after you become bankrupt. Overall, you should be proud of what the team achieved in view of the budget, even though personally I am disappointed by the poor start to the season. There can be only 3 winners each year - PL, CL and FA cup. And we are not far away...

Anonymous said...

a handful of Neanderthal Ultras here try to kill this blog off and drive sane people away, the moderator should cut them off and not be so uber- tolerant .
Wenger's interview (re: Real's galacticos policy of all things) was directed to the board first, not the fans. ' Give me the money or ' was the message to the tight handed hypocrites who hide behind him and erode his credibility. Otherwise the problem with Wenger's policy of youth, is not the policy but the youth he ended up recruiting . The model is AJax mid 90' s conquerors ( think of that lineup of homegrown youth: v.d.Saar, de Boer x2, Davids, Seedorf, Kanu , Litmanen , Kluivert..) or the Barca , half their first 'Dream team' are homegrown from Valdes thru iniesta Xavi to Messi... Does anyone think that Djourou, Eboue, Denilson Song Diabi Bendtner will ever reach anything remotely as good as these players? or Manu goldens?. This is what it will take to conquer europe or the premiership, or maybe it is the reserve team we should look at for the real promise?. Even Fabregas ,as good as he is, is not yet on the level of a Xavi or Iniesta. and that is the level we should be at if we are to be able to compete in our style of football. So Wenger is far far behind schedule, and he desperately knows that. all these threats and drama and sulkiness is a smoke screen . Wenger need Arsenal as much it needs him. 4th 3rd place, semi finals, glittering moments here and there.. that hurts..

Anonymous said...

blogs like this will force wengers hand,he needs to know he has the support of most gooners.
all these blogs do not represent the average word on the street.

Anonymous said...

Dixon maintains Arsenal will soon deliver silverware once again.

"He feels the frustration just like anyone else," Dixon added. "He has produced one of the best training grounds in the world, one of the best stadiums in the world and some of the most attractive football ever been played. And people still just say 'we haven't won anything'. They just have to be a bit more patient.

"I want him to succeed because I can't speak highly enough of him and about how he goes about running a football club.

"When he came he was going to get rid of us all because we were 32. I ended up playing until I was 38 - six years under him and I won two doubles.

"He is a man of integrity and he does not deserve to be treated in this way by a section of his own fans."

Words from a true legend unlike you and a SUPPORTER unlike you and many who agree.

Have a day off!!!

Anonymous said...

Allow me to begin by saying that I am not generally given to despair on any level or indeed on any particular issue, regardless of the severity of the crisis that may present itself. That said, I have found the events of the last few days disturbing in the extreme.

I am an Arsenal supporter. This simple fact, this state of being, has been a constant in my life for 30 years. It has brought me heartbreak and elation in equal measure from watching Tony Adams driving home the final league goal of a title-winning season to being curled up in the foetal position on my couch for 36 hours after Barcelona came from behind to crush our Champions League dreams in Paris .

In all that time I had come to believe that I had pretty much seen it all…..until these last few weeks.

In the last few weeks, I have watched hundreds of my fellow supporters come as close to blows as anybody could over the internet. I have listened in astonishment as players in the hallowed Red & White of Arsenal have been boo’d and jeered by their own supporters sometimes when they are warming up before coming on as a substitute!

I have listened in shock while our most successful manager, one of the most respected figures in world football, had to endure a shareholder’s meeting where participants were more concerned with taking cheap shots at our players than reasonable discourse. Imagine if you will, having the opportunity to talk directly to Arsene Wenger about various aspects of our club and its future direction and then wasting it by insulting him and our team. It beggars belief! Let’s get something straight here. Jeering and insulting those who you you claim to support is tangibly oxymoronic with an emphasis on the ‘moron’ part.

How the hell did we get here? Have we become so demanding and so oblivious to our relative position in the football universe that we revert to tourette syndrome when events fail to unfold as we desire? Sadly, it would appear so.

Anonymous said...

What has changed over the years to make us thus? In truth it is probably a mixture of brainwashing from a partisan media, a nagging uncertainty about the future ownership of our club and the result of a diet of success that was far too rich for our own good for several years.

Here and now, every Arsenal supporter should ask themselves why they became a supporter in the first place. Was it to complain? Perhaps to facilitate writing abuse on the internet? Maybe it was to indulge in jeering the home team from the home supporters section. Maybe, but I suspect not.

What I suspect is that you became an Arsenal supporter out of love and passion for the club. It was this love and passion that caused you to put everthing else on hold come matchday. It was this love and passion that caused you to spend your hard-earned cash to see your team play live . It was this love and passion that allowed you to savour victory and success to to an opiate-like degree and that eased your pain when that success was fleeting, as it so often is in football.

It is now time to remember those things of yesteryear that sparked our love affair with this magnificent football club and realise that they are just as strong in us today as they were then. Complaining about our situation will not change it and the events of this year and others cannot be undone.

NOW is the time to unite behind our manager and behind our team. It is NOW during this bleak period that they need our support the most. We are their twelfth man and we are not matchfit anymore.

Let’s have an end to all these ridiculous calls for Arsene Wenger to be replaced. He is going to be our manager for the forseable future so get behind him. When he eventually retires, he will greatly missed believe me. Let’s also have an end to the incessant calls for him to buy players. OF COURSE HE IS GOING TO BUY PLAYERS! Not only that but he will buy the best players he can lay his hands on with the money he has available, which will most likely be substancial this year even though it hasn’t been in recent years.

On top of that, when he does buy these players, make them feel welcome! Make up great songs about them, send them welcoming messages via the club and go and see them pre-season singing yourself hoarse in the process. Wear shirts with their names on the back. Show them that they belong and they will play their hearts out for you.

This seaon coming, RENEW YOUR FAITH IN THE ARSENAL! Wear your colours proudly! Drown out the voices of other supporters whether home or away with your singing! Roar your applause at every shot on goal whether it goes in or to row Z! Roar your applause at every substitute warming up and let them know that you are behind them and that their best will always be good enough.

You will see more of their best as a result. Increase your support to include the reserve matches, the youth games and our fantastic ladies team who are a national treasure. Go to their games come rain or shine! Break their attendance record until they have to put their matches on at The Emirates because they deserve to play there and they deserve you to be there for it. Make other supporters and other teams feel awe for the support that we give our team. Make the Emirates atmosphere the envy of the league! Lift our players and they will do their part and lift trophies. Raise your voices, lift your team and renew your faith.

Unity in the face of adversity.

Victory through Harmony.

We will get there…….together.

Anonymous said...

I feel that “internal battles” between sections of the club are merely a convenient media method of dramatizing things - to make people believe that things are brewing you have to have the dark side fighting against the bright side. The Wenger quote on Real project over the last week was nothing but an ambush. I don’t know what’s going on in Arsene’s mind but with all the stresses visible on his face, you can come up with thousands kinds of speculations about which or what. But really, what’s the fuzz?

Fact of the matter is, we know too little to be nervous or reacting in a presumptuous manner. This is precisely what the media intend to happen: creating a movement out of precious nothing and let that movement itself become news (as people will quickly forget what the whole fuzz is about in the first place).

After reading the summary of Arsene’s interview with the board (link to which posted in this website) I have to say that most signs of emotional reaction there were extrapolated by the writer and that there was no concrete evidence of political tension at all. The board has a right to be critical. In fact it’s their job to be critical in a contributing way. Their questions did not seem to surpass that limit (Kevin Witcher, of the few people named, was highly courteous relative to what he usually writes in his blog). Most of all, Arsene is way too intelligent not to take these criticism personally.

So if there’s a thing to do now as supporters, it’s to show our unified support in the last game of the season. When there’s nothing to fight for - as this game is to be labeled - is when true characters are revealed. The team have done their part in the United game by playing delightful football - in quality and in attitude - and showing no loss of desire to win.

This weekend the boo-boys won’t show up because they won’t have anything to hold on to or to protest about. There are no better times to cheer up our team because there won’t be any disruption or hesitation. There are no better times our passion and commitment are more vital to the club than now.

Anonymous said...

Out: Adebayor, Senderos, Silvestre

In: CB: Juan or Upson or Hangeland
DM: M. Diarra or Inler or Alonso or Flamini
F: Etoo or Ibrahimovic or D. Villa

These changes would mean we could challenge for the title, also maybe a left back would be good. Song could be moved down to centerback if needed, he actually can be the replacement for Touré in due time. He's not quick enough for a midfielder at this level, he can be a back-up midfielder but not against the top Premiership sides. And Denilson, Diaby, Nasri, all those players are simple lacking in physical presence to cut it, it's simply not enough.

Mic said...

I wonder where you took those comments from?

A link would be greatly appreciated, since no other site or blog has picked up on them.

A post like this without any credible source is not very respectable.

Anonymous said...

These are just ideas of what type of players we need to bring in, off the top of my head! Sorry if I was unclear about this.