Arsenal Debate: Was Wenger sacked? Or did he leave his contract a year early?

ANSWERING A DIRECT QUESTION FROM A RESPECTED FELLOW GOONER– by Ken1945

“WHICH OF THESE TWO DO YOU BELIEVE IS CORRECT?”

 

QUESTION ONE:

“WENGER WAS SACKED DUE TO THE UNCONTROLLED DOWNWARD SPIRAL HE OVERSAW”:

OR

QUESTION TWO:

“WENGER BROKE HIS CONTRACT AND LEFT THE CLUB DUE TO HIM BEING UNABLE TO REVERSE THE UNCONTROLLABLE DOWNWARD SPIRAL HE PUT US IN”:

 

These two questions were put to me by my good friend Phil, in a previous article and I promised to respond to him.

I think it’s fair to say that Phil and I agree on most things “Arsenal” except the latter time and legacy of Arsene Wenger – furthermore, we discuss this difference of opinion without belittling the other’s viewpoint, or casting doubts on each other’s parentage, or each other’s educational achievements, or even our ages, and end up having a drink afterwards….respect for each other I believe one would call it.

The first thing I want to look at, is the “uncontrolled downward spiral” view, as I don’t agree with that view and have the facts to prove it.

Now Phil, you have said that AW should have left after the 11/12 season, although I did read later, in one of your posts quoting end of the 2015/16 season…but let’s look from the start of the 12/13 season in order to ensure that all areas are covered:

PL Finish and points obtained:

12/13 – 4 / 73

13/14 – 4 / 79

14/15 – 3 / 75

15/16 – 2 / 71

16/17 – 5 / 75

17/18 – 6 / 63

These final positions show that, if there WAS a “uncontrolled downward spiral” it was only in the last two season and, points wise, consistent up and until that last season.

In fact, the from the 13/14 season, we were IMPROVING from 4th to 2nd.

Perhaps that is where you were coming from, Phil, when you mentioned the end of the 2015/16 season?

FA Cup

12/13 – 5th round

13/14 – Won the Cup

14/15 – Won the Cup

15/16 – 6th round

16/17 – Won the Cup

17/18 – 3rd round

These final results are part of the record/legacy that shows AW never lost a 3rd round match until his last season and from the 12/13 season IMPROVED and/or EQUALLED these amazing set of results…so, once again, no signs of “uncontrolled downward spiral” …. unless not winning the cup in 15/16 counts as a downward spiral?

Champions League.

12/13 – KO stage

13/14 – KO stage

14/15 – KO stage

15/16 – KO stage

16/17 – KO stage

EUROPA

17/18 – SF stage

 

These CL stats show no sign of an downward spiral, being the most consistent set of figures of the three competitions…until, once again, his final season, where of course, he guided us to a European semi-final and we were only playing in that competition, because we missed out by one point on finishing in the top four for the 21st consecutive season – unrivalled in the PL.

Since he left the club, we have been trying to emulate these stats and achieved only one of them, when MA pulled off an incredible FA cup win, with the “dross” squad of players that AW and UE left him and which, in the main part, AW produced the stats above.

So, Phil, I’m having trouble with your questions already, but let’s go on to the “sacking” or “breaking of contract” debate.

  1. Definition of “Being sacked” = To remove someone from a job IMMEDIATELY, because they have done something wrong or badly…or sometimes as a way of saving the cost of employing them. (Concise dictionary)
  2. Definition of “stepping down” – If someone steps down or steps aside, they RESIGN from a position, often in order to let someone else take their place. (Google)

Well, I believe that I have proved, from the above figures, that the club was not spiralling downwards, and it certainly wasn’t to save money, because the club paid his salary for the remaining year of his contract, along with a completely new set of backroom staff introduced by Gazidis.

It was also very evident that the club had not been actively seeking any replacement, as it took them until the 23rd of May 2018 before they announced his successor…33 days and numerous names being touted during that time.

It has been well documented that a meeting was held between the board and Arsene on the 20th of April, after which AW announced he would be leaving the club at the end of the season…. NOW THIS IS THE CRUCIAL POINT…not sacked/fired but leaving at the end of the season.

That hardly seems like a UE, DD or GG type of sacking, especially as it was AW himself who made the announcement AND the fact that he did stay until the end of the season.

If anyone can give me an example of someone being “sacked”, but then given a 60,000 plus hero’s exit and presented with a unique gold trophy, nearly six weeks after being “sacked”, then I will concede the point in question……….meanwhile the sacking of UE, DD and GG are perfect examples of what sacking someone really means…perhaps the manure sacking is an up to date example?

In all of these examples, the club did the announcing and it was with immediate effect.

My opinion Phil is that AW realised that results, the media, a section of fans and life in general had become too much and he decided, with the club supporting him, that the time had come to hand over the reins.

Here is the part of the statement made by AW, when announcing his departure:

“After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to STEP DOWN at the end of the season. I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years.” The privilege was all ours Arsene, from beginning to end.

Note, Phil, that he decides the time and the date when he steps down – that is not a sacking, no matter how much you might want it to be.

Here’s another example and part of a statement from David Dein, a man we both admire.

“Arsenal made a huge mistake not finding a role for Arsene Wenger when he STEPPED DOWN as manager in 2018”.

It really couldn’t be any clearer, therefore, that it was Arsene who felt it was the right time and it seems a section of fans felt that finishing 6th and only playing Europa league football might be seen as an uncontrollable downward spiral…it seems AW himself saw it as such…but of course, he was always a honest person wouldn’t you say? Just ask David Dein!!

So, the final part of the question you asked me, was did AW “break his contract?”

Yes, he did (the first time ever of course) but with the full backing of the club and not because of “him being unable to reverse the uncontrollable downward spiral he put us in”, unless you’re judging him on his last season versus the other two decades, he managed the club?

I’m glad you agree that David Dein and Arsene Wenger would be perfect ambassadors for the club, and I echo your sentiments regarding the sacking of David…a black day indeed.

I hope that I have answered your questions as fully as you wanted me to Phil, by using facts, figures and quotes from people who love the club as we do…knowing the two parties involved, we will probably never know what went on at the meeting on the 20th of April.

I probably haven’t changed your mind, but at least you know where I am coming from, and I look forward to our next drink at The Emirates, PAL!!!!!!!

ken1945

 

N.B. All the facts and figures are in the Official Handbook for 2018/19 and the quotes from AW and DD can be found on YouTube and/or Google…

 

WATCH this week’s JUST ARSENAL SHOW – Dan Smith argues that this is the best possible time to face Newcastle…

62 Comments

  1. Dan kit says:

    Maybe question three:
    Left by mutual consent,that would be my guess .
    Either way ,what I do know is that everything hasn’t turned out all rosey since he left ,my personal view is that he should have left after his last fA cup and maybe the season before is when I had started to ask questions if only I had known then what I do now I would have begged him to stay atleast until we had found a proper replacement and not some experimental fill ins .
    What I found when Wenger was here was the excitement started to disappear slowly what’s happened now it’s been completely sucked out within the last 3 years and I don’t see it returning anytime soon .
    ShAme he is still treated with disdain from a small number of fans but like they say the grass is not always greener as now it’s showing .

    1. Reggie says:

      Agree completely Dan. It was a sensible mutual agreement, everyone new his time was up and i agree, i called him to go after the FA cup win but he saw that as another carrot.

      1. ken1945 says:

        Now THAT statement Reggie I can agree with 100%.
        That’s not what Phil was saying / asking, but let’s not split hairs.

    2. Loose Cannon says:

      Dan, someday Wenger would have to step down, due to age or physical inability as the job included travelling and the stress related to it. Had he gone earlier, we could have hired someone better as we had better players then, not the money grabbers we had/have of late. We could have had Klopp or even Jo Mou and would have preferred either of them if they could win us a European cup. We had such toxic players, which Mikel has rightfully chucked out. We are not world beaters right now and cannot be with Pepe, PEA, Laca, Elneny, Kolasinac, Chambers on our books. Next season should be our year. Nevertheless, wether he was sacked or told to resign does not matter as the man was forced out for sure, we can choose our words, but the result was that the man was forced out as he could no longer do justice to the millions he earned. Imagine in 22 attempts, Zero Euro cups, Zero league cups, 3 tiltles (in over 10 years of a 2 horse race), 7 FA cups could be the only face saving stat. (which is of course less than 1/3rd). Every team goes through turmoil and rise up, but thanks to Wenger we were in turmoil (not competeing for winning) since 2005

      1. Logic says:

        Don’t agree LC, we have had opportunity to sign Conte, Zidane and even tuchel but we ignored them and stuck with Arteta. I used to think the same if Wenger left at right time we could have gotten klopp but now seems like that is not how Arsenal operate. They have their own ways and don’t really go with what most of the fans think.

  2. AndersS says:

    I don’t think there is any doubt, Arsenal wanted Wenger stop managing the team.
    Because of the stature he had achieved , he was told, this was the case, and essentially told, he would be sacked unless he agreed to leave.
    A graceful way of doing it IMO.
    You can call it anything from a sacking to a resignation, and it could be argued to be both wrong and right.

  3. gotanidea says:

    Wenger has clearly said: “The hostility of a section of the fans and the board was unjustified. It was very hard, very brutal”

    We could guess what actually happened behind the scene. To each his or her own

    1. Johnze says:

      Well said. That is bery sad to see wenger saying ‘”very bery brutal”. He let the club with no choice other to do that while he could have gone earlier after his last fa cup for example. But he wanted to win again a premiership or an european trophy but they failed in 2016 and 2018.

  4. Phil says:

    @Ken1735- that is a very comprehensive article that absolutely shows how desperate the AKB’s were, and still are, defending the record of a manager that had clearly lost the support of the one single thing every football club needs to survive, which is of course the fanbase. I would happily state Ken it was never myself flying the light aircraft over the grounds with banners trailing from the back stating “Wenger Out”. It was never me who, along with thousands of others formed the “Black Scarf Movement” which had one single aim. This was the get “Wenger Out”. It was not me Ken who parked a lorry trailer outside the ground at every home game for a season with both sides and rear displaying “In Wenger we Rust” painted clearly for everyone to see. It was not me also Ken who either organised or took part in protests outside the stadium on match days every game with the sole aim at getting the board to understand the very vast majority of these fans were tired of the results and performances being served up each week by a manager who felt he could do no wrong.
    Did Wenger ever apologise for the many many mistakes he made in transfer dealings? Or for results such as Bayern Munich 5-1 ( three times ?), Sheffield Wednesday 0-3 league cup with a first choice GK plus a back four of international players? A humiliating loss to Forest the the FA Cup?
    Old Trafford 6-1 & 8-2 obviously will live with every fan who was there, which I was as with every other game I have noted. But just as poor was the many games where Wenger was totally exposed as belong found out, such as Swansea away 30th Jan 2018. We lost 3-1 on a very cold wet winter Tuesday evening in Wales, I know because I was there, in a game where we had 71% possession against a side who would be relegated at the end of the season. In this game we had a total of 9 attempts with only 2 on target despite having all this possession. Swansea had 15 attempts on goal with 12 on target. This game alone sums up totally just how stale and predictable Arsenal had become with the brand of football Wenger insisted we played. The game had passed him by. He had proven to be completely out-dated in his methods and overtaken by younger and hungrier managers who clearly realised just how football had evolved.
    If you are there in Swansea that evening Ken, you would, I’m sure, not have been quite so enthusiastic about Wenger and his football philosophy, it was the final straw for most fans who became very concerned just how much longer a clearly failing manager would be allowed to be in charge and not accountable for what was becoming a serious issue. Wenger had been found out, and the club were being humiliated by teams that we should have been beating easily.
    Take some time Ken and look at those results in the handbook as they are there for all to see.
    Statistics are there and as we all know do not always give a true reflection. We were this evening easily outplayed and beaten by a soon to be relegated Swansea. Wenger had become outdated and he simply had to go.
    Also Ken, just for the record. No, I have never read his book and never will. Yes, I was at his ladt game at The Emirates but was not there for his final goodbye to the fans who wished to salute him. I left as I was glad to see him gone and had no thought whatsoever of applauding someone who I felt had deliberately forced the board into extending a contract that he should never have been given.
    And yes, I was there for his very final game a week later away at Huddersfield and I stayed to make sure that when he left the bout he it would be the very last time I ever saw him. Thankfully it had been to date and hopefully I never have to see him again.
    My opinion but I’m entitled to that and don’t really give a toss if others agree or not.
    But sacked? Of course he was. He was told he was dividing the fanbase and the board got that right. For once.

    1. Declan says:

      @Phil. You might not have seen the last of him according to the BBC……..

      1. Phil says:

        Yeah Declan- I saw a similar article in the Sun online this morning and sent it to Ken, and next thing I know is this article appeared on Just Arsenal. Weird timing but true.

        1. Admin Pat says:

          Hey Phil, in the wish for honest disclosure. Ken sent me this article a good few days ago, but I was in an extremely unfit state, so it only got published today.
          I assure you whatever you read today is not related…

          1. Phil says:

            Hi Pat- glad your on the mend. Just so unreal. I emailed Ken the article this morning then immediately saw this article. Such unreal timing

            1. ken1945 says:

              Phil, as you also know, I sent you an email days ago, saying that the article had been sent to Pat – that was in reply to you question about the saints game.

    2. ken1945 says:

      Phil, but in answer to your two very clear questions… there was no downwards spiralling, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to produce the end of season positions that are factual in every way.

      Your examples are your opinions, some of which I agree with, but that is what they are… opinions.

      Whereas, my figures are not, they are actual facts.
      Now, if you want to argue /discuss how AW managed to achieve those figures, despite the examples you have given, the “dross” players he had/left, then that is another subject.

      If you can give me a reason as to why your saying the club was spiralling out of control, yet still produced the end of season results, then I would have to listen.

      But no airplane, parked vehicle, black sacks, humiliating drubbings, books or anything else you want to put into the pot, can change the facts I produced above.

      I still await any example of someone being sacked for gross negligence, then getting a six week stay of execution, presented with a unique gold trophy and rewarded with a send off by a crowd, minus yourself of course.

      Ask David Dein what he thinks and, no matter what did happen at that board meeting, I suggest the following three years have definitely seen us in a downward spiral!!!

      1. Phil says:

        So Ken, by your reasoning, a 1-3 loss to a team that would be relegated 3 months later, after having 71% possession, creating less chances, less on target attempts, conceding 3 goals and only scoring once, is what exactly? A blip? You would be right of course if it had not happened as often as it did that season. Statistics prove this mate no matter how much you try and sugar coat the facts.
        And the end of season results Ken had us finishing SIXTH that season. Is that nor a downward spiral? I think you will find that’s where it was ending and why the board acted as they did. Unless of course you feel Wenger deserved more time to try and rectify it of course. Which would have put you very clearly in a minority I can assure you

        1. ken1945 says:

          Phil, no one is arguing about his last season, that is why, in my opinion, he resigned.

          So if your spiralling decline comment is about his last season, then I agree…. but you have previously said you wanted him gone in 12/13 because of spiralling decline and that is patently not true.

          If the Swansea game that you quote was a regular reccurance, we wouldn’t have finished in the top four, won fa cups and played in the q/f’s of the CL would we?

          1. Phil says:

            No Ken your right- but it was the Swansea game and others like it that season that proved Wenger lost the ability to perform to compete “With” the top four and we were left competing to be part of the group fighting to be “Within” the elite.
            I accept finances were obviously playing a part. That was the case with all teams attempting to compete with the new money of Citeh and Chelsea, and of course Man Utd who have always had money available to buy big. But was it not Wenger who consistently said he would only buy players better than what he had? That statement alone showed to me that Wenger was far too concerned with bowing to the board than he was the fans. There were far too many average buys and not enough of the quality players we quite obviously needed. Look what happened when we eventually signed the better players in Ozil (immediately won the FA Cup after a NINE year trophy drought) and Sanchez ( what a great signing he was). But instead of building on this we were always a step too short when facing the bigger clubs in the EPL and CL.
            In my opinion, the latter years of Wenger were very poor. He made sure he was rewarded financially but refused to battle the board for the money to buy the extra quality that just “could” have been the difference.
            We instead stagnated and became far to predictable. Too many teams knew how were to be to set up and exactly how we would play. It was complacent not to build on the squad we had and for that I totally and solely blame Wenger. He thought of himself and nobody else then whinged like a crybaby when the fans turned against him.

      2. Phil says:

        Ken- so he got a statue. So what. As I said before the pigeons will make very good use of it I’m sure.
        So let’s say Wenger was not sacked and resigned. Why did he do this only months after negotiating himself a reported £9m pa salary for a two year contract? He felt he had enough and wanted out? Or was feeling the pressure? Whichever, I will never accept anything other than he was forced out by a board that had eventually listened to the vast majority of the fanbase and told him his time was up.

        1. ken1945 says:

          Phil, cast your mind back and it was the CLUB that insisted they wanted him to stay – this article is not about statues, individual games or Wenger out /in movements – you stated a spiralling decline – it wasn’t as the final results prove…. we were a top four club and either winning trophies or competing in the CL quarter finals up and until his final season…. simple as that.

          1. ken1945 says:

            I’ve just looked at the picture Pat has reproduced for the article and it seems to me that there are 99.9% of fans wearing their “merci Arsene” t shirts and that is reproduced when one looks at the crowd as whole – weeks after he resigned.

            1. Phil says:

              Ken I cannot answer for anyone else but the two shirts that were on our seats were not only never worn by us but were given away to somebody who appreciated the gesture. NEVER would I have worn those shirts

        2. ken1945 says:

          Phil, that “vast majority” cliché again!!
          The “vast majority” wore those shirts though, as the photograph proves.

          Here’s a question – why didn’t the board listen to the fans before they asked Wenger to sign that new contract?
          Surely the “vast majority” should have let them know before that, unless it wasn’t the vast majority of course?

          1. Phil says:

            Ken- the FA Cup win papered over a lot of cracks as well you know. And the board, again as well you know, we’re totally inept in not beginning the process of when and how Wenger should go. He had a job for life up until the time the fanbase turned on both Wenger and the Board. This will always be more apparent at away games as the fans are all together, but you yourself will agree that The Emirates crowd became very toxic at times, vile and venomous at others. We had some very poor results that last season he was managing the club, and it was under his reign the Sanchez and Ozil contract fiasco was allowed to become such an issue.
            Wenger had the opportunity to sell Sanchez to Man City for £60m in the close season and refused the offer, totally upsetting the player and reducing his performances as a result. At the winter transfer window we “swapped” the player for Mykitarian which was scandalous decision. This upset the fanbase and resulted in the board sanctioning the ridiculous demands from Ozil. This is all on Wenger and the financial cost of this gross inefficiency is outweighed only by the divide it all caused with the support. Even diehard AKB’s realised Wenger was totally responsible for this gross inefficiency that the board sanctioned because they were totally reliant on a manager who clearly was making too many decisions that were detrimental to the club.
            That’s fact Ken and although not backed by statistics is there for all to see and nobody to argue with

      3. Johnze says:

        lol. Factual ! So no debate ?! You can interpret numbers different way. Of course last seasons were a downard spiral with no UCL. Factual too ! And in the meantime, wenger panicked, making panic buys and splashing the cash in desperate manner on ozil renewing, laca, auba…. Almost all opponents were in rebuild mode in 2016. He lost PL to leicester. After that, for me, he should have think seriously of his succession. But he did not what was he expecting ? To be backed until he would be 80 ? And the club waiting for him to say if he wpuld renew or not like he did selfishly in 2017 ? I loved wenver revolution of the 90’s 2000’s bit his last years are to be forgotten.

    3. gerry burke says:

      PHIL. i know that we have not always seen eye to eye , but, i must salute you on your comment,sir.my exact sentiments, thank you for writing this comment. you will not be alone on this i can guarantee you. the king is dead, long live the king. now some people are trying to bring wenger bback to us. has he not done enough damage to us in his overstay ?.well done and thank you again.

      1. Phuo says:

        Gerry- we are all supporters and all have opinions. This would be a very poor forum if everyone agreed but I don’t ever hold grudges and try to respect others views, even if I do sometimes perhaps not seem as though I do in replies.
        It’s a bit like these posts between Ken and myself. The hours we spend disagreeing on Wenger are only because we see things from different perspectives. However, he is slowly realising I am right and he is totally wrong and will no doubt soon be posting an article with the Headline “Wenger-Whybdid the Club not Sack him earlier than they did?”

      2. Phil says:

        Apologies Gerry- my reply to you had disappeared. Maybe it’s because I was replying far too politely 🤪

        1. gerry burke says:

          PHIL, probably, but never mind, lol. this debate will never goaway ,it seems. i have never seen so many wenger articles on here before, even when he was our manager, seems strange. and i must ask the question, WHY ?.

          1. jon fox says:

            Indeed Gerry , WHY?!

            Reason is JA constantly needs articles, however pointless and way in the past.

            And Wenger still divides fans. So JA ADMINS use this to fill their space, even though it bores most of us silly, esp those who are not set in the past, and who are not obsessed with Wengers legacy after all this time gone by.

            Ken of course IS obsessed and has never accepted the clear fact that Wenger was asked to resign or be sacked, as a sacking. He prefers to dress it up as a resignation.

            As for me and most Gooners, we no longer care about the Wenger past and, as fans, we are naturally more concerned about now and the near future.

            Those who refuse to move on in life, become dinosaurs.

        2. Admin Pat says:

          Lol Phil. Your comment is now approved. Check out your deliberate mistake lol

  5. Mambo says:

    100% agree with article

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      Well written too. It is a long article but I enjoyed every word of it. A great piece of writing.

  6. Declan says:

    Just been reading on BBC that Arteta wants Wenger back at Arsenal in some capacity and spoke with him about it at the recent film premier. He said it would help him immensely if he came back.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      Now that is good news and wise decision from Arsenal. Arteta and Arsenal will only benefit having Wenger close. This is what should have been done in the first place right after his resignation.

  7. Matthew says:

    Wenger was never sacked…he left the club for the toxic fans&i strongly doubt if he will heed Arteta&come back

    1. Phil says:

      Ok Matthew- so you are stating Wenger left because of the toxic fans. Are you suggesting you were comfortable with the situation we found ourselves in during the latter years of Wenger as a manager? We are no longer competing with the top 4 and the football we were all watching was very stale and predictable. Do you not believe the fanbase were entitled to become toxic? Or should we have just accepted the mediocrity we were all suffering?

      1. ken1945 says:

        Phil, we WERE competing in the top four until his last two seasons (missed out by one point in the penultimate season) and finished 2nd the season before that.
        The fact that a SECTION of the fanbase became toxic doesn’t change the facts.

        1. Phil says:

          No Ken your correct. But ask yourself why a section of the fanbase became toxic. If results and performances were acceptable then the support would never have turned on both Wenger and the Board. And do not believe anything other than it wasn’t anything other than a large proportion that slowly turned. Every time a bad result and performance occurred then the fanbase reacted. It became more and more common both at home and away, and most especially against the bigger clubs. Was it acceptable to you that we were continually turned over easily at The Etihad and Anfield, not to mention the fact that we struggled to get past the last 32 and certainly last 16 in the CL.
          As I say, your statistics just do not relate to the fact that complacency and mediocrity were allowed to become a common theme at the club and the manager just could not reinvent himself to adjust to what was an ever changing football world

          1. ken1945 says:

            Just like today Phil, our club just cannot compete with the clubs you mention.
            Why?
            Not because of any manager… but because of the unbridled way those clubs just have bulldozed their way into being top clubs.
            When did city last win a title before the oil money arrived?
            Chelsea were an hour from liquidation before Abramovitch stepped in.
            The only club that I can agree with you on, is pool and even they spent years not winning the PL.

            1. ken1945 says:

              Also Phil, ask yourself why a section of the fan base wasn’t toxic and supported the club,

  8. AndersS says:

    Maybe the question can be:
    Did Arsenal want Wenger in charge going forward?
    The answer to that is clearly “No”, and I suppose that is the bottom line.

  9. Kev82 says:

    It doesn’t really matter if he resigned or was sacked the fact was Arsene Wenger could no longer build a team capable of challenging for the top prizes unless you consider an FA cup a top prize, 14 years without a league title and could barely make it past the last 16 in the champions League… In 22 years 1 champions League final and another semi final which we got hammered in. a UEFA Cup final in 2000 which we lost as well.. so after we stopped challenging for the league it was all about Champions league qualification and FA cup runs until we no longer qualified for the champions League… I think to most people his days was numbered, he even admitted he should have left sooner than he did. I think fans should now put Wenger behind them and just remember the best period 1998-2006.

    1. AndersS says:

      Well said.

    2. Johnze says:

      Well said. Very well said. Even wenger admitted he should have gone sooner ! Bit still some rewrite and rewrite history again…. Come one. He missed two consecutive UCL. It was really time to go. The team was ageing. He brought bad players (musti, kolasinac, yaya sanogo…) Or average at huge price (laca) let future stars leave (gnabry, bennacer) There were no more magic from him.

  10. Matthew says:

    As long as i can remember phil,wenger didn’t lose the dressing room which means the players were still performing for him,so the fans for me were protesting against the wrong man because he is not the one that is meant to provide the funds needed to sign better players…in summary,the fans should’ve channeled their anger/frustrations towards kroenke to sign better players for the club to improve,wenger was just the manager&if given the right players&still failed to perform,the he should be fired,just like it’s done at chelsea…if you can answer this question phil,apart from the major miracle performed by Ranieri&leicester in 2016,can you tell me of any other club that has won the league or the champions league or even finished in the top 4 with the type of squad as wenger had in his las 10 seasons?.i was frustrated too by our results during wenger’s last few seasons,but i never for once blamed wenger for it,i blamed the owner for not looking after the club financially.

    1. Joe. S says:

      Wegner didn’t lose the dressing room, perhaps? but so many players were eager to jump ship whenever a better opportunity arose. This debate is between Ken and Phill and it’s best to leave them at it.

  11. Matthew says:

    If Arsenal’s owner or board knew their job,then we would’ve ended up signing players like hazard,suarez,kante,mahrez&so on when they were identified by wenger as players he needed but they were never signed because the board/the owner were penny pinching…so tell me how this is wenger’s fault?.if those mentioned players were signed for wenger as he requested&he still underperformed,then the fans protests would be justified.again,i remember during wenger’s last seasons we were still beating teams like burnley,norwich,west ham,crystal palace&the likes 4-0,5-0,5-1&so on at the emirates,we even beat burnley 5-0 in his last game but these days,it’s a pipe dream to even score 2 goals in a game

    1. Phil says:

      Matthew- it’s difficult to argue with your points. However, why did we continually buy players that were totally ineffective during Wengers reign, and were proven to be a complete waste of what limited funds we actually had at the club.
      Andre Santos- so poor. Probably one of the worst signings in the history of AFC.
      Arshavin- an outstanding footballer continually played out of position and who ended up being such a poor performer.
      Theses two signings really make me so angry with Wenger. They were both unnecessary and a total waste of money. Wengers handling of the money he was given mainly proved to be poor value with wrong contracts awarded to the wrong players. He seemed to lose all sense when it came to understanding players and their agents/advisors. Too many players were kept on inflated wages when not producing on the field. That is a indisputable fact and the blame lies solely on Wenger for allowing this to happen as well as contracts being allowed to be run down with no resale value to the club. Snd this by someone with a degree in economics I believe.

  12. The-Real-Vieira-Lynn-4ever says:

    What a ridiculous “debate”…it’s certainly no surprise, considering the length of Wenger’s tenure, that his firing was packaged to look as if there was some sort of “mutual” arrangement, but that would mistakenly infer that if Wenger didn’t want to go he could have stayed on longer…of course, that wasn’t the case…just more delusional banter by those AKB’s who continue to struggle with reality when it comes to all things Arsene-related

  13. jon fox says:

    As you know Ken, I remain firmly with Phil on this one and do not propose , now after all these years since he went, to reopen our old sores as to why.

    But I do find it rather sad, after all this time that you still cannot let it go.
    An article about a long running private discussion between you and PHIL is not a proper basis for once again revisiting your obsessional denial that AW was sacked, in all but name.

    Asked to step down and sacked are the same thing -however much you wish to dress it up and hide the truth – but out of respect for his long tenure, the hierarchy did not want to humiliate him.
    And you are fully aware of that but chose to ignore it in your article.
    As for most Gooners , well we have long since moved on, but as you are unable to, it must really hurt you to still , after all this time, have it on your mind so much that you feel the need to write this piece in defence of your obsession that he was not sacked.

    Personally, I no longer care, as I have moved on and prefer to live in the present and worry about that and the near future, rather than try to change and re- label what happened in the long ago past.

    After all KEN, IT CHANGES NOTHING FOR THOSE WHO LIVE IN THE NOW INSTEAD OF THREE PLUS YEARS AGO.

    1. gerry burke says:

      JON FOX, well written, and i could not agree more. some AKB fans on here will never let go. so sad really, what a waste of their time,in my opinion.

    2. ken1945 says:

      Jon, I’m surprised that you (not others obviously) haven’t read the article from the beginning.

      It was Phil who asked me the questions and I replied.

      I have no problem with your opinion, because that is what it is, just as mine is mine and everyone else is entitled to theirs
      . So PLEASE read from the beginning of the article, because, as you know, I attempt to answer aby/every question that is put to me…. unlike some other people I won’t mention at this time

      1. jon fox says:

        What are you talking about KEN!

        OF COURSE I read all the article, as I ALWAYS DO. I know Phil asked you the questions and referred to exactly that in my original post on here.
        The argument comes down to PHIL, myself and most others believeing he was effectively sacked, by being asked to resign and you not accepting that as a sacking.

        That is what our long term difference on AW is all about. But I no longer care , at least not enough to pen an article on it as you have chosen to do, because you won’t let the whole Wenger years go and move on, as almost all other GOONERS have done.

        I believe it is an unhealthy obsession with you but to most fans it is now pointless and gone by. Let it go old chum for your own sake and peace of mind!

        1. ken1945 says:

          So5, IF you read the article, then you know that 2 was replying to a direct question.
          Unlike you Jon, I DO reply to any questions put to me AND NEVER duck out of answering them.
          It seems you also have problems adding up, as the replies on here are not for one view or the other and your obsession for wanting to be in the majority shows a distinct sign of fragility.

  14. Matthew says:

    I believe wenger bought those inferior players based on the amount of funds he was given&about players running down their contracts,i also thought we had a contract negotiator named dick law&we later had gazidis as an excutive…our problem were the owner&board members&not wenger,wenger did his best to manage the players he had.the only issue with him is he didn’t openly come out to criticize the owners for not spending money like a conte or mourinho normally does.

    1. Matthew says:

      My reply was directed to phil’s reply to my comment up there…i wonder why it’s appearing as a full comment

    2. ken1945 says:

      Absolutely correct Matthew and wasn’t it gazidis who stopped Wenger’s decision to only offer one year contracts to players over 30?

      But I come back to Phil’s claim that we were spiralling out of control – that is not true.

      As for AKB and all the other nicknames, I have no time whatsoever for such childish nonsense.
      It’s all about opinions.

    3. Highbury Hero says:

      Well said Matthew. He played the cards he was dealt and played them brilliantly. He didn’t openly criticize to protect the image of the club. What a man!

  15. kev says:

    Wenger was told to go but out of respect they made him step down. He should’ve left long ago and I even think he could do better than some coaches of some clubs and national reams. His football superimposed on a ready made top team could cause havoc

  16. Benjamin says:

    Wenger himself announced his retirement from Arsenal, not the club. So, the answer for the above question is he broke his contract and leave a year early as his will.
    Then, he got a big farewell from the club in return.

    Anyway, my Arsenal was built by Arsene.

    1. ken1945 says:

      That first sentence is my conclusion as well Benjamin
      and you have answered Phil’s question – what about the spiralling decline?

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