If Arsenal had been honest, would the fans have been so upset?

Clarity and Honesty Would Of Avoided All Of This by Dan Smith

Arsenal had managed to back themselves into such a corner that they really couldn’t have won on deadline day. Those fans who complain that we kept Sanchez but made a profit would of been equally angry had we got to 11pm on Thursday with Sanchez no longer on the payroll and replaced by Lemar.

Don’t misunderstand, that’s not me sympathizing with the club.

We have had frustrating summers before. Losing Clichy, Nasri and Fabregas in one full swoop comes to mind, to be followed by the loss Van Persie and Song a year later.

Although naturally those sales were met with criticism from supporters there was equally understanding underneath the disappointment. We had been told at the time that we were paying off debt for building the Emirates Stadium, meaning we simply couldn’t compete with the money being outlayed by our rivals.

Whether you believed that or not, at least there was at least an explanation.

In 2017 there can be no such excuse. The world knows that the Premiership year after year is receiving crazy income from TV revenue. This is even before you consider that we continue to be charged the most expensive season tickets in Europe. With the inflated fees being paid by everyone, resulting in over a billion being spent, it’s hard to argue that Arsenal are probably the richest they have ever been.

The mistake lies in the ignorance that forcing so many players to play out their contracts was better then cashing in. Arsene Wenger has always maintained that in the case of Sanchez and Ozil not signing new deals, it had been a ‘club decision’ not to sell them to a rival. The notion being that (worse case scenario) two world class players would at least get us back into the Champions League, making it easier to attract long term replacements for them.

What none of us factored in, was that while that made sense from the footballing side, from a business point of view you were asking multi millionaires to turn their back on potentially over 100 million for the German and Chilean.

From a purely financial point of view if they are willing to turn their backs on those types of sums, are they really going to (in addition) give a further 200 million for the manager to spend. Lets face it you don’t become some of the richest people in the world by making decisions like that.

That’s why yesterday it was a choice of Lemar or Sanchez. They were only going to be willing to fork out the 90 million if they were still not going to be asked to reject 55 million for effectively a 12 month loan. The problem being that following the manner of our 4-0 defeat to Liverpool, resentment has reached a point where no one will now listen to their defense, even if it makes sense.

A bit of clarity and honesty could of made all the negativity surrounding the club on social media and news outlets avoidable. While the owners have every right to ‘safeguard money’ the mistake they made is failing to make their model clear to their customers, having had since July to do so.

With protests taking place last year, clearly they felt from a PR perspective it would have been a mistake to send Gooners on their summer holidays fearing we would lose our best players.

However once fans digested that we had been willing to pay the going rate and that players had turned down being the highest earners in our history, fans would have accepted that any club’s protocol would now be to cash in on individuals who don’t want to be there anymore.

Instead, out of fear of not selling enough shirts and tickets, they allowed us all to believe that our ‘cycle of change’ included both keeping Sancez and Ozil as well as spending lots of money, where in reality it was one or the other.

For a month now we have been negotiating with Monaco to buy Lemar. At no point till yesterday did it become obvious that we were chasing Sanchez’s direct replacement.

There was a way to put a different perspective on this summer. You could have even technically allowed supporters to voice their opinions and make the choice. If we knew keeping a player who doesn’t love the badge was at the cost of bettering the squad we would have driven him to Manchester ourselves.

Say if you had sold Sanchez, Ozil and the OX in July and then we watched you spend that money on replacements we would have at least understood. But as usual we, the fans, the blood and one constant of the club were left out in the cold. And that’s probably our owners biggest sin.



  1. Turbo says:

    Yeah I don’t buy it. In addition to honest and open communication concerns, there are also fundamental issues of managerial incompetence, poor negotiating strategy, procrastination, dithering, lack of ambition, lack of willingness to compete with the top teams in the league despite supposedly being financial heavyweights, desperation at the very end of the window, compounded by promises made when Arsene was re-signed and poor team selection decisions for the first three matches, further compounded by a pattern of incompetence during transfer windows and in general management of the team in recent years that understandable has fan patience at a very low level.

    1. gotanidea says:

      Yes, Arsenal must understand that the fans’ patience is at a very low level. Therefore I urge all Arsenal supporters in London not to come to Arsenal’s next game. Let Arsenal players’ mentality drop and let Arsenal go down until relegation zone if necessary, because they need a big blow to change.

      Two seasons ago, Chelsea fans and players had done it to their club and Mourinho. They changed Mourinho and Chelsea’s system to get the title in the next season, why can’t Arsenal players and fans do the same?

      Regarding the article’s question, the immature fans will be upset whether the contract rebels were sold earlier in July or not sold after the transfer window is closed. Remember that most of us praised Arsenal for their stance on keeping Sanchez, Ozil and Chamberlain.

      Now it’s up to the majority of the fans, do you want to spread the negativity until big changes occur or do you want to keep supporting Arsenal players to fight with their heart in this season? Drastic movement will create drastic results, could be good or bad.

      1. mohamed says:

        Good idea,if we don’t fight for our rights,who would fight for us.boycott is the only solution.I wonder those buying tickets estimated 1billion bound a year,without having any respect from the club owners

  2. ArseOverTit says:

    Nice article Dan..

    One of many reasons why they MUST go!!

    PLEASE Print and use on matchday and/or share on social media and help generate a groundswell of pressure against Kroenke and Wenger. If you don’t do it, who will. The rot MUST stop here!

    *ALL ARTWORK are A4 size [ remember to replace the ‘HTeeTeePee’ in the links!;) ]

    No More Excuses [C’est Fini – It’s all over]

    Shooting Blanks

    Call to Usmanov

    Kroenke Fund Collection

    C’est Fini! [It’s All Over] – Simple Type

    FOLLOW the protest and get involved:

    DONATE [money will pay for Banners, hand-outs, planes, projections etc]:


  3. i was a gooner says:

    arsenal got talent, only needed to be managed better.

  4. Zimbo says:

    Honesty is not a word that exists in the vocabulary of Wenger and the Arsenal board. They simply wanted to sell enough merchandise and l am sure they did that, they also know by the time the season ends they would have made up another excuse to fool the fans going into the 18-19 season. And the cycle goes on…

    1. Viera Lyn says:

      maybe we should steer clear from using the term “honesty”….much like when a country can’t divulge highly classified information publicly for obvious economic and military reasons, a professional soccer organization must keep certain things in-house so they don’t devalue a player, expose a weakness, provide info that could give an opposing club leverage in future negotiations and/or give them vital intel regarding a future match, but when dishonesty becomes the norm the relationship between cub and fan will surely deteriorate…in our particular case, our club has done an absolutely atrocious job when it comes to cultivating a healthy and honest relationship with the media or their fans, which has contributed greatly to our lack of success in the transfer market…along with poor decisions involving weekly wages, we can’t ever seem to get true market value for most of our outgoing players and other teams seem to squeeze every last cent out of us when we are looking to buy; why wouldn’t they, when you go to the table with such a openly desperate and dysfunctional team like ours, you have all the leverage; made even worse by the fact that who wouldn’t want to see our incredibly arrogant and thrifty manager squirm during the process…the real issue at this club is respect, a word that appears to be entirely lost on those within our hierarchy…this is the starting point from which all great relationships between club and supporters form…this doesn’t mean that a team can’t make mistakes along the way, that’s just human nature, it’s about how they chose to deal with these situations that will determine if this relationship flourishes or devolves..in the case of our club the powers that be sees us as a necessary evil…believe me if they could figure out a way to take our money without ever having to deal with us they would…instead they simply gauge our concerns then manufacture an aggressive PR campaign addressing said concerns so as to sell season tickets and the like…so whether it’s about Sanchez staying, transfer budgets, lengthy player injuries, club expectations etc…this team has treated us like a petulant teenager that should be seen and not heard, which is a completely disrespectful way to treat incredibly loyal fans who pay some of the highest ticket prices in the world…this is why this team doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt, this is why they don’t get a pass when they screw up and this is why they don’t deserve our respect when it comes time to show them the door…that time is NOW

  5. Arsene is the grime scene saviour says:

    Ozil got an assist last night. I think we’re going to be ok

    1. gotanidea says:

      His position in Arsenal is different and Arsenal play differently than Germany. He is not suitable for Arsenal and should have competitors like what he has in Germany national football team.

      In Arsenal, he keeps starting even if he is underperforming. Arsenal should have the guts to bench him and start Iwobi, Adelaide or Nelson instead.

      Use one of these youngsters (I think Iwobi is the most mature one) in Ozil’s position for at least five matches and we can compare them. If the youngster doesn’t perform, Arsenal can assign Ozil back and he would be motivated to regain his position.

      1. John Ibrahim says:

        Ozil game time is probably linked to his contract or being forced by the management to start games to increase resale value…

        These days it is very normal the players’ play time is linked to the contract….where monetary compensation would be given if target is not hit

        1. Anthony w says:

          drop ozil and play Ramsey in his position.

      2. mohamed says:

        Guys,problem is not at the players quality,problem is Wenger essentially is not a coach,he politition,Kroenke is using Wenger in order to guin money.twenty years filling Wenger had excuses,swagas and promises…………don’t you see there is a mob here?anyway this season I think we got them….

      3. mohamed says:

        Here,,we have to know the people we are dealing with,my opinion Kroenke,Gizidiz and Wenger have a secret plan to use this club and fans,and also they have another plot to defend any risk from anywhere,including the fans using power of money,that we already gave them.Anyhow if we don’t sacrifice a lot this time and make sure to force real change,we need to get ready to be used another 20yrs,this time even worse.

    2. arie82 says:

      Wenger should stop playing ozil as winger, play him behind striker, and stop asking him to defend tracking the ball, his stamina is average, dont wasted to defend.
      Ozil is world class for his assist, not for running tracking ball to defend…

    3. Sue says:

      That’s because he was playing for Germany! No Arsene in sight!!

  6. dreaming_nightmares says:

    Football is full of lies.
    Like most entertainment, football
    is driven by the pursuit of
    unattainable glory.
    20 teams compete for the title yet
    we know 14 teams have no chance.
    49 teams have played EPL football only 6 have won it
    and only 3 more than twice.
    Moaning about not winning when we know
    that is how the club is run is silly.
    If you want to win you should back Chelsea, City or Man U.
    Most Arsenal fans are living a lie and have clearly
    developed a fetish for losing and self flagellation

  7. Arsenal_Girl says:

    Wenger is dishonest
    He said Alexis was staying but if Lemar had agreed Alexis would be at City now and Wenger and Kroenke would have £60 million from the sale. Same deal with OX. Wenger said 100% OX is staying but sold to Liverpool. Ozil is here because nobody was interested in him.

    Wenger was doing commentary on transfer deadline day so God knows if he wanted Lemar anyway. But I don’t blame Lemar for rejection. You can’t just go to him on the last day and expect him to make a decision. Wenger could have made a good offer for Lemar probably less than £90 million a month ago.

    Wenger and Kroenke do not respect us. Whether it’s being honest or wanting trophies. They just want our money. And we are just muggs. We buy tickets, season tickets, merchandise to fill their pockets. They respect our money, not us.

    1. Muff d says:

      Well said

    2. Midkemma says:

      Shows Gazidis is weak.
      He was weak in transfers.
      He was weak in change.
      He was weak in stopping Wenger getting a new contract.

  8. John Ibrahim says:

    no manager in the world would declare hes for sale unless the player is extremely bad

    Even Mourinho and Pep doesnt come out and declare….

    Wenger probably doesnt want to sell Sanchez cause he knows the board will not grant him new players and he would be left with a weak squad….

    Now he got no choice but to manage a weak squad with the given players

  9. Jonm says:

    Good article. We now have the situation that Sanchez has seen the move to manc snatched away at the last minute. No doubt that will have upset him, lets hope he can rise above it and perform for us. The other issue is that he could perform but be so disruptive that others do not perform.

    My personal opinion is that he should have been sold, we have an owner who sees arsenal as a business, there is no money tree and next season we will be substantially down on money for players. The only mitigation is if we win the pl or at least get CL. The way things are that looks unlikely to me.

  10. AllDwayfromAfriCa says:

    not really, we needed to hear most of the lies we heard over the summer to keep us from revolting. had our early season performance been better maybe they would have gotten away with it cus wenger would have recycled something like ” there are no players in the market”and some of us here would be drank that kool-aid.
    but now that we all agree that we have to take matters into our hands and influence this changes we clearly need, how do we effectively go about it? how have we learnt from last summer and how do we win over or silent the AKB’S?..most importantly how do we do these without messing with the team moral which we also need to improve simultaneously while getting kronke and his boy wenger out…its not going to be easy but we don’t have another choice, we can’t wait for dangote or some miracle to come help..i mean we are The Arsenal we belong among the best so please fans we need to wake up and do things differently..do things right

    1. ArseOverTit says:

      Start by donating as you can’t be at the matches..

      See link above.

      Then you will be doing something to rid our club of these leeches. Money donated helps our protest by enabling the printing of free handouts, the creation of banners, creating projections, hiring planes and other such methods.

      So no excuse Arsenal fans, put your money where your mouth is, no matter how little as it all adds up!

      FOLLOW the protest and get involved:





      1. Gooner4life says:

        What’s your game arseover tit looking for money hope people aren’t gullibable enough to give u any some sort of scam or what

    2. Midkemma says:

      Listen to them. Not saying agree with them, listen to them, show them the courtesy that you would like when trying to explain your point of view.

      I know I am rude a lot but I read what people say and I will explain myself, I know I undermine myself at times which I work on because I want AFC supporters to unite, we all love the same club.

      Slandering people as AKB because they may defend Wenger in specific areas will not get them listening to you.

      We all know Wenger isn’t the BEST manager in the world, he can be a good manager but he isn’t the best.
      Not all of us believe sacking Wenger will resolve the issue though, a lot of fans do not believe Silent Stan will hire a good manager… I question that as it was the CEO who hired Wenger and I believe the CEO will hire the next manager, not Silent Stan.

      I read people getting called AKB because they do not want Wenger sacked YET, they want change at the top 1st because they believe the next manager will be just as poor with how AFC is being ran.

      Drop the tag of AKB and AOB, we are The Arsenal!

      Oh and for people who do want Wenger sacked, you would have your wish if the CEO was strong enough, Gazidis was the man Wenger bypassed remember! Wenger got the new contract from Silent Stan and Silent Stan knows Wenger makes profit. It wasn’t the so called AKB that blocked you, it was the CEO being pathetic.

  11. Carbon - 12 says:

    Probably the best best article I have read on this site for months. I personally believe the terrible performance at Liverpool is magnifying the negatives of the summer transfer. We have actually not done that badly. I believe we can still compete. My only problem would be the attitude of Sanchez

  12. Ian wrights bruva says:

    I can completely understand the lack of transparency and communication from the club, there is no point during the transfer window, you simply do not show you cards to the clubs you maybe negotiating with.

    If wneger wasn,t 100% sure on letting the ox go why would he make any statement about him moving on, then two good bids come in and the club take a desiscion to move him on knowing that iwobi can step up as a straight winger or kolisnica as a wing back.

    The Lamar/Sanchez situation seems to have been mainly down to the selling club and the player himself being convinced to come our club before Sanchez moved on. Do you remember way the selling clubs presidents was during the earlier part in the window, monaco of lost alot of players so they must have been keen to keep their player, again why would anyone from our club show there cards when the outcome was so unclear.

    I am not 100% sure we have been lied to, but it is clear we tried to sign lemar on the cheap and then come in with a good bid to late in the window, that is fault of the club not the communication.

    The main concern maybe that we no longer believe our manager and board have a clear vision of what we should be doing on the pitch and the lack of comms helps support this point of view.

    So I don’t believe we have been lied to, more of a case of the club being in a state of confusion with a lack of creativity and focus.

  13. arsenal-steve says:

    The issue to me is not just honesty and clarity, although those are important qualities for everybody. It’s that Wenger was so negligent. He had so much time to buy another couple of quality players but was so negligent. It’s his ability that I question. Also he is the only manager who has openly admitted he hates the supporters. How, in any world view, can Wenger be kept on. It seems to me that he is either, unconsciously or consciously, trying to bring the supporters or the club to their knees. How can he be employed at Arsenal?

  14. Raj says:

    If they had been honest, they wouldn’t have been able to sell season tickets and merchandises. Just imagine if Gazidis or Wenger had said that we will only buy 2 players and sell many players would fans have been happy? or had they said we will not spend more than what we get from selling our players , how would that have sounded?.

    1. Midkemma says:

      I honestly believe Wenger wanted to keep his top players and add more than just 2, he wanted Lemar and he wanted Mbappe.

      We can all forgive Mbappe after PSG blowing everyone out of the water in transfers but Lemar, that was painful and hard to forgive.

      Us supporters was saying VVD as well and I don’t recall Wenger saying VVD, this is an example of Wenger not picking who we wanted as a target but if he did then do you honestly believe Gazidis could have made it happen?

      Wenger had to go around Gazidis for a new contract so what makes you think those 2 are in agreement? What makes you think Wenger didn’t want any more players and the plan was only to sign 2 new players?

      1. Raj says:

        We wasted time on Lemar and Mbappe. If Wenger was so keen on Lemar and Mbappe, he could have gone around Gazidis and convinced Kroenke to buy him.If he can do that for his contract , why not do it to get players he wants?.
        Having seen the matches this season , don’t you think we needed a squad overhaul? We don’t have a strong presence in centre of midfield and we don’t have a leader on the pitch.We weren’t champions last year, we finished fifth and lost badly in Champions league.
        You keep blaming Gazidis for all the problem in Arsenal. Dont you think everyone Wenger , Gazidis and Kroenke are responsible for the problems in Arsenal?

  15. Midkemma says:

    Wenger went around Gazidis to get his new contract.
    Apparently Wenger got reassurances from Silent Stan.
    We are told by the board that change will happen and we have funds to spend.
    Wenger gives 3 players as targets. Lacazette, Lemar and Mbappe.
    Start the transfer window pretty well, signing Sead to a contract and getting Lacazette done pretty quick.
    Then we are told we need to sell as we have too many players.
    Then we hear that any transfers will be made out of any sales as we do not have the funds.

    Wenger says that he wants to keep Alexis but if h is sold it would be a board decision.
    We read about Alexis offer accepted and us bidding for Lemar, Wenger wants Lemar so board decides to sell Alexis to City for £10 million less than so called asking price and Ox to raise the funds…

    I do not think it is just us supporters who are upset, I would bet Wenger is upset as well, being promised support from the owner than then the CEO undermining him.

    Not excusing Wengers poor performance, wouldn’t you all be upset if you thought you had managed to out maneuver the CEO to get funds and then have the CEO make profit from your squad by the end of the transfer window?

    I do not doubt Wenger likes it when he gets his transfer targets, we have all seen that Wenger smile when talking about a new player, we have seen it with Lacazette… we didn’t see it with Perez though lol. To say Wenger was happy about this I feel is hitting out in frustration.

    Wenger is undermining the CEO and the CEO is undermining the manager, such opposition will never lead to success on the field and we could do with new ones in both areas but who can see Silent Stan making that decision after backing Wenger so recently???

    New CEO this season, 1 year of CEO learning AFC and looking for new manager (take the time and get the job done properly), Wenger contract ends and new CEO gets a new Manager and AFC show ambition… I can dream can’t I???


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