Arsene Wenger is Arsenal’s Kryptonite! (And the Reasons Why)

Wenger is Arsenal’s Kryptonite by AD

Wenger seems like a person of conviction, principles, honesty, discipline and obsession more than anything else. He seems to belong to the kind that are great as troubleshooters and turnaround artists. Unfortunately for all their wonderful gifts, such people are horrible at taking organization on to the higher plane beyond the precipice. For the very qualities that make them indispensible at the time of crisis prevents them from gaining a higher ground. There is a reason that wartime generals are horrible in peace time, their very nature makes them unsuitable for the tranquility of peace.

For taking any organization to a higher pedestal requires the kind of qualities you do not want from the head of organization during crisis. It needs imagination, inspiration, motivation, pragmatism, and above all man management. It is not that crisis does not require man management, but the man management when driving for growth needs higher degree of ruthlessness, objectivity and team building skills. It might seem an antithesis but the crisis instills urgency, motivation and disparity into personnel as it is, the man management at that time needs adroit handling of overflowing emotions and mere directing into right direction through discipline and conviction from the top down. After all, if crisis cannot motivate people nothing can.

Watching Mr. Wenger these past couple of years, and learning about his history has cemented my belief that unfortunately he is not the person to take Arsenal into a higher trajectory as a football club. If you look at his history, he has always been called into clubs that needed his troubleshooting skills. He started with FC Nancy where he honed his no money managerial skills and had at best a patchy record as a manager. Thereafter Mr. Wenger got his big break with FC Monaco, that was going through barren spell of its own. He took them to success through a spell of bribery and match fixing era in French football that saw Marseille banished to ligue 2 for a period for two years. Then it was on to Nagoya Grampus – a sort of R & R job posting to escape the rigours of Ligue 1 turmoil.

In the meanwhile Arsenal was experiencing its own period of turmoil with George Graham sacked for accepting kickbacks to sign particular players, Rioch’s sacking before the end of the season, and Arsenal being labeled cup specific team in the newly formed premier league with no kind of success league–wise. Mr. Wenger came in with new ideas, discipline, conviction and obsession to the kind of purist attacking attractive football that immediately catches eyeballs, and modern sports science. He brought in players that were ready to abide by his way of football. This was in a world of football where players still smoked and guzzled beers on the way back from the games. Success followed. Then came the period of alleged financial austerity following move from Highbury to a newly built modern stadium. A difficult period navigated successfully.

Now, we are in a period of consolidation. Gains made through difficult periods need to be utilized, consolidated and grown. It needs imagination and inspiration along with amalgamated risk taking. However, it needs a practical/pragmatic approach so that gains made thus far are not lost. Which means cutting down and downsizing non – performing assets that have outgrown their utility to be replaced with newer, more efficient and high performance assets. It is important to realize that during crisis you need assets that are financially optimal above everything else. During growth you need assets that are high performance and efficient above everything else. Financial sense is there but greater financial clout means it has climbed down few pegs amongst priorities.

Also, during periods of growth deadweights cannot be tolerated. They are like spanners in the work. They can derail all the efforts. Particularly amongst human resources a dead weight allows others to perform sub optimally without fear of any reprisal or replacement. At this time you need a manager that can not only inspire and motivate you, but can also assess you objectively and cut off dead weight ruthlessly. While at the time of crisis downsizing has nothing to do with quality assessment, at the time sole consideration is financial. It needs a different kind of assessment. To be able to cut flab and yet inspire people around to perform optimally needs more than just discipline and principles. It needs imagination, motivation and inspiration.

And yes, though Mr. Wenger seems to believe in attaching football. Any football without discipline is a waste. It might be watchable occasionally but like heroism of kamikaze pilots it wears off very quickly. At the highest level of any sport all heart and no head gets your butts kicked black – and – blue. Our boys know all about such ***kickings. Every coach has its own way as seen by me. Any connoisseur (batcr** crazy about it) can see different approach of coaches amongst top teams.

Guardiola inspires – his imagination to take football into unchartered territory is terrifying and inspirational. Yes, when he fails it is spectacular. But when he succeeds it is equally so. His brand of management needs high performance assets. He will not succeed at Arsenal until management really, really loosens its purse strings. Guardiola will need clubs overflowing with footballing talents to succeed. He is an F1 driver, whose skills will only shine high performance machinery but are wasted in a Volvo. He always works on high-risk footballing paradigm. Succeeds through audacity that surprises opponents, particularly in view of his imaginative approach. His teams win by operating at the highest level that has ‘minimal mistake margin’ longer than opponent, the moment opponent slips Guardiola’s teams win. Other coaches in this mold (to a greater or lesser extent) are Martinez, Wenger, Unai Emery.

(I hate what I am about to say, as I personally loathe him) Mourinho motivates – he sincerely believes that greatest motivator is fear. His MO is clear. Go to a club, make an example that instills fear of failure in every player. And when his assets are ready to be molded according to his needs, he builds up his assets. His teams attack together, work together in midfield and most importantly defend together. He is a manager who will succeed anywhere. Contrary to popular belief Mourinho spends what he has and on what he needs. Everyone likes spares. He will not compromise on necessities – however, he is not a collector. He has a highly result-oriented style, based on unnerving the opponents through collective no–holds-barred approach of his team. His teams are rarely imaginative but always effective. But he will not succeed at Arsenal, his DNA is too different. Will need probably two – three years to clear out the present players none of whom (except Ozil) shall be found to be his type, and by that time his nomadic nature would take him elsewhere. Other managers comparable to him are Sir Alex Ferguson, Simeone and Van Gaal.

Ancelotti inspires – he has a very simple vision of direct, balanced and uncomplicated football. Amongst the present Tier 1 coaches, he is the best at getting the most out of his teams. Ironically he has ended up with one team that is overflowing in almost all departments with insane footballing talent. His teams play direct football. When you have the ball – attack directly; when you don’t – defend directly. His teams are wholly different from those of Guardiola, and closer to those of Mourinho. Except against Bayern and Barcelona I have never seen Ancelotti’s team defend as a whole. He is old school in this aspect. His defenders defend, midfield sets the game up and the attackers finish it. Simple. He is the best fitted for Arsenal. Others like him are Juergen Klopp, Manuel Pellegrini, Nuno Santo and Brendan Rodgers.

Wenger plays the kind of football that needs players to operate at highest level where there is highest probability to commit a mistake, but at same time they are to do so while making least mistakes i.e. impose their game onto the opponent forcing the opponent to make mistakes. Unfortunately, such performance needs high performance and high efficiency players. Growing players into such system will cause a high degree of inconsistency, because every player cannot grow into this kind of system and development causes a lot of wear & tear within the squad. It needs the kind of manager that can inspire and motivate them to perform, and cast aside those who cannot. And you need to tick all the squares to get result. You cannot win in this system a with makeshift defense or midfield.

It seems Mr. Wenger is incapable of cutting players that though ‘good’ are not ‘good enough’. Those that, though capable of having few great games, cannot perform consistently over a long periods of time. Our manager seems to like to buy players that are multifunctional rather than a set position in the team which can dilute their talents when played out of position.

So which manager would you like at Arsenal?

Tags Guardiola Mourinho Wenger


      1. @ny-gunner. You really think we can still make it to the last eight? I have some hope left in me and was cheered up when I read your comment few days back.west coast baby

  1. Come on. You’re taking it too far. That was damn near the same team that beat City away comfortably. While he made some mistakes, the players are the ones that messed up.

    1. that one man city game is our get out of jail free card?

      i would say its mainly the players, but gibbs for monreal? knowing full well gibbs bombs forward and doesnt defend like monreal. wenger underestimated the counter attack

      ozil takes santi’s 10 spot-why? santi has been incredible there.
      why keep ozil on when 20 mins u could see he was not tracking back an showed no fight at all.

      sitting in the dugout with this ‘there pros. i told them so they know what there doing attitude’ is ridiculous.

      1. Like I said, he did make mistakes.

        But just changing a couple of players or Ozil as a 10 isn’t enough for me to say he was the only one to blame. Ozil as no. 10 against Monaco should have destroyed them. Sanchez should have been running right through them. Wellbeck unsettled Giroud by playing in his position.

        Ultimately that is all Wenger’s responsibility but no one could have guessed the team would be that rubbish.

        1. its not the players. same set of players as at manc. its almost as if its just a bunch of people showing up to work: there’s no cohesion, motivation or cajolement from wenger. there seems to be no drive or urgency. people were just running around w/o a plan and w/o urgency. and of course, there’s mr mertesacker. completely undisciplined & really unprofessional show by him. maybe he thinks he’s indispensable : so let gabriel play and let mr mert have a rest.

    1. simeone or klopp
      people will say new names like koeman etc.
      but could koeman attract big names?
      give wenger his due he can get the attention of people like alexis sanchez because of his name an reputation.

  2. Wenger’s pursuit of the Premier league and Champions League must be intentional, focused, consistent, aggressive, and unyielding. Only than we will achieve success in one or both of the above competitions.

  3. You talk over the top mans! Krpytomite?! Krymtomite never do good things to Superman! Arsene never did good things?! Small memories!!!

  4. Sell release loan
    Jenkinson Mertz Monreal
    Arteta Flamini Diaby
    Wilshere Rosicky Cazorla Podolski Ryo
    Campbell Sanogo Giroud Wellbeck

  5. Craptonyte more like it.

    Simone/Gaudiola. Either would transform the ‘team’ for the better.

    By making our voice heard.

    If you are unhappy with the way things are you have to make some sacrifice to change them..some effort is required.

    1. fans Stop going to matches. Hard to do
    As as we know there are plenty that
    Are happy with the status quo.

    2. Attend matches and voice your
    disprovel. Inside and out (especially
    Outside as the Emirates corporate
    Brown shirts won’t if they find them
    Allow banners inside).

    How to get around this: get a small
    banner that is small enough to be
    wrapped up and put down your
    trousers without making you look
    Like king dong. Otherwise wrap
    It round your waste. Then unfurl in
    The ground.

    It may be taken from you but it would
    Have seen the light of day. Do this is
    numbers and This will eventually get
    Noticed by the board, manager and

    Outside the ground, unfurl larger
    protest banners. Maybe not right
    outside as the corporate cops will
    Be on hand but as near as possible.

    Don’t swear (if at all possible) or be
    Violent and get your point across.
    Relating to this sing chants in unison.

    3. Use social media (FBook, Twitter etc)
    to share your sustain for the current
    State of things at AFC.

    Now , people who do not want things to change will tell you it will be negative for the teams performances and future which is untrue. Our issue is with the board and Wenger and our efforts should be directed at them. The players are paid to do their jobs and will collect their pay packets regardless. If they move on, they move on.

    Arsenal Football Club will remain long after the current crop of players, manager and current Board or here so let’s do our best to ensure we do our bit to try to ensure a rosier future. By this I mean a ‘winning’ entity that is at the top of its game and that has asuccesses on the field that rival the financial ones on the book sheet.

    Kroenke, Wenger & the board (and the media/public relation hype) will depend on you doing nothing, sweet FA.

    Don’t make them right!


  6. i was having this convo with robby at fan tv last season.
    i have never sat in stand an booed arsenal, but saw people coming from midlands with there kids every home game, nightime european games an they have spent thousands on there season tickets- they have literally chose this over holidays for there family that year.

    are u sat in the rain waiting for buses/trains , spending 8+hours commuting to watch ozil not bother? players not putting an effort in.

    no, ur sat in ur warm house ‘acting’ like ur ‘real’ fan, blogging an shit- calling them fickle.

    i live local so its not me but i know and am friends who go to stupid lengths to come to the emirates. dont know how i would react if i was them.

  7. Yeh, chelsea changed manager for the same man twice and he looks like having success in both stints. Coincidence?

    No, it’s about choosing the ‘right’ manager of suffecient quality ala Simone/Giardiola.
    Proven quality! Simone one la liga with less budget, less players and infrastructure than Arsenes had at his disposal but managed to construct an effective working unit that carried out his tactics on the field.

    1. Chelsea won the PL without Mourinho, won the UCL with AVB/RdM and Avram Grant got them to UCL final and PL runners up. So is Mourinho the coincidence or the money?

      1. You tell me?


        Porto (2002–2004)

        Primeira Liga (2): 2002–03, 2003–04
        Taça de Portugal (1): 2002–03
        Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira (1): 2003
        UEFA Champions League (1): 2003–04
        UEFA Cup (1): 2002–03

        Chelsea (2004–2007)

        Premier League (2): 2004–05, 2005–06
        FA Cup (1): 2006–07
        Football League Cup (2): 2004–05, 2006–07
        FA Community Shield (1): 2005

        Internazionale (2008–2010)

        Serie A (2): 2008–09, 2009–10
        Coppa Italia (1): 2009–10
        Supercoppa Italiana (1): 2008
        UEFA Champions League (1): 2009–10

        Real Madrid (2010–present)

        La Liga (1): 2011–12
        Copa del Rey (1): 2010–11
        Supercopa de España (1): 2012


        Primeira Liga Manager of the Year (2): 2002–03, 2003–04
        Premier League Manager of the Year (2): 2004–05, 2005–06
        Premier League Manager of the Month (3): November 2004, January 2005, March 2007
        Serie A Manager of the Year (2): 2008–09, 2009–10
        Albo Panchina d’Oro (1): 2009–10
        Miguel Muñoz Trophy (2): 2010–11, 2011–12
        UEFA Manager of the Year (2): 2002–03, 2003–04
        UEFA Team of the Year (4): 2003, 2004, 2005, 2010
        Onze d’Or Coach of the Year (2): 2005, 2010
        FIFA World Coach of the Year (1): 2010
        IFFHS World’s Best Club Coach (3): 2004, 2005, 2010
        World Soccer Magazine World Manager of the Year (3): 2004, 2005, 2010
        LPFP Awards Best Portuguese Manager in Foreign Countries (2): 2008–09, 2009–10
        BBC Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award (1): 2005
        La Gazzetta dello Sport Man of the Year (1): 2010
        International Sports Press Association Best Manager in the World (1): 2010
        Prémio Prestígio Fernando Soromenho (1): 2012

  8. Wenger is to blame for sure. Against Monaco he must have told them to sit back and hit them on the counter, We had the likes of Sanchez in the line up and such a game would not suit them.. Monaco was playing the same, so at least a plan B should have in place. I’d love to see the team copy paste the Community Shield performance! If we fail to beat Everton and Man united(FA), then the manager should pack his bags.

    Ozil was awful, Per Martesacker too and Ospina should have at least stopped the 3rd goal. Per is not captain material and if Ozil doesnt perform Wenger should substitute him at half time and play Carzola at no.10.
    Against Everton:
    Chambers. – Gabriel, – Koscielny, – Gibbs
    Coquelin – – Ramsey/Ox
    Walcott, – Cazorla, Alexis
    Danny Welbeck

    1. Wenger has a huge headache with Ozil, he probably feels he has to play him due to his massive price tag, I think Wenger and every Arsenal fan is just hoping he comes good, even in the games hes scored and assisted hes done jack sh*t other than that. Ozil is supposed to be our play maker just like Silva is for City, and Fabregas is for Chelsea, look how many times they touch the ball in the game compared to Ozil. It just seems so easy to mark him out of the game compared to other players. I say sell him to munich for 30mill, I think they are the only ones that would buy him and try and get Lewandowski. ( I Know, I know Easier said than done)

      1. wenger didnt have the balls to do this, but when fabregas was available, i’d have taken him and sold ozil. or at least had a f*cking serious convo w ozil and tell him he has to up his energy. ozil seems to be a moody player. he was up for it a few weeks ago, and then disappeared again. i dont think wenger “manages” his players’ ups and downs.

  9. Some of you guys are treating Ozil unfairly. Ok we bought him for £45 million but I still maintain that he is one of the World’s best CAMs

    Same old story. Some of you guys were punishing Giroud severely until you realised that he wasn’t a bad player if not a world class player

    Since Ozil returned from injury, he has played excellent football. His first 3 games he scored 3 goals (1 goal each game) and two assists.

    Since Ozil came back he has had 1 bad game while Cazorla has had 2 bad games, yet Ozil is supposedly “crap” or worth “5 million”

    I suppose you think Falcao is worsele than Heskey. No he will show his worth at some point, hopefully not in our FA Cup match.

    All I ask you to do is think about the last 6-7 matches and honestly ask yourself “How well has Ozil played Since his injury other than Wednesday night?”. EVERY PLAYER PLAYED POORLY WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

    Hell, he has even improved at LW. He scored goals and assists as a LW

    Haven’t you been watching any of our matches?

    I went through this shitt with the Giroud bashing. I don’t want to go through this again.

    All I ask is be fair and give him more time. He hit the weight room during injury. He played well straight from injury, so imagine How good he will be with a few more weeks playing time

    Ozil shouldn’t be a scape goat

  10. is per scared of the ball
    he ducked vs liverpool
    he ducked vs palace and ospina had to climb over back of him
    he didnt want to run backwards vs monaco for 2nd goal and spent way too much time on ball meaning sanchez was drfopping way too deep to get ball
    get rid now a captain should not be like this

  11. I think the main reason for the boss and the Gunners not winning any trophy for 9 years or so, save the FA Cup they won last year is, the boss and the Gunners have lost their hunger to win titles and trophies. If it wasn’t for the outcries against the boss and the Gunners by the Gooners, they might not have won the FA Cup they won last season. The boss and the Gunners are often happy to finish 4th in the table so that they can participate in the UCL (not win it). But with the upsurge in anti Wanger outcry by a section of the Arsenal’s fan base, a New 0rder is now gradually emerging into force at AFC. The boss is now appearing to want to win titles & trophies again. Thus now waking up from his complacency as he was using the financial cost of building the Emirates stadium as a hideout for his not able to win any laurels as he used to win before. Whereas, there is a general lack of ambitions and hunger to win by the boss and the Gunners. I think the boss has to rediscover his lost tenacity for winnig titles.

  12. @Alex (article author) could you please analyse Frank Rijkaards system of play versus the above mentioned coaches.

  13. Sack Wenger immediately and give Felix Magath a chance until the end of the season.
    …but hey why not! would be a bargain too 😛

  14. Congratulations on this excellent article, a great overall analysis.

    Answering the author’s question I would pick Guardiola, but since anyone – apart from Arsenal staff – that had anything to do with Mr. F*ckbregas is automatically considered trash in my eyes I would go for the Simeone.

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