Does the failed protest back the Arsenal boss?

The protest backfired – By DS.

Yesterday was supposed to be an awkward day for Arsene Wenger. A day where there was a backlash from fans who were supposedly going to make it clear they were not happy, something he has always maintained is the one factor in his decision in how long he stays at the Emirates.

Yet somehow on a potentially embarrassing day for the club Wenger ended up getting the last laugh and a potential confidence boost going forwards.

Journalists had shown up ready to further kick the Frenchmen when he was down, ready to write about the toxic atmosphere around the stadium. The truth is though, 12 minutes into and before the end of the game, when banners were held up, they were met with jeers from the majority of the crowd, including chants of ‘There’s only one Arsene Wenger’. This is despite his players doing very little to help ease the pressure off his shoulders. We were poor against Norwich as we continue to limp towards the finish line. That though didn’t change the fact that this was a good day for Arsene, going far deeper than the three points.

There were a lot of things he said in his pre match press conference that were controversial, no more so then blaming fans for the failed title push (although protests during a game is never going to help players confidence).

What he did say that yesterday’s events gave weight to some of the more vocal ‘Wenger Out’ mob having their own agenda. He stopped short of naming names, refusing to point out ironies like Jamie Redknapp calling his team bottlers, yet his career is most famous for playing in a Liverpool side who…. Um….. bottled the title. He could of compared his league winning record as a manager to Grame Souness, who’s trying to make a punditry career out of tearing into Arsenal.

But where the agenda remark seemed to run true was the reaction of fans on social media, outraged that the supporters dare sing for Wenger on their 15 minutes of fame.. In 2016 there are so many ways to share your views with the world within seconds. From radio phone ins to YouTube channels, supporters, normally emotional after a defeat have a platform to say whatever they want. Some of them thanks to tacky radio shows like Talk Sport have tried to make mini celebrities out of them. Arsenal fan TV for example used to be watchable, now apart from a couple of exceptions it consists of angry old men swearing at anyone who dares disagree with them. What happens is they believe their own hype. They believe because they get interviewed on a site with thousands of subscribers and asked to go on national radio that they represent what most Gooners think.

They have days like yesterday where they realise how in the minority they are. Worse they then swear, shout and mock those fans for having the same right of opinion which allows them to express theirs. As much as they have right to verbally abuse a man in his sixties, others have the same freedom to have some perspective and respect the greatest manager in our history.

On outlets such as the one I am writing on here readers have the right to disagree and want change. Me myself have long held the view that as long as we have owners who do not have the ambition to win the Premiership we are stuck anyway.

Whatever your views, Arsene Wenger deserves respect and perhaps the reason people’s protests backfired yesterday was fans not standing for a man who’s done so much for us being spat in the face.


Do you agree with Dan’s views?

Tags Arsenal Failed protest Wenger


  1. It shows how far the man has fallen from grace if a day on which there was an organized protest expressing the frustration and lack of believe in his managerial abilities (no matter how vocal or successful or unsuccessful) has to be deemed a good day for Wenger.

    How many of these organized events did SAF suffer? Great managers generally don’t have to face these types of events. In fact I don’t remember too many Wenger had to face himself. If I were in his shoes I would take note of how times have changed, then again taking note of change has not been his strength, he seemed to have missed the change that has taken place in football all together.

    The man deserves respect, no doubt, but part of respect is not to close our eyes to the fact that his greatness lies behind him, not to pretend he is still bathing in it. That would be the same type of respect of letting your client win in a game of golf. To me that is not respect but an insult.

    1. What would you suggest as the most practical solution to our current predicament? (trust me its quite bad and tiring), when we talk of a new manager, who are the realistic choices? Guardiola? i say he would leave for the next big project in a jiffy . Klopp? Fair enough, but he is taken and maybe the jury is still out on him too as regards his long term credentials, recall his last season at Dortmund? Ronald Koeman? Well he is almost as old as Wenger, a great footballer he was but his managerial career hasn’t exactly been sterling and consistent. Diego Simeone? A very intersting choice but how far will he go to win especially after his ban for throwing a second ball on the pitch to stop an opponents counter attack; recall that replay with sheffield because Kanu scored by going against the fair play rules. Man. U is suffering today because fergie retired on them without proper succession planning. I’ll take the top four until Wenger retires, Herbert Chapman did his bit all those years back, Wenger has done his part now and whether he likes it or not will have to hand over sooner rather than later, I doubt he’s got another contract left in him, patience, Wenger’s time is drawing to a close, and not because we are going to force him out but of a natural order of things.

      1. This protest was never a failure if you ask me, why?? Because it shows that Arsene and the board no longer have a complete 100% support like it was used to be. So at least him (Wenger) in particular knows that he now have too set fans 1. Those who are comfortable with him and 2. Who are no longer in his support. So it works if you ask me. The Banners started from single banner once in a while, then to some hundreds, do you now see the impact it makes?? Even on this forum there’s some few articles purposely for this protest which means it doesn’t go unnoticed.

      2. Koeman is quite young at 53 compared to Wenger and has been pretty successful IMO. He took over a depleted Southampton side and kept them competitive and he won the dutch league. Even in his second year at Southampton he is doing well with a squad less talented than ours. But I am not dead set on Koeman. I want a manager with ambition and imagination. A manager who sees opportunities to improve both our squad and our tactics. Had we been pro-active we could have had Klopp or Pep. I am happy with a 3 year manager if he delivers a trophy. It seems to be the way of the modern game. It probably keeps players on their toes when the have to play for a new manager from time to time.

        With Wenger we will get no change. Sure he might squeeze by an other year in the top 4 but that is not what I think this club should aim for. We need refreshment of the squad, we need competition for places based on merit not on favoritism. We need players to fight for their position, We don’t have that. Giroud had one short spell on the bench this season and for a little bit it improved his game as a result IMO. Then he was assured of his place again and stopped scoring again.

        Of course the change of manager after such a long time won’t be easy. No one thinks it will be. But we are not changing a winning manager like SAF. We are changing a manager who ran out of ideas last summer on how to improve on this squad. Evidence of this was the fact he did not invest in a single outfield player. This squad is stale and tired of itself. Look how Ozil and Sanchez injected this squad with fresh energy when they were bought. One can only imagine what a top quality striker would have done for this squad. Squad need fresh blood each season.

        We need a hungry manager who still thinks he sees opportunities to improve on our squad and who is willing to try. We have meaningful financial means to improve our squad. It seems obvious to me that each squad has room to improve each season, Barca, Bayern or Arsenal. Wenger ran out of ideas and bought no outfield players despite our poor injury track record and despite only having one DM in Coq.

        What makes us think he realized he was wrong? Wrong he was, our current position in the table proves that. What makes us believe that now Wenger has fresh ideas to improve on our squad, a squad he deemed perfect only last summer?

        I rather try a new manager with new ideas and miss CL football for a while, than stick with Wenger and get the last few seasons all over again. And hear him talking about naive defending and bad referees and bad luck and all the other excuses he peddles.

        We also owe it to him to let him go. An other mediocre season like this with all the criticism he (rightfully) receives only tarnishes his legacy more. he does not deserve that.

    2. Shows how far the man has fallen from grace….no it shows how totally deluded and totally out of touch people on here and those few hundred at the Emirates are about Wenger. Less than 1000 fans in a 60,000 stadium, when it had been organised, when all fans were offered a placard (and chose not display it) says you’re in the vast vast minority. You can’t even say those that didn’t raise their placards were undecided, afraid of being disloyal…no, the stadium erupted to sing ‘there’s only one AW’. It was a massive two fingers to the anti-Wenger lobby.

      1. interesting u didnt mention the 10,000 plus empty seats nor the 15,000 plus empty seats of the previous game….i wonder if they would have sung theres only one arsene wenger?
        no mention of the stewards confiscating banners an placards either…
        nor a mention of the threats of violence to several who considered using a poster or placard

        wonder if the fact the core fans bein priced out of season tickets with the emirates move has left a stadium mixed with corporates day trippers ‘new fans’ an the old school genuines

        1. Counting stayways as attendees is just plain laughable! Its just another example of the Board & Kronke living in denial and refusing to face hard truths.

        2. Lol muff, you’re referring to a thursday night match that was changed by sky tv at late notice. What the tv cameras took great pleasure in showing at the outset was not how the stadium looked 15 minutes later. There were problems on the tubes.

          Don’t think 10,000 were missing on Saturday..but we’ll just have to agree to differ on that.

          I do agree about the fan base. It’s no longer the same as it was at Highbury. Don’t know how we change that but it’s a real issue that I agree with you about….not so much in terms of a reaction to the protest, but mores the repressed nature of the vocal support at the stadium

      2. Is that you Arsene? How much did Arsene pay you to stand by his defense? The top 4 is not success. Real are not happy with the top 4, nor is Barcelona, neither is Bayern! Fans with meidocre ambitions like you are the sole reason we have the same kind of manager in charge! All of the managers named in the article are better choices than Arsene right now. Practically almost every semi-decent manager is. Stop trusting every word Arsene says! This club HAS EXISTED BEFORE HIM AND WILL AFTER HE LEAVES! The damage he is doing to us is incredibly high though.

    3. I think you’ve got it all wrong. When the supporters were singing “there’s only one arsene Wenger”, what they actually meant was ” thank God there aren’t two of those… ” :p

  2. This is not about respect for Wenger, it’s about realizing that the fans of this club DESERVE something more than fourth place, especially since Wenger has had enough time and resources to bring in quality to win the BPL and get further than the last 16 in CL. We can still respect Wenger and ask for a much needed change in the process. Those banners held up were not nearly as radical and disrespectful as some of the banners I have seen from other clubs wanting a change.

    When you say pundits were having a laugh, please realize they were not laughing at the attempt of those with banners. No, they were laughing at the fact that there are still so many fans who think Wenger has what it takes to bring glory back to this club! Let’s be honest, will Wenger ever win the CL? No. Can we ever win the BPL with our current squad? No (especially with so many other teams rising up to the challenge!) The only way Wenger might be able to do the above is if he sells/gets rid of a number of players in our squad and replaces them with better quality. Even then, we still sit with the same old manager with the same old predictable tactics.

    It seems the ‘majority’ singing Wenger’s praises, are content with a 4th place finish every year and a cameo appearance in the CL. I supported Wenger for a long time, most of you know this and I still respect him for what he has done in the past, but we REALLY do need a change and a fresh approach. Good on the fans who had the stones to hold those banners up, like I said it all starts with a small seed. They need to continue to do so, because Wenger will not take us any further. As fans who pay astronomically high ticket prices and others, we deserve progress, and Wenger is one of the major factors holding this club back.

    1. No doubt the majority at
      the Emirates back Wenger.
      They have become true
      believers of Le Prof
      and thank him every day
      for making Arsenal what it is today
      The best… Third place football franchise in England.

    2. Why do you make reference to the ticket prices? How do you determine that those who don’t protest like spoilt little brats, don’t want greater success?

      Yet another example of distant gooner thinking he can speak for those that pay to go to the stadium, support the team and has some monopoly on what we think.

      We all want progress. We all want greater success – are you so deluded that you believe any AFC fan would not want to challenge for the title? Don’t be ridiculous.

      The anti-Wenger lobby, has it so wrong. Your efforts would be so much more effective directed at the club, the owner, Gazidis, demanding more spending, more ambition…..not the loyal fans or the guy who anyone with any respect and love for AFC will never cease to respect or appreciate. That’s why the protest was a damp squib….because loyal paying fans consider morons behind it are attacking Wenger, not the results. Therefore those who attack Wenger with personal and usually quite ridiculous insults are the problem. Unfortunately their lack of respect and dignity undermines the entire fan base feelings of frustration…and they’re too up themselves to even know it!

      1. You don’t think we realize the rot doesn’t start with Wenger? We all realize it begins with Kroenke and makes its’ way down the chain of command. What you fail to realize from your comment is that Kroenke and the board keep Wenger on because he is capable of just cutting a top four without too much investment. From a business perspective, Arsenal make ‘safe’ profit from doing so, rather than investing more but having a bigger chance of that investment failing. Do you think Arsene is not aware of this? Arsene is in the same boat as them! They pay him well to do what he has been doing for the past 10 years after Dein left and things changed. Arsene has hardly any pressure compared to what would be required of him if the owner and board wanted success in terms of trophies – this is why he stays on and on! As Mourinio and countless others have said, the man has a cushy well paid job, minimal investment, low risk with decent rewards.

        End of the day, we as fans are the customers, I don’t care if I don’t live in England, I can empathize with the ticket holders paying crazy amounts for those tickets just to experience the same disappointment every season. It’s not only that, but supporting a club like we do is almost a lifestyle, we give not only our money, but our emotions too. The fans deserve better and we realize Kroenke is going nowhere, but there are things aside from ownership and the board of directors that need a change. Because of Wenger’s complacent mentality, it rubs off on our players every season! We see the same toothless performances, so predictable, and he plays the same mediocre players whom we all can see are just not good enough! This is why Wenger must go because he will never change.

        1. So by your own admission Wenger is uniquely equipped to keep the team in the top 4 with minimal investment? Does it not therefore make sense that if he spent (and pressure was placed on the board, rather than Wenger) he’d be able to do a great deal better?

          The point I make is that it is the puppet/pay masters who need to feel the pressure. If the existing attitude prevails but a different manager is selected and put in place – it’ll continue as is surely, but with someone less able to even secure a top 4 the minimal investment.

          The reality is and will always be that it is Kroenke and Gazidis (as the old board and Dein previously did) to make sure the manager is given the funding and made to spend on the talent we need.

          There was an opportunity on Saturday to say to the board we need change. The placards had the right message. Not wenger out. It’s fools that attack Wenger that are getting it wrong and undermine a legitimate call for increased investment at AFC, WHICH SHOULD BE DIRECTED AT THE BOARD. Home fans will never en masse be party to an attack on the guy standing on the touchline.

          In days gone by the Utd fans had a similar problem. They even considered asking Fergie to resign to make the point to the Glazers. AFC fans need to realise this should not be about Wenger but about Kroenke and the boards ambitions.

          1. Yes I agree the placards did indeed have the right message, as they were not targeting Wenger directly, but indirectly we all know the only thing that can be changed anytime soon IS the manager.

            What I need to emphasize is Wenger’s mentality. He has signed some good players, I will give him that much, but where the confusion comes in is how he is blind to the fact that Giroud and a handful of others are just not good enough to make us champions, yet he persists with them and we keep seeing the same average results. With a player like Ozil topping the charts with chances created, assists etc, we would expect our hitman up front who has played almost every single game to have way more goals…yet Giroud is nowhere near the top scorers. Now if I were Wenger, I would see that Ozil’s talent IS BEING WASTED and bring some strikers who can really capitalize on our midfield. But it’s Wenger’s reluctance to do so that makes me so mad. Also Arsenal are known to cave in towards the end of every season, even in matches we all know its about to happen, even the pundits know it and true as Bob it happens! Why are we so predictable? Wy can’t our players grind out these results, especially when we are in the lead?

            It’s all about mentality and the only common denominator is Arsene Wenger. His mentality rubs off on our players and this is why we fold like a clothes horse when winning really matters. This is why I personally want a new manager because we need a new state of mind behind our team.

            1. Exactly. The Board doesn’t have a direct impact on the team – training, selections, on-the-pitch performances, etc. The MANAGER, i. e WENGER does. The Board isn’t responsible for developing new tactics and approaches to the game, or for making timely subs Wenger is. The Board isn’t responsible for player motivation -Wenger is. And so on. Yes. The Board has failed woefully in its responsibilities to Arsenal FC as A FOOTBALL club {Although its doing pretty well on the business side}; but Let’s be honest – so has Wenger. Look at Southampton early this year,for instance. Look at West Brom last. All those missed opportunities to take advantage of our opponents’ slipups, but we literally threw em away. Yet too many fans believe in Him, as does the Board. And the beat goes on…

          2. He had the money to spend last summer but could not see a way to strengthen our squad. I don’t believe Gazidis told him he could not spend.

            To me that meant he ran out of ideas or over estimated his squad. Had he tried I could still believe in him.

            I don’t care so much about the results I care about trying and improving. We don’t try to improve our squad and we keep making the same naive mistakes as Wenger calls it, year after year.

            IMO this squad needs a better partner for Kos (Mert is too old and too slow and Gabriel to inconsistent) and it needs a better striker and (whilst we are at it) it needs some more goals from the flanks (Griezman? Mahrez?) Giroud, Ramsey, Walcott and Welbeck are unlikely to turn into serious goal threats. We have not scored enough goals despite creating enough chances.

      2. Gooner 100, I became an Arsenal fan after Arsenal’s Golden years, circa 2005. I grew up loving Arsene and Arsenal, and been thinking, given the way the similarities between the names, and the way the two were {and still are} quite synonymous, that Arsenal FC was named after Arsene. I supported Arsenal against mockery from my constantly more successful Chelsea, Man U, Liverpool, even Barca friends who were always taunting us Arsenal fans and our beloved club. I almost LOVED Wenger. But all that changed a season or two ago. Wenger kept making the same mistakes and justifying them – transfer inactivities, tactics, substitutions, terrible finishing, hilarious defending, lack of “blood, heart and soul” in the team except on rare occasions, etc.,while other teams evolved, both in transfers and in tactics, and enjoyed successes… Wenger has done a great job for us. But he’s very Fergie. If he were, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion now. A new stadium is great; but 9 trophies in 20 years, isn’t exactly a world record. Especially when they stopped coming for a long while. Wenger has succeeded in making Arsenal a great “sport brand”. Wenger introduced the beautiful side of football to England. But we stopped being a great “football club” several seasons ago. his beautiful football is fast becoming ineffective given the evolution of modern football,in England and beyond. Even Barca has evolved their style. Look at MSN. If Wenger admitted the glaring need for change, and pursued it, we would be grateful. But he wont. And that’s the problem. You can’t keep doing the same thing over and over, and expect different results. Imagine where Leicester would probably be if Ranieri had not come…

    3. You are missing the point…the support for Wenger was not for his continuation, am sure.80% of folks who shouted down the protesters did so simply because they felt that is not the way to treat someone who has done so.much for the club….luke I keep saying, I want Wenger gone ASAP but I will never be party to calling him names and disrespecting him, no frustrating he is ..eminently he will leave the club in a far far better position than he met it 20 years ago and no matter how much you think he has fallen you will realise what fantastic job he’s done once he leaves,even if things are nit exactly honky dory on the pitch

      1. I’m not missing the point…that’s exactly my point. The idiots (unlike you if you don’t slag Wenger) cause the majority to push back as the message is diluted and becomes ‘its all Wengers fault’. If the aggressive and totally bizarre attacks (Wengers a crook, he’s an old fool, he’s been taking the ****, he’s inept, he’s a serial loser etc etc) stopped and people focused on a credible and consistent message that the board is failing, that we want more investment, higher expectations, then events like yesterday would have had much greater support.

        As I said, the most extreme, vitriolic haters are the ones who do least for AFC and undermine any opportunity to create positive change.

  3. Good article thank you.

    I was at the game and made a decision not to hold up my banner.

    I’ve supported arsenal for 40+ years and through far far worse times than now. My support has never wained and never will. As such, I came to the decision that as a supporter it is my job to be the 12th man.

    I will never agree and question the motives of “fans” that wish my team to lose. I WILL NEVER wish my team a loss, (even if it enacted change I wish to see)

    Be in no doubt the silent majority is most defiantly in favour of Wenger staying, it is very easy for those that are most vocal to believe their own hype and in my experience are the most abusive.

    I wish change BUT not at the price of doing my team harm or indeed showing disrespect to a man that has given the best years of his life to the club. (Even if I think its time for change)

    1. If you think it’s time for change, then what it should be done to get that change?

      1. I think in the back of people’s minds, Wenger has done a lot for this club, which obviously deserves much respect. On top of that, we know Wenger has one year left on his contract, so I guess many are biding their time and waiting for him to resign respectfully without the need for banners.

        Still, there is nothing wrong with fans expressing their opinion at the game, because if we cut to the bone, Kroenke and the board have been silently exploiting the fans (or should I say paying customers) for years, and Wenger is obviously an advocate of this. Sometimes in order to make changes, people need to step out of their comfort zones and speak out. Others, like w1lly will sit back and wait for others to do so.

  4. How can you call the protest a failure, 7/8 thousand empty seats, 2 thousand posters raised I don’t think that is a failure. If 10 fans air their concerns and disappointment over the current manager and board it is a success. Yes you have the blinkered supporters singing wengers adoration but they weren’t in the majority either. For the last 12 years we were fobbed off with lie after lie, deceit and non committal but what you have to realise is that the blind fold has dropped and the supporters have seen the lack of tactics, the lack of adventure, the lack of committal this regime has, answer? Kick them out. Once they see the profit margin go down they might realise …….wow we need to change something. We are no longer a club to be feared we are a club to be pitied.

        1. What you have is the season ticket holders are counted if they go or not. Bizarre yes but that is the way the counting goes. The empty seats were quite plain to be seen.

          1. Bur, where are you getting those numbers. The white pieces of paper were in the low hundreds, and after the game on AFTV it showed any who had them were holding handfuls of them. The empty seats, this is the way it’s been at the Emirates for all games except when playing the top half teams. Arsenal would announce attendance and pundits or writers would say its not the correct number, it just means tickets sold. This is nothing new, esp at this time of year, probably off on some exotic vacation or ski lodge ..lucky sonsab’s.

  5. Wake me up when wenger and kroenke have left the club. Until then – I’ll enjoy the Bundesliga as my primary league to follow.


  6. Change is a constant its a fundamental part of life. I’ve seen much darker days than now and will patiently wait for the change.

    The facts are simple, we are in the minority and as such you have to ececpt the majority. That’s what makes us civilised, which seperates us from the savages.

    1. The biggest advancements in humanity and society have come from people who do not accept the status quo and go out and try new things, people who continually challenge the system and want a change when they see its necessary.

      Those who just ‘accept’ are playing right into the hands of those in control. If we all just accepted without ever questioning anything, the earth would still be flat and we would all still be living in the bush.

      1. Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships, and decide not to surrender, that is strength. Arnie Schwarzenegger 101.

      2. Big gun, that im affraid is Simply not true, the largest social changes that have taken place are when the silent majority decide to rise….aka civil rights movements, labour movement, and the rise of the modern 99% movements.

        We are by no means the silent majority, like it or not we’re the vocal minority.

  7. Let me start by saying Wenger’s time is up and he should do the honorable thing and resign soon as his contract ends next season…i am a staunch Wenger out advocate BUT and this is a big BUT, we need to be careful so we don’t throw the baby away with the bath water…abusing Wenger pouring vitriol on his head is nit the way to go and that brings me back to the topic of discussion…all the protests against Wenger will ALWAYS fail because some fans are so ungrateful and totally lacking any morals…Wenger has to go but with all he has done for the club he has earned the right to leave on his own terms and nit be hounded out like some criminal….are we so blind we cannot see the simple fact that even though we have not won anything of worth in 12 years we are eminently on a better position than we were 20 years ago?..a brand new stadium, a quality squad short of 3/4 players to make us competitive again, a healthy bank balance, state of the art training facilities, a global brand….all of these are Wemger’s making and yet so idiots feel they have to harrass and humiliate him out of office?….like one of the banners on Saturday said” the pains of not winning is temporary but Wenger is forever”…should we make an ass of our most successful manager because we have not won the league or the CL in 12 years whilst conveniently overlooking the amazing job he has done for the club as a whole and not just on the pitch…

    1. The pain of not winning is temporary, but Wenger is forever? What?! Why don’t we rename us ARSENE FC, and just remain content and forever grateful for forever finishing in 3rd/4th place?

  8. I fully respect what wenger has done for our club in the past .But I’m sorry he just does not have the same affect on the team he used to.So if he stays on another year to see out his contract he must must get it rite because if the same mistakes are made it could be long hard season as things will be a lot harder next.

  9. They got a rude awakening, that’s for sure. I believe because of the internet and because of stuff like AFTV they thought the numbers were with them. Things like AFTV, are always going to try and spice the show up, so cannot be trusted. The other thing is though, nobody has a clue who is on the end of the other keyboard. I read a supposed Gooner say just the other day “I began supporting Arsenal because of their football played and it started when I seen them in the CL final. He then said ..”I have had enough now, the football is not good anymore”, “but at least I still have Real Madrid, because they were the other team I supported”. Some people, allot it would seem, just don’t know what the word support. You can only have one team, and you have to stick with that team for the rest of your life.

    I’ll finish by saying, I thoroughly enjoyed how the games events turned out. I also enjoyed reading this article, thanks.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs