Arsene Wenger Fights Back by Dan

Arsene Wenger came out fighting last night at a charity dinner to honour his Arsenal career. The man is nothing else but smart so, while claiming to be nothing more than an Arsenal supporter these day, there was a wry smile. Every word was well thought out as he stopped short of saying ‘He told us so, the ‘grass isn’t always greener’, and ‘things change yet stay the same’.

He listened to a list of legends thank him for the contribution he had on their lives, but when it was his turn to speak, he reflected on the ‘selling years’ being his biggest achievement, not the 10 trophies he won.

The irony being he was mocked for ‘only’ finishing 4th despite selling our best talent to pay off stadium debt, a position we would bite your hand off for now. In his last year, Mr Wenger made it clear he was aware of some of the ‘disrespect’ that he would ‘never forgive’, so might enjoy pointing out nothing’s changed. If anything, we would be more creative if he was still in charge, we wouldn’t start with 3 DM’s. We would play to Pepe’s strengths, Ozil would certainly be in the squad, and he probably wouldn’t have told the board to stop negotiations with Ramsey.

While the Frenchman, out of respect, hasn’t been back to the Emirates since so as to not put pressure on Unai Emery, he did warn him that he has a ‘responsibility’ to play entertaining football, something you could never accuse the old regime of.

Was it a coincidence that he’s waited for fans to express concern about our identity for him to remind the world of the proud ethos he created? Some might think if had a motive that it’s petty/bitter, but you can’t have it both ways. He handled himself with grace when he was hounded out and has had to listen to another 19 months of disrespect.

At a time when a new generation of gooners are being educated that he was a joke, he’s got a right to point out, and be proud of pointing out, that he left a legacy in North London. Why else stress that it was he who had to convince his bosses to build a new home venue? It was worth pointing this out to some who choose to rewrite their history for their own agendas.

He also corrected a myth that he’s been out of work for nearly two years because he’s some sort of dinosaur who’s out of touch. Out of love for us he hasn’t accepted apparent offers he has had from Premiership outfits, love/respect some fans haven’t afforded him.

It looks like he might take a role within FIFA. One day, surely there must be an ambition to take charge of France, but in the short term, who better to be improving some of the game’s rules?

It was long overdue that he reminded the media, the club and worse, some gooners, that he’s the most successful manager in our history.

Is it worth asking, has Emery improved us?

Dan Smith


  1. Dan, I was reading the other day about the details connected to moving out of Highbury and the new stadium and Wenger staying as part of the collateral for the loans given by the banks. It set me thinking about the brand value that he had for the banks to use it as collateral, and today you have numptys mocking him. A great disservice to Le Prof.

  2. Very well said Dan. I agree all you say.

    One question – did Arsene actually say the things you credit him with saying or are they just your assumptions as to what he thinks.

    I find it difficult going to the Emirates- I don’t get that excitement but just sit there feeling disappointed and frustrated by what I see. No creativity, no flow of football – just plodding sideways passing. I am convinced the club are motivated by cost cutting and not football. They employec this approach to get rid of Ramsey and their current appalling treatment of Ozil demonstrates this mind set. Why is there no explanation by the Club as to why he’s hit being picked – why aren’t the media on the case? For me it’s the behaviour classic US Corporate managements way of cost cutting.

    1. Well said, it surprise me that even till now some people think Emery can make that decision about ozil alone, as bad as mustafi is he’s played like 3games this season even though the boss told him to find a new club but out of respect for mustafi the coach still uses him in the Europa cup and the league cups, so to think that Emery alone can make that kind of decision is funny, i think by now it should have been clear to everyone that the Emery is just following the club instructions on ozil.

      1. Leno, taking your theory further, did the hierarchy hatch that hit job on Ozil?😁 I’m talking about the knife attack

  3. A well thought out comment/article. Some of us are old enough to have been fans in a different era – an era where the top of the league would change regularly. After Arsene’s arrival – Arsenal finished top 4 every year until 2017. We did so while building a new top of the line training facility, a grand new stadium – without any sugar daddies. Arsene sold off several of our most valuable players and had to make do with youngsters to manage the finances. Doing what he did for so many years was incredible difficult and a remarkable achievement. Competing with clubs like ManU, ManC, Chelsea and Liverpool with owners willing to spend incredible amounts of money is challenging. Did Wenger always get it right? of course not – no one ever does but Arsenal as a club and true Arsenal fans shoul remember him fondly and appreciate that he made Arsenal the club it is today with a sollid financial foundation for years to come.

  4. After all is said and done, Wenger had taken the club as far as he could and change was needed!

    Like many Arsenal fans, we thanked him for what he had done but, his ideas were stale and the brand of football was going backwards. The football was becoming less competitive and decisions on and off the field were failing! Our best players were leaving for FREE?!

    To put things into perspective, If Klopp or Pep were the manager right now we would be seeing more happening in terms of having a more regular “starting eleven”. Klopp did no turn things round at Liverpool over night!!

    Emery has inherited the problems at the club and needs time to do things his way..

    1. Emery has inherited the problems at the club, that is correct and he has had almost a season and half and had players worth more than 200m to fix it. That is not to say he needs that much to show his football philosophy. Even with no money or new players he can let the whole world see that. You say Wenger’s ideas are moribund and obsolete can you please tell me how new or modern is that of Emery that you think he needs more time and money to implement. This is a coach with the striking force of PEA, Pepe and Saka and his team had 1 fcuking shot on target in the whole of 90mins and the other 1 shot in the 92mins. I watched our last match with a Liverpool fan who said all arsenal need now is a coach like Klopp and Pepe and we will leave all other epl clubs in our wake and I quite agree with him.

      1. According to Transfermarkt, these are the facts about our transfer spending over the last few seasons:
        16/17 (Wenger) spent 100 mil. finished 5’th
        17/18 (Wenger) spent 134 mil finished 6’th
        18/19 (Emery) spent 72 mil. finished 5’th
        19/20 (Emery) spent 130 mil. – how we finish remains to be seen.

        In those numbers, there are some reservations to be made. I.e. in 17/18 Auba was bought in January 18, so in theory the 56 mil. Transfermarkt has included, cold be argued as being only 28 mil., which would make that years spending 108 mil.
        Also out of the 130 mil. for this season (19/20) it can be argued that the around 30 mil. spent on saliba should not be included, as he really isn’t an Arsenal player yet. That would reduce this years spending to 100 mil.

        Either way, it can be argued, that the 200 mil you are referring to, is in fact not accurate and that we have in fact under Emery reduced our transfer budget, but gotten better results.

        1. 72 + 130 = 202, so what are you saying. Wenger is our past and I can’t understand why some fans use him as an excuse for Emery shortcomings

          1. I believe you were the one, that brought Wenger into the frame in this exchange. And the truth is the 130 mil. this year is misleading as Saliba is not an Arsenal player as such.
            You are using your inflated number to try and make it appear as though that number should expose Emery’s shortcomings.
            I am merely pointing out, Emery has so far spent less in 2 seasons, that Wenger spent in the 2 preceding seasons and Emery has so far produced better results.
            So the so called 200 mil. is in fact not correct and nor is it a massive investment over 2 years.
            Finally, if you really look into it, you will see that the players Emery has brought in seem to be much more clever investments in terms of today’s actual value of the players.

          2. @ Mobella, It’s way too early to say Emery has shortcomings. What I was trying to point out above is that you cannot expect a new manager (Unai) to turn things round over night (As I stated with Klopp). Saka and Pepe barely know each other and the figures you spout need revising.

            My general point is that we, as Arsenal fans should be a little more patient with the squad as it was a squad that was in decline (during Wenger’s last years) and NOT a squad that was working like a well oiled machine!!

            I also did say that I was grateful and will remain so for the rest of my Arsenal supporting life to Arsene Wenger for what he did to Football and not just Arsenal.

        2. It is Key to look at each window, to have 50M in July and another end of december or January is not like having 130M in July! When we can’t get Suarez for 60M or Kante for 50, because it is no 100M in each window but 40 to 50 which is huge on one player. Ozil or Sanchez are signed in seperate Windows.

          Wenger wish he had 100 when Everton or Palace spend it! Board realized market changed, Suarez and Kante were bargains,but huge for owners!

      2. @ Mobella, I’m guessing you were a supporter of Arsene We Trust? If so, good on you! It’s your prerogative and we live in a democracy 🙂

        Right, I never said ” Wenger’s ideas are moribund and obsolete”. I said “the brand of football was going backwards” and the “ideas were getting stale”. In a fast changing EPL with more money and better managers it was getting obvious that Arsene Wenger was struggling to sustain a top 4 finish any more.

        I also DID NOT say “that I think Unai needs more money”. What I did say is “Unai needs time to do thing his way”.

        Finally, Your Liverpool friend should enjoy the days Liverpool fans are blessed with. Klopp is worth every penny! That does not mean that every other manager in the EPL should feel that they are worth less or work less. If you like it so much you can always support Liverpool with him because trust me, It’s not going to happen for Arsenal over night! GIVE IT TIME!!!!

    2. BS. He first needs to identify the type of football he wants to play. Every game is a different approach. He does not even know his best 11. Not a top 5 team coach…

  5. “I hope that he can win the games and plays a type of game that I like.

    I think a club like Arsenal is a huge responsibility and one of the responsibilities is to play attractive football.”

    Tell that to Emery’s Guardians of the boring football on here.
    Yes at times teams need to win ugly, bit the most successful teams got their reputations by playing good football and winning then winning ugly when it matters the most. Only thing is this current Arsenal? All we’ve done is win ugly and play boring football.
    So I wonder why people think fans who question this new way are plastic.

    Chelsea never got the ability to carry out transfers, and with an inexperienced coach, yet they play attractive and good football. Even against the champions of Europe they played attractive and dominated the game, but unluckily they lost, and they held their heads up high after losing that way, every pundit commended them and praised em.
    But on the other side of London, We lost because we played the best team in Europe. SMH.
    All we play is boring and boring and struggle to win, but then it’s fine because It’s Emery and his name ain’t Mourinho

  6. For me the Wenger years were in reality 3 different “phases”, if you like.
    The first 10 years or so were glory years. Fantastic football, championships, records etc. etc.
    I am forever grateful to Wenger for that period.
    They were followed by a few years, were we never really looked like becoming champions, but we were a constant Top 4 team. We still played some beautiful football at times, and we were still widely respected. Although some fans already in that period, were calling for his head, I thought it was unfair.
    Unfortunately his last few years were a steady decline. We ere nowhere near the top of the PL, we were not playing beatifull football, we had several shameful performances, especially against top teams and we ended up being the 6’th best team in England.
    In that last phase, fans were up in arms, boycotting games, paying for airplanes with “Wenger out” banners, and we were a laughing stock to many.
    All this is part of Wengers legacy.

      1. May be the likes of Xhaka are not egotistical like others who undermine and refuse to work hard like the manager tells them to.
        They keep saying that talent alone can only take you far.
        But hard work normally pays off.
        May be the likes of Xhaka are not as talented as other players but they are showing a willingness to adapt, worl hard, commitment to the cause.

        Their output might not be enough but at least they are willing to give it their best shot.
        Isn’t it.

  7. 👍👍 Dan Smith

    Slightly OT.. Wrighty sent a message to Arsene, apologising for going through the marble halls on roller blades and bumping into him! He even called him boss, after all this time!! 😊 aww, you’ve gotta love him!!

  8. Dan, I have two (2) questions and I will be happy if you can answer please,1,” While the Frenchman, out of respect, hasn’t been back to the Emirates since so as to not put pressure on Unai Emery,” did Wenger said that or did you just assume that because like wenger,Sir Alex wa also a former coach and also a legend of United, and we’ve seen Sir Alex always attending matches does that means he doesn’t have respect for the coaches there. The second (2)question, you said “Out of love for us he hasn’t accepted apparent offers he has had from Premiership outfits, love/respect some fans haven’t afforded him.” I will like you to tell me honesty which top club in England would have hired Wenger out of the top 5 in England, City have Guardiola who has bring them success, Liverpool have Klopp who also have brought them success, Toth have Poch who rebuilt there team and has been in the top 4 for 4 seasons now and also took them to the champions league final last season, united gave made Ole a temporary job and during that time he performed well and all the fans want him to be given the job full time which leaves the likes of Everton Leicester and the rest, do you really think Wenger will want to coach a lesser team than Arsenal? Wenger was great for Arsenal in his first ten years or say 12 years but the truth is Wenger stayed too long and talking about a brand of football, in the last 4 years of Wenger we were not playing any attractive football, our attractive football ended with the sale of Fabregas.

    1. Leno, I quite enjoyed the game after Cesc era and when Ozil joined, his partnership with Santi was a joy to watch, and to a lesser extent Sanchez’s combination play with Ozil.

    2. Well we know he can finish in the top 4 on limited resources correct?
      So yeah he could do what Poch has done which is finish in the top 4 and not win a trophy
      Liverpool meanwhile have finished 2nd once under Klopp and apart from that just abot got in top 4
      Yet to win PL, which Wenger won 3 time , so yeah he could match that
      Liverpool did win CL but that’s one trophy in 8 years
      in that spell we won 3
      As he he won the the title with limited spending , thinking he couldn’t with Man City’s budget makes no sense

    3. Lenohappy, AW certainly said that, it was reported at the time so rest assured it is true.

      Your point regarding not returning to The Emirate – after the treatment he was given by a minority of fans, the personal abuse, being verbally attacked in public at a railway station etc etc…the mans reaction was, surely, fully expected and rightly so.
      He also gave UE clear waters to do things his way, as we are now witnessing. No one can claim he interfered in any way with UE’s vision of our club that’s for sure.

      This was his way of handling the situation I presume, so blame those fans who created the situation.

      Secondly, I agree with city and pool as they have managers who the fans appreciate and are backed by the owner and board.

      AW is a Arsenal man through and through, so your inclusion of spuds is simply a red herring, do you really think he would have gone there anyway?
      If he had, wouldn’t the minority have had a field day, just imagine what would have been said?

      Funnily, you didn’t mention chelsea, there turnover of managers would certainly have given the opportunity for AW to be approached.

      It’s your gloss over of manure that I find weird…first of all, it was widely reported that they had indeed approached AW after fergie left, but he declined…so why would they not have renewed their interest after fergie left?
      Are you seriously saying that the fans want ollie to stay? The club are in turmoil after trying out four different managers, where do you get the view that the fans want him to stay?
      If you really are being objective chelsea and manure were real possibilities and spuds was never going to happen, poch or no poch.

      Finally, you state that the last four years of AW we were not playing attractive football, which I disagree with…it’s all about opinions I guess.
      I do agree, however, that he stayed to long. But not by the ten/twelve years you suggest…otherwise we would have lost the revenue for CL of roughly £800,000,000, top four revenue (?) and fa cup revenue of roughly £100,000,000, plus the record seven fa cup wins under this man – as you know a record for the oldest cup competition in the world.

      During the last four years of AW, we won the fa cup against all the odds, when we beat the champions chelsea – we finished in the top four twice – we watched football that got you out of your seat – we did this without fabregas, who wanted to come back after realising he made a mistake leaving to follow his personal dream.

      Why don’t you read what fabregas thinks of the man, or what about Cazorla’s recent insight into why he loved the club?

      He did stay to long, the last two years were way below the standard he set himself the previous twenty years – so he resigned and the rest is history.

      Not quite though is it???

      Look at the youngsters coming through…the same youngsters that Arsene Wenger had the vision and sense to sign as part of his vision for the future – his positive influence on the club will go on and on for decades to come and far outweigh the mistakes he made over twenty two years that, in actual fact, proved he was only human after all.

  9. Wenger is a liar who will say anything to protect his reputation. Last year when Emery went on 22 game unbeaten run he tried to take the credit by saying he left a great team, now he’s saying the complete opposite.

    1. Any link you can provide to substantiate what you are saying?

      By the way all the Emerybois keep talking about Wenger Deadwood and it is then that gave the 22match unbeaten streak.

  10. Wenger is a legend, but someone should ask him what he thinks of a big club going 14 years straight without a league title, or even a league challenge, and 9 years straight without a single trophy, all under the same manager. Should that manager be absolved of any responsibility?

    1. Liverpool have gone 29 years and the Spuds double that (58) without a title, so I don’t quite get your point. When you are up against mega rich clubs like Man U, Chelsea and Man City it is not easy. Leicester’s win was a one off and I believe the first title in their history. As we now know, it is difficult to even get into the top 4.

    2. TMJW, he actually said what he thought about it when he said “how can a club compete with a country, when the arabs bought man city.

      I just cannot understand how fans do not recognise how the russian rouble and the oil sheiks changed the face of football from 2005 onwards, when Abramovitch saved chelsea from liquidation with just one hour to spare (quote from Bates), spent billions in transfers and outbidding us on players like Mata – or city, who when they started flexing their unrivalled oil money, started at our club and went on to buy four of AW’s top players.

      What on earth was AW supposed to do,when he also had to sell his other top players and was given peanuts to replace them – all this while the club was building and paying for a new stadium that’s why 9 straight years happened…and yet he always kept us in the top four.

  11. Why Arsene keep being mentioned? Credit and respect to him but we should move on from him. The appointment of Emery makes sense and while he didn’t get everything right it is a refreshing change nonetheless. If we finished outside top 4 he will be axed by Raul. Don’t worry folks.

  12. There will most definitely not be too many more managers able to play the type of football he taught, in truth, there will not be too many men like him full stop.

    You only have to look a cross the road, 2 seasons rent at wembley plus new stadium costs has meant not only have they had to sell the likes of trippier but also spent an entire season not spending. Add in the aging squad without new young additions, pochs tactics doesnr work with his current squad. Soon kane will want to go, and that is not a threat. It’s a matter of time. If winning arsenal couldn’t keep Henry, how can spurs keep kane?

    It’s at a time when we enter a new chapter with unai. In truth the expectations of the type of football, personal were all low at spurs and when Redknapp took spurs towards something supportable for the fans, they became a better club…just like leicester when they won the league – expectations at arsenal have always been to be competing for the league – regardless of fans actually accessing our stabling period of a new stadium move.

    We have a squad who if shaped correctly, and matured enough, can compete for the league. But fans need to address their own believes of where we actually are. Not what we want.

    We all want wenger style attacking football and clean sheets and league challenges and late cup runs…and at the end, honours.

    But the period we are in is one of growth. Alot of opinions will therefore cast its shadow towards the emirates.

  13. It is Key to look at each window, to have 50M in July and another end of december or January is not like having 130M in July! When we can’t get Suarez for 60M or Kante for 50, because it is no 100M in each window but 40 to 50 which is huge on one player. Ozil or Sanchez are signed in seperate Windows.

    Wenger wish he had 100 when Everton or Palace spend it! Board realized market changed, Suarez and Kante were bargains,but huge for owners!

  14. Yep Dan, AW is Arsenal Worlwide brand but they want to make a new one, instead to fulfill that legacy.Taking us on top at end of last century into New Millenium, building all we have, then. no wonder banks imposed Wenger as a manager in New stadium deal (Emirates

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