In hindsight maybe Wenger’s last years weren’t such a failure?

Having been in charge of JustArsenal during the stressful final years of Arsene Wenger’s tenure as Arsenal manager, with the hatred and animosity on display between the Arsene Out brigade and the Arsene Knows Best faction, I have heard every single argument for and against Le Prof over the years.

There were always articles explaining why Wenger had outlived his usefullness, and then others from writers like Dan Smith with the warning; “Be careful what you wish for….”

Now it seems that Wenger has given an interview in which he defends his record in the last few years, and this is what Le Prof had to say: “I think people are quite harsh about the last years,” Wenger told the Telegraph.

“In 2016 we finished second in the league. Leicester won but other teams were behind Leicester as well, and Leicester only lost three games. In 2017 we did not qualify for the top four for the first time in 20 years, but we got 75 points.

“People don’t realise. We won the (FA) cup against Chelsea who had just won the championship and had the chance of winning the double. And after, in 2018, we lost the League Cup final against (Manchester) City, we lost in the semi-final of the Europa League against Atletico Madrid but by just one goal.”

Looking back now, when you consider how we have performed since then, we haven’t really improved with any of our new managers.

Yes, Emery got to the Europa League Final but was embarrassed by Chelsea in Baku. Yes Arteta won the FA Cup, but two 8th placed finishes have not made Wenger look bad, especially as Le Prof won a record amount of FA Cups while he was in charge. And despite not finishing in the Top Four, the Frenchman still ensured we were in Europe albeit via the Europa League.

So, in hindsight, do you now think we were a little harsh on Wenger in his final few years?

Sam P

Tags Wenger

88 Comments

  1. Jakes Mradu says:

    Yes….. very harsh………if Wenger was in charge there’s a big chance we could still be in the top 4 and considering the players he had…..now we know how difficult it is to be in the top 4
    I wouldn’t mind Wenger back…for two seasons with Arteta as his understudy……….the players played for Wenger….I can’t say the same for Arteta

    1. SueP says:

      A big chance is stretching it from my standpoint.

      I have enormous respect for what Arsene Wenger achieved during his time at Arsenal. He clearly thought of very little else other than Arsenal and carried on the ethos of the club. He changed diets and training and this brought almost unrivalled success particularly in the earlier years.

      Without disrespecting his legacy, he was struggling more and more to keep top4 a reality. When the unthinkable happened and his last two years didn’t maintain that level then I’m afraid he had to take responsibility.

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        SueP,

        Why should Arteta not take responsibility now even though everyone agrees now with just 5 games played Arsenal will not finish in the top 4?

        With a better squad than Wenger had if I may add.

        1. Sir Michael says:

          HH Totally agree with you Arteta should have got the Bullet weeks ago along with EDU

          1. Admin Pat says:

            Michael, you say this in nearly every comment.

            When will reality hit and you finally grasp that Arteta and Edu are NOT going to be sacked.

            When are you ever goig to learn to deal with that?

          2. Highbury Hero says:

            Mr Pat what I am seeing is Arsenal standards being lowered to accommodate Arteta failure.

            When fans wanted the great Arsene out it was because we could not win the title.

            Why then should we be happy with a top 8 finish? (under Arteta it is already agreed and we are required to accept finishing outside top 6 because of the phantom project).

            He has already being supported by a lot of money and enough time considering the results to start showing something.

            He has been supported to get rid of stubborn players and has brought more than 10 himself.

            We don’t have to play Norwich to feel like we have a chance of winning. When we are playing Chelsea, City, Utd, Spurs, Leicester or Liverpool I want to feel that we are going to give them all we have got (and we have a lot) and feel that we have a good chance of winning just like they do.

            If tomorrow we are playing Liverpool I already know the results. What I don’t know is how many goals we will lose against.

            For how long should I wait? They should tell us then in clear words for how long do they expect their phantom project to bear fruits.

            If it is three or two seasons away what then was the point of spending 150M in one window?

          3. Admin Pat says:

            HH, you say he has had enough time.
            Last years two big buys Partey and Gabriel are hopefully now fit to play. Six others of his team have just arrived. How many games have they played together..
            Is that enough time for a completely new team to gel and become worldbeaters.
            Our fanbase really need to learn the meaning of the word “patience”

          4. Highbury Hero says:

            I will gladly have all the patience in the world Mr Pat, if I know what I am waiting for.

            Arteta and Edu even though I credit them for good recruitment this window, does not appear to have any definite plan. What I see is trial and error method in the hope that they will strike it along the way.

            The good thing is we will find out what if they have found their formula by December.

            I may be negative yes but I am not happy about and I miss the days when all I do is just supporting the club. I want those days back but I will not do it just for the sake of it.

        2. SueP says:

          I knew that was coming HH if not from you but others as well

          Arsene Wenger had many years of experience and had years and years of choosing his line-ups. No director of football or the like. His choices came to the club. As the club decided on Arteta without ANY managerial role behind him to lead the club forward and with players he inherited then the situation is not the same. There was no guarantee at all that AW could bring back the glory years. Emery tried and it seems that at last the club are working to reverse the mistakes made at the highest level.

          1. Highbury Hero says:

            The situation is not the same that is true. I cannot deny that fact. But the club should never have gone for such an inexperienced manager in the first place if they were serious about being competitive.

            I will not support him just because he is Arsenal manager and is the club’s choice (sorry Pat). Doing so will be supporting the way of mediocrity the Kroenkes are set on keep doing. Wenger was and so was Emery yet they didn’t get that default support by being Arsenal manager from the most of the fans.

            I will support him when I see consistent improvements in our gameplay and results. Our seasons cannot keep starting when playing Norwich and paused when we play Man City.

          2. SueP says:

            Well then HH
            My point at the very end of my previous post sums up the lack of direction from the top.
            I think that MA has a decent chance of getting there but the supporters were left in an invidious position of not getting what they should have been given considering their start under the earlier Wenger years
            This isn’t a bash at AW. But it was a combination of factors that weren’t nipped in the bud

          3. Highbury Hero says:

            @SueP

            And that is where Arteta has my sympathy if I have understood your post correctly.

            It was his intention to always return at the club so we can safely assume he loves the club.

            In my opinion he should’ve passed on the job until he has established himself as a top manager or at least have a considerable experience on the job first.

            He might have underestimated just how big Arsenal is. It is not a place to learn managerial career. To learn one has to make mistakes and mistakes at the club of Arsenal size are not allowed. The board may allow them but the fans won’t.

            Trying to learn swimming in a sea storm will always have one outcome.

          4. SueP says:

            That HH
            Is probably what should have happened

      2. Doctor Fredrick says:

        Wenger was at another level, it’s good somebody is humble enough to have an honest hindsight. We were too harsh with him. We took for granted the success we enjoyed without the support of the board.
        Give wenger this Artetas squad and you will see magic.
        You can take this to the bank brother

    2. Arsenaler says:

      Well saïd, just as Dan Smith warned.

      Unless you find better, you don’t settle for less.

      Beyond such common sense; Wenger is as Sir Alex, part of our & legacy, so Arsenal branded.

      He should be heading Arsenal he has devellop yo a top brand 2 decades strong.

      Look how FIFA considers him! Shows how much a failure and shame we have been.

      You don’t ask to person who built & paid our home, to get out of it, nor to such a father figure.

      Disrespectfull in every way, embarrassing, and he kept his dignety & class, great speach and attitude, while saying good bye to the ones who put him in such a shameful position.

      Kroenke would have not nor never thought of firing him; he was forced to do so for the fans; do called ones….

      That’s what we paying for and why Arsenal so laim to even watch.

      So uplifting to players and fans to see Sir Alex at stadium and every Man U games.

      Can’t disrespect legends and your own legacy. Over then…

      All last season’s average was 12th spot, 8th in last games miracle!

      This season, will confirm 12-15th spot status. We’ll be in relegation fight Big part of season. We are since start, a game away today.

      Can’t replace a top coach as Wenger with an assistant, make him a manager After half season, finished 8th, worst spot ever, keeps UP sinking process!

  2. Tas says:

    Totally disagree with AW on the las few years of management, 2016 if we had a half descent striker we would of won the league that’s down to him and remainder of his time was even worst by not buying the right players for the right price he was aiding and abetting owners in penny pinching and that’s why it’s going to take years with big investment to catch up to fourth place

    1. Mur huduh foxx kemm ghandkom says:

      And most clubs and other fans disagree with your arrogant argument.Simple fact is they never gave wenger the money he needed just look at suarez deal and if you think thats down to wenger then you really need to stop watching football.This is the same Wenger that wanted both Ozil and Higuain but the club penny pinched because Real wanted another 6 million euros….thats penny pinching.

      1. AndersS says:

        @Mur huduh foxx kemm ghandkom
        Arsenal have been one of the very highest spenders in the past 10 years, including Wengers last 4-5 years at least. Only Man U and Man C spent more. That is the simple truth.
        We were underperforming in Wengers final years, and we were going backwards.
        If money spent was the only factor, we should not have gone backwards.

        1. Johnze says:

          Hood argument. As much as i love wenger, he would jave stayed until his last days or at least he won another time. But as far as he had stormed inside english football in 1996, he xas not the same 20years later. Simple. Guys like jurgen klopp were outsmarting him as managers. He did well, but he could have done better. More than that he could have leave by himself even if he loved his job and just ask to be in the board and let room for the transition. Ferguson did that. Wenger waited until the club badically had no choice to fire him.

      2. Tss says:

        Mhfkg if they never gave Wanger the money then he should of resigned instead of hanging around knowing full well it was wrong and how comes they started finding the money in his last year and since then with other managers when we no longer had CL money? It’s all bull arsen was so much in love with Arsenal he was blinded week and used

        1. Johnze says:

          He was a genius when he arrived. But stubborn. Wanted to prove everyone wrong and say he won with less money spent than others. Remember the 2012 signings. He made almost no sogning thinking we were good like that. Got trashed by man U. So last day of transfer window, comes with panic buys (arteta, mertesacker, andre santos…)… Wenger was great in many ways and a good coach for sure. Not sure about the manager. But 100% agree woth you. As you said, all of a sudden, last years, he realizes the club might fire him and he splash 100m on laca and auba. But he still comes with the fact about the stadium he built and blabla… Of course he jad not the owner Man city and chelsea had. Fair from him. But he had also way more money than 80% of others club. I never hear other managers of these poor clubs ginding the same excuse they could have bring on the table first.

    2. Loose Cannon says:

      Yes, you rightly said. If success is winning the EPL 3/22, FA 7/22, League Cup 0/22, Europe 0/22, then the defination of success for a top top club is misconstrued.Sir Alex EPL 13/26, FA 5/26, League Cup 4/26; Europe 4 majors, Club world cup 1. That is the benchmark for success for a reign of 20+ years. Any other explanations are just excuses from a lazy loser.Period!

      1. Dan kit says:

        I’m surprised an Arsenal fan could continually slag off Wenger as much as you do LC ,we all know that he needed to step down but your constant put downs are pretty weak mate .

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          And he being one of the biggest supporters of Arteta what he say does not make any sense at all.

        2. Loose Cannon says:

          DK, I just wanted my club to be more aggressive and win more, so I do have tremendous respect for a rival manager who achieved what our manager failed to do in 22 years. Would you not cherish lifting the UCL or club world cup? When he could have hired better, but that is spilt milk now my Pal. Whats more hurting is that by staying so long we missed out on Klopp. I respect the man, not the mumbo jumbo he talks.

          1. siamois says:

            “i respect the man”really?you have a strange way to show your respect for Arsène Wenger!your words”I do not want this man near my club” “lazy loser’ and other personal attacks,you should be ashamed of yourself.

          2. Kenny says:

            Although Phil disrespect AW but at least he judge both managers with the same yardstick. I cannot stand unfairness.

      2. George says:

        You are being too harsh on Wenger. Your narrative can be misleading. Honestly ask your self if any other coach would have done better under the prevailing conditions. Before the team moved over to Emirate Arsenal was a force to be reckoned with. And if you’ve equated his success ratio with other top coaches he would have probably come out top. Then came the Kroenkes and the emirate era which coincided with the emergence of Abrahimovic at Chelsea. Arsenal no longer had the fi had the financial power to compete. City later joined the league of the rich clubs pushing Arsenal further down the order. While Arsenal was busy paying back the loan for Emirate stadium other clubs were busy buying most expensive quality players. In fact Arsenal had to sell some of there players to service the loan. This is because the owners refused to bring out their personal money to support the club. Wenger was not a flop and most coaches know the problems he faced. People clamour for top coaches to take over Arsenal. I believe the management wants that too but I don’t think they’ve been able to convince any to take the job because of their antecedents. No top coach will accept Arsenal job under this management because none will succeed in achieving success.

        1. Loose Cannon says:

          to cut short a long narrative, how did Reineri win the league with LC? Any lame excuses for us to lose out? Hoodwinked the owners, spent the club’s millions on flops like Ozil, Lacazette, Xhaka, Mustafi, Perez, Wellbeck, Chambers rather than hiring wisely like Pool, LC or even CFC.

    3. Highbury Hero says:

      I agree with the problem of not buying right players in Wenger’s later years. One season we would not have a striker, another season a GK and another season a CB.

      I strongly disagree to the last of my energy that we need years to be competitive. We don’t have a coach that is our current problem.

      The current squad is good for at least a top four finish if they had a proper and tactical coach.

      The two unconvincing wins might have energise the Arteta apologist but I am not convinced yet, not until I have seen consistency against top teams as well. Something I am sure will not happen.

      1. Grandad says:

        So are you suggesting that our squad is as strong as those of Man City,Liverpool, Chelsea and Man Utd? If you really believe that ,then you are not only deluding yourself, but are unable to differentiate between quality and mediocrity.

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          Arsenal has the sixth most expensive squad in the world and the biggest spenders this past window.

          If you call that squad mediocre then you have basically agreed that Edu and Arteta are more than terrible at their jobs.

          Let’s go further, Edu and Arteta have gotten rid of Wenger’s and Emery’s debris, dross and clique and have further upgraded the squad with more than 10 players of Arteta’s choosing.

          If after 10 additions the squad is still mediocre then you are basically saying Edu and Arteta are terrible at their jobs.

          This squad is far from mediocre, it is one of the best in the league. They just don’t have a coach. The squad is as good as their coach and his tactics.

          If we were to swap whole squads with Chelsea the story will still be the same. Tuchel will make our players fly and Arteta will make Chelsea players fall, and then someone will say the squad need upgrading.

          The goodness or badness of the squad is measured by results and success. Results and success are brought by sound tactics and good coaching. We don’t have sound tactics and have a terrible coach. No matter which player is signed the narrative will never change until the coach find his mojo. There is no guarantee when that will happen if at all.

          The sixth most expensive squad in the world does not sit at the bottom of the table after three games if the coach knows what he is doing, injuries or not. We are not the first team to be afflicted by injuries.

          1. Dan kit says:

            Wasting your typing fingers on grandad and his ilk HH.
            They seem more interested in being proved right about Arteta than actually what is right for our club .
            Im still reading excuses that this isn’t Artetas team and we are still trying to blame Wenger because he as a few players left .
            24 players signed since he left ,get a hold of yourself if you still use these lame excuses ,nobody in the right mind believes that crap anymore .
            I thought everyone agreed before the season started that this was all Artetas team ,now 5 games into the season and the excuses are as cringe as ever .

          2. Dan kit says:

            And I quote
            Grandad @
            “Who’s fault is it that xhaka is still playing for us “ Wengers

            I maybe be wrong but who just gave him a nice new contract on better money and continues to put his name first on the team sheet ?(when available)

          3. Highbury Hero says:

            Yes Dan. I once accused Grandad of giving only a token criticism of Arteta and honestly afterwards I felt I didn’t say the right thing.

            But I thank him for cleaning my conscience because he is proving that notion right with each passing day.

            It is interesting to read the views of those in support of Arteta and some do give logical and balanced views but not Grandad, Jon Fox and few others (I find their views full of contradictions all the time and illogical sometimes)

            Sometimes I wonder does Arteta really have that potential or did I underestimate just how deep Mesut Ozil was disliked by some fans?

          4. Dan kit says:

            HH
            You will probably be accused (me also )(even though I’m 41 )
            Of being young and naive ,spoilt and wanting instant success and because we are still in a progress that will
            Take another 50 years and if you disagree you aren’t a real fan mate , this is how it works with the Arteta fan club .
            You speak out of tune you are not a real fan .
            Personally for me real fans like yourself know where it’s at ,don’t let the slow thinking fans tell you different bro ,fight the good fight like the rest of us .

          5. Highbury Hero says:

            😂😂

            If more than 20 years of following the club is still young then others are on level elves or level yodas.

          6. Angus says:

            To be fair Dan Kit Palace was rocking like the 1st 10 mins (deliberate number) of a CL game at the Emirates v Spurs at 0-0 the entire time, they’d lost 3 prior, lost large swathes of their team mostly free and have an unproven manager. Viera has put in the yards but he’s torn up no trees in that time. Yes at least 1 of Palaces losses was encouraging but really. They had a lot more reason to be pessimistic, a lot of people were tipping them to go down before the season started.

            Support the team, especially given how young it is a new manager could easily take it on. By all means point out what you think is wrong but you and many like you want to be right about Arteta and find the negatives in absolutely everything that is said and that happens, it’s exhausting. You chime in at 0-0 during games or before kick off. Again your not saying I’d of picked X but we’ll see what happens. It’s X is playing, X isn’t playing… game is over. 5 mins of pressure from the opposition, we’re awful blah blah blah. So and so on and that is not a real fan. Your teeing up the worst every week and then patting yourself the back if it happens and thinking up excuses for why the fact it didn’t happen doesn’t change how it’s still the worst.

            Don’t know if you’ve done all the things mentioned (I don’t keep a record of your comments) but you’ve done multiple and you know it.

            Also love how all the Arteta out lot keep pretending that most including me in the Arteta in lot keep making excuses and pushing deadlines when we have mostly said and certainly in my case repeatedly if results are bad come Nov/Dec he’ll be gone. Very odd position and remark in general. To be expected of those emotional attached to being right rather than being factual never mind a fan who should be positively biased.

            Webster dictionary on Fan – an enthusiastic devotee (as of a sport or a performing art) usually as a spectator.

            Your supposed to have rose tinted glasses otherwise what are you doing? Feeding your need for negativity?

  3. Mur huduh foxx kemm ghandkom says:

    Harsh and arrogant.The simple fact is Arsenal fans cant seem to grasp simple accounts.Some people say wenger performed miracles at the end…no he performed miracles sice the beginning.Club CEOs got complacent and never really did anything worthwile.At United they were responsible for the marketing side and at Arsenal it barely even exists today.If you’re one of those praising the Rwanda deal then get off your high horse.United signed an 80 million deal with adidas and 50 million deal with Chevro….this was back in 2015 thats the difference.

  4. Val says:

    I remember sitting in the pub with a few friends at the start of what was going to be Wengers last season, debating on what could happen if he was to leave.

    Most said we should atleast be finishing in the top 2-3 if he went as they believed he was the one to blame with buying crap for years etc etc.

    I do understand what they meant and could understand the wish for him to leave, to freshen things up and to get someone in who has sort of ”evolved ” with the sport.

    I brought up Man UTD and how they suffered and are still somewhat struggling to win the title since Sir Alex left – they said the board would be wiser that UTD and not hire a ”Moyes” …….

    My argument was that Wenger had consistently for 22 years had European football and didnt have the type of money to spend each window than his ”competing” teams around him, such as Chelsea, City, UTD and then Liverpool ( although Liverpool sold high and bought well, so cant really be put in the same bracket as the former’s)

    So we have what 21 years in the top 4 with Wenger
    small budgets, new stadium etc etc.

    2 ”real” managers ( not including Freddie here) if you can call MA a real manager or not in terms of experience, that in 3 years?? have spent around £400m and achieved a 5th place and 2 8th placed finishes in the league.

    To me the facts speak volumes here

    Be careful what you wish for i said to my pals in the pub that day, the grass is not always greener on the other side!

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      Well said Val. There is another thing than just results and that is the great Arsene did not deserve the disrespect from some section of the fanbase. Not after all he has done for the club.

      In my country, I and other Arsenal fans came to the acceptance that it was highly unlikely that Arsenal will win another title under the great one and most of us (if not all) wanted to see him leave and take another role at the club.

      But we didn’t call for his head or abuse him. We kept enjoying our games and waiting for the time when he will leave on his own terms.

      He is hugely respected in my country from Arsenal fanbase. To all of us he is the one who made us love Arsenal and football in general.

    2. siamois says:

      👏👏👏

    3. Mur huduh foxx kemm ghandkom says:

      I mean the sheer arrogance where your friends seeing the club spending 100 millions every two seasons.I thought Arsenal fans were reasonable…guess I was wrong.David Dein once said that Abromovich thinks he can come here and park his tanks and throw his millions at us ….he wasnt laughing the second summer when chelsea yet again spent another 100 million.He knew what was going to happen.If Arsenal dont get a sugar daddy we’re doomed and it was thanks to Arsene that we were still competitive all those years.

  5. Goonster says:

    Does not matter where we are today. That does not mean Wenger final years weren’t poor.
    He had at least 10 seasons after the 2005 FA CUP win and we were then programmed with all kinds of excuses.
    I was one of those that used to go on about “But but we are paying for the stadium.”

    After 2015 summer window when wenger refused to sign a single outfield player I was done with him. Only signed Petr Cech and that was that.

    I was always one of wengers biggest apologists until 2015. Used to have heated arguments with my dad because I kept making excuses for wenger.

    I have so much respect for wenger for elevating our club to massive global giant. But at the same time he had become so nonchalant, dormant, stagnant, stale, lazy, arrogant, dinosaur like in his attitude and mentality.
    Refused to change his ways to go with the ever changing football world etc.. Refused to listen to constructive criticism about our poor weak mentality. He had become so so easy for his other experienced fellow managers to out smart him in crucial big matches.

    That’s what used to frustrate and irritate me, and still irritated me thinking about it. Wenger had some amazing techical players in the Cesc era but refused to beef them up or sign more physically imposing players to compliment them.

    1. Val says:

      I’m sorry but i disagree here

      Wengers 1st 10 years the Club was well managed from Hillwood to the ball boys.

      Even though we was at Highbury, a small ground in comparison to the Emirates, we had Dein who with Wenger made the club competitive and probably built the best squad any Gooner will ever see.

      Late into that 1st decade, you had the rise of the mega money owners like Chelsea, who prior really were a top 10 club at best, then City came along who were a mid table club at best and were never constants in the top flight.

      So all these clubs who started buying top draw players for mega money, Man UTD spent aswel lots of money when they needed to, while Arsenal moved to a new stadium and the money for us became alot tighter, so to give ourselves a chance to compete, we had to sell our best players and mostly to City – Clichy, Adebayor, toure, Nasri all in a short space of time.

      I’m not sure many of you guys realise what the money going to those clubs at a time we had our own purse strings cut – ultimately the change in what happened financially top a few clubs at that moment in time, tipped the balance big time in their favour, with who they could go buy.

      You can’t knock him at all imo, im sure if wenger had the £400m that has been spent the last 3 years, we would be in a much better place.

      But hes not and i will back the team every game and address the mangers position come the november interlul

      1. Val says:

        there is an article on ESPN about money spent by arsenal since Wenger took over in 1996.

        you should go read it – in 22 years he spent close to 700m ( £687m)

        22 years – 700m
        3 years 400m

        anyway, heres the link if you want to go read it
        then look at when Roman bought Chelsea and the Sheiks took over at City.

        https://www.espn.co.uk/football/club/arsenal/359/blog/post/2959457/arsenals-transfer-spending-under-arsene-wenger-since-1996

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

          apples to oranges, I’m afraid

        2. ken1945 says:

          Great read Val, backing up what you are saying…. in other words FACTS!!!
          Goonster says he was done with AW after 2915, because he only signed one player _ after that season, we had one the fa cup, beating the then champions, Chelsea 2-1 – we missed out on the CL by one point – qualified for the europa league and got to the semi final the following year and finished 6th, our lowest league position in AW’s reign.

          Since then, we have had our worst season since the 1959’s, we are out of ANY european competitions, we have let go of over 30 players, bought in 10 and RE – signed some of AW’s players at the request of UE and MA – some £300,000,000 later, we have not won any trophy, let alone challenging for the title and/or top four.

          All managers have to cope with injuries, Diaby, Ramsey, Santi etc etc yet we were still seen (and finished) as a top four club – so the argument that MA has had bad luck, while true, is/was not seen as an excuse under AW and UE.

          It still hasn’t been explained to me, how AW always managed to finish in the top four and/or win trophies with all the “dross” that he signed and that have now departed.

          The biggest sin for me though, is that the abuse our greatest ever manager received from a section of the fans, has meant he will never return to our club, such was the level aimed at him.

          The hardest thing to admit, is that one was wrong and, despite the fact that our club has now sunk to the level of celebrating wins against Norwich and Burnley (1-0!!) in must win matches after just a few games, not one fan who wanted AW out, has admitted that we have degressed in such an alarming way.
          Instead of FIFA benefitting from his name, knowledge and know how, our club could /should have been using him as an Ambassador for The Arsenal.
          I only hope that, one day, Arsene Wenger will remember that those fans who abused him, were the minority and comes back to where he rightly belongs… at The Arsenal.

          Oh and by the way Wenger was not God and he did make some awful mistakes during the proudest years in our club’s history… just in case anyone thinks otherwise.

          1. ken1945 says:

            After 2015 not 2915😂That was a Phil type mistake 😜😜

          2. Loose Cannon says:

            Dear Ken, back then it was a 2 horse race, Then came Roman made it a 3 way contest, then came City for a 4 way tussle. Then came the new boys and we were not prepared, lived arrogantly praising our manager till we realised that we are not top4 any more, by that time the rot had set in. Mikel is brave to catch the bull by the horns and tame it(player power). Still some more to go, next season will be ours. The new signings are exciting, one CDM and striker and the EPL is ours to lose.

          3. Simba says:

            Agree. MA is just not up to the task. It’s even worse considering that teams like Chelsea, City and United won’t stop buying players to be competitive. Standards are very low at the club had he been at another club he would have been fired considering how much he has spent on players.

        3. Kenny says:

          I previously shared this articles in my comments last year. I bookmarked it many years back. I also bookmarked an article regarding how profitable Arsenal under AW but cannot find it anymore.

          1. ken1945 says:

            Loose Cannon, so when we finished 2nd to Leicester, was it only a two horse race then?
            When we finished third or fourth, was it only a 3 or 4 horse race?
            Wenger took over a club that was in dire straits – drinking culture, ex manager sacked for taking back handers, next manager sacked after just six months because players were in revolt.

            If your ridiculous and disrespectful view that all the other PL clubs were just cannon fodder for Arsenal and United… have you ever asked (if this was true) why that happened?

            I ask you once again, with all the players you list as “dross”, how did AW maintain their top four status and was it only a two horse race when we finished 2nd to Leicester??

        4. gotanidea says:

          The value of 350 M in 2007 isn’t the same in 2019 – 2021

      2. Loose Cannon says:

        made a name and success piggy riding on the strong foundations and ethos of our respected legend GG.Left the club in shambles. Good Ivan came to the rescue and put him out of our misery or else we would have been worse than 8th. Nuff said

        ADMIN COMMENT 24years using GG players is a stretch of the imagination methinks!

        1. Dan kit says:

          That Comment LC just sums up your agenda up to a tea mate .
          Piggy backed off GG ?
          So Arsene didn’t give this league the best team ever to play the game of football witnessed in this country ?
          That was all GGs doing ?
          Arsene didn’t give us probably 4-5 of the best players ever to ply their trade on these shores ?
          Joke comment buddy and you know it

          1. Loose Cannon says:

            Mate, GG laid the foundations of strong character on which AW built his success.Give him credit. The Invincibles was his doing, no denying that, and I give credit where its due. After that? Did he not single handedly dismantle the iconic team with mediocre players one by one? Except Santi, Fabregas who would walk into the Invincibles and Giroud on the bench, rest he assembled a team of costly flops which he fails to admit and covers it up with all sorts of excuses. Had he quit in 2006 or 7, we would have been better off today. Thats being selfish and greedy for easy wage, not allowing a more capable and pragmatic manager to take over. And foolish for not adapting to change.

          2. Highbury Hero says:

            Loose Cannon the great Arsene passed on Real Madrid and Bayern jobs for years to remain at Arsenal and build solid foundation for me and you to enjoy the club for years to come.

            He gave up easy tickets to win champions league as well as huge paychecks so calling him greedy is a shameless lie. Shame on you!

            GG didn’t coach players the great Arsene did. GG was not even around the stadium when the great Arsene changed the world football as we know it today.

            The great Arsene made Thierry Henry, undoubtedly the greatest Premier League player of all time from scratch.

          3. ken1945 says:

            The great GG was fired for taking back handers from the club – our club- and Loose Cannon says AW piggy backed him?

            Loose Cannon, it’s fans like you who deserve the position we find ourselves in today.
            You were wrong, you still are wrong and, of course, now Arteta is our manager, it’s an eight horse PL 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

          4. ken1945 says:

            GG laid and made the foundations of a drinking culture – for heaven’s sake do your homework on what was going on at the club under GG.
            I loved singing 1-0 to the Arsenal – but rewriting history to try and knock Wenger, is pathetic.

    2. Johnze says:

      100% agree. People always seem to fall in either “wenger did bad” / “wenger did well”. While it is so much more complicated. But i agree. He was super stubborn. He was a genius and 1st of the class in 1996. But he did not adapt and was left behind some managers that proved smarter at the end (pochettino, klopp). Yes, he had less money than chelsea or Man C (and he made sure that everybody was always aware of that when he lost against them). He did weel for sure, bit could have done better with some necessary investments that he did not make while the club could have financially afford. Prople begs him to add more steel especially in midfield and he kept avoiding to do so. I remember well scoot parker that we could well have signed and went to tottenham for 5m !!!! That same transfer window, after wenger realized we were far behind (took him the 8-2 before doing so) he signed someone like santos for 7m. So all of this was not ONLY about a lack of money and funding because of the stadium. Same with gary cahill. He was signed by chelsea for 7m !!!! We could have afford that. This does not mean that wenger did not have great periods and was a smart guy, that carried us always in the top4, for sure.

  6. gotanidea says:

    I expected at least one UCL trophy and more EPL trophies from a manager who’d been managing the same club for more than two decades

    He was a such powerful figure at Arsenal and the academy graduates were obviously trained under his system for many years, so his last few years were a failure

    1. Mur huduh foxx kemm ghandkom says:

      Even though other clubs had more money and could make more mistkaes than us in the transfermarket…yet you “expected” a CL trophy.Nothing is expected and you earn everything.That was the best squad playing the best football.They let him down on that not his fault they didnt show up.No one mentions the run he had in 2006 against the likes of Juventus, Real,Villareal(they were a big team back then).All without money.So show him the respect he deserves and stop mentioning that summer only where he dint buy a player and other rich clubs who bought didnt win the league either…remember that.

      1. gotanidea says:

        Arsenal have spent a total of £687.4 million in the transfer market since the summer of 1996 up to 2016, so the myth about the lack of financial support from Arsenal is completely wrong:

        espn.com/soccer/club/arsenal/359/blog/post/2959457/arsenals-transfer-spending-under-arsene-wenger-since-1996

        Had he wanted more pricey players, I believed he would’ve gotten the funds from Arsenal. We could tell he didn’t like the superstars’ attitudes and he decided not to buy them, based on his own words and actions:

        – “We don’t sign superstars, we make them” – Wenger said this while defending Arsenal’s tight purse strings with respect to the transfer market in 2007

        – “If I give you a good wine, you will see how it tastes and after you ask where it comes from” – Once again defending Arsenal’s transfer policy

        – Ferguson took a dig at Arsenal for their lack of homegrown players. If Wenger was really great in making superstars, he should’ve been able to make a lot of them from cheap homegrown players

        – “He has to know that, no matter how much money you earn, you can only eat three meals a day and sleep in one bed” – Aimed at the Premier League journeyman Nicholas Anelka after he left Arsenal in 1999

        1. Highbury Hero says:

          -He made a lot of superstars from cheap bought players. I won’t name them or we will finish next week.

          -687.4 ÷ 20yrs = 34.37M/season hardly a world beater amount.

          1. gotanidea says:

            The value of 350 M in 2007 isn’t the same in 2019 – 2021

          2. Highbury Hero says:

            34 million of 2007 is equal to 44 million of today. Still not a world beater amount. In your attempt to debunk the great Arsene you have ended up praising him instead.

            Not surprisingly because that is what always happens when the truth is concerned.

          3. Angus says:

            Do agree with your main point that it’s not alot per season but football inflation in that time period is much larger than real inflation so don’t ever use real inflation for figures. Bergkamp is still our most expensive signing relatively and Henry is still our 2nd most expensive signing if you calculate football inflation. These figures were before Pepe but I believe after Auba so doubt Pepe cracked Henry and certainly didn’t crack Bergkamp. Ozil was 3rd when this list was published on sky so that was the big signing that didn’t quite work.

          4. Johnze says:

            Lol come on. There is inflation first. So yes 34 million of 2007 is 44 of today, even worse for the 1996-2007. This is the strict money inflation. But you forget the main one… Price of players lol ! In 2003, beckam left to real for 35 million. This today would be 120 or 150 ! Same with ronaldinho, one of the 3/4 biggest player at the time who joined barca for 40 with add ons !

  7. Joe. S says:

    No, Arsene Wegner knew what he was doing when he complied with the process along with Gazadis and his owner. He should have taken a greater stand regarding the downsizing of expectations. Top four looks great from where the club is at presently with everyone involved telling the fans that we’ll need three to four years before Arsenal reach such giddy nights again. Fans can dream nostalgically of a time when we would be disappointed if we didn’t at least look like we could challenge for the title but it was a case of declining standards and realistically the cupboard was bare regarding the playing squad which h is probably why he gambled so heavily on resigning Ozil whatever it took. Wegner had reached a dead end. and should have faced up to it.

  8. ArseOverTit says:

    Nothing is black and white and Wenger made mistakes of that there is no doubt.

    I do hold up my hands though as one of those who wanted him gone long before he went. I knew Kroenke was the root of the evil back then but his absconded has made one thing clear.

    He was more of a manager than MA could ever dream to be. As I said before though, his effectiveness had dwindled and the game moved on and he didn’t.

    But this shows now how Wenger band aided the rot and lowering standards of the club since SK first bought it and how with a learner manager in charge his and therefore his team’s frailties and deficiencies are glaringly evident.

    One thing is crystal clear since SKs tenure our standards have lowered year on year in a very linear and predictable downward trajectory.

    Not surprising really.

    1. ArseOverTit says:

      Edit: absence instead of absconded;)

  9. Voyageur says:

    Many, including me, dont need the benefit of hindsight. We thought it was harsh on him at the time.

    Having said that, and even knowing what we know now regarding the team’s struggles, I still think it was beyond time for him to leave. Just wish it could have been handled with better succession planning and without the AKB v AOB dichotomy.

    1. David says:

      Which team wins:
      David Seaman, Lee Dixon, Steve Bould, Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Nigel Winterburn
      Patrick Vieira, Paul Merson, David Platt, John Hartson, Ian Wright

      Vs

      Leno, Maitland-Niles, Luiz, Papastathopoulos, Saka, Xhaka, Torreira, Nelson, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette

  10. John says:

    It’s impossible to have a perfect transition from a well accomplished person to a new person and expect the same level of success. Besides no team can be top forever. It’s time to build a new legacy and let’s give the coach the support to do that. Arteta was groomed to takeover before Emery was chosen. I think the owners had plans to rebuild the team and they hired the current people to do that. Let’s support the team and give them a real chance.

  11. Simba says:

    Wenger was an excellent manager if you consider how he made some average players look very good and play for the badge. Watching clips from his years and see how players like Walcott and Coquelin gave their all for the club and were very disciplined compared to players like Xhaka and Auba. The team played with so much vigour even when loosing and they had an identity. With Arteta it’s really depressing as there is no identity and urgency with how the team plays. He has been given so much support and has in charge long enough to be charged on results. We can’t happy by the two wins against Norwich and Burnley where we really struggled and never imposed ourselves.

    The standards at the club have really gone down. We just buy and sell players with no clear vision. Replacing Koscielny with Luiz, resigning Ceballos on loan and resigning Odegaard. Why do we buy substitute players when we finished eighth when we needed players to go straight into the team and improve the teams play. Wasting 50mil on White when he is not better than what we have. Edu and Arteta are taking us nowhere really.

  12. Reggie says:

    In hindsight Wenger should have gone two years earlier so that we didn’t get so far down the path before we tried to change the ways that were engraved and implemented, that we are still trying to put right today.

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

    I’ve spoken ad nauseum about the myriad of reasons why Arsene failed in his latter tenure, so I’m not going to rehash that here and now, but what I will say is that Wenger was a far superior manager than our present one, during the same respective formative period at the club…there’s really no comparison, which why I don’t trust Arteta to lay the foundation for a similarly successful period in the not too distant future

    that said, there’s no logical basis to assume that if we hadn’t shown Wenger the door that things would have been radically different, results-wise anyways…I would suspect that we would have likely finished a spot or two higher last year, with the same roster, in large part due to the fact that we would have been far more adventurous offensively

    of course, this wouldn’t have justified his continued employment, as what we really required, some years earlier, was someone within the hierarchy to have had the requisite insight and fortitude to have properly developed a succession plan where a “rebuild” was front and center…this should have been a “rip the band-aid off” moment for the club, which would have allowed a properly-vetted administrative branch to come in and start basically from scratch with a definitive plan…this 3-4 year blueprint then should have been formally presented to the fanbase from the get-go…after all, we had no excuse whatsoever to not have learned from the missteps made by United following Fergie’s exodus

    1. SueP says:

      I agree TRVL

  14. David says:

    Which team wins:
    David Seaman, Lee Dixon, Steve Bould, Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Nigel Winterburn
    Patrick Vieira, Paul Merson, David Platt, John Hartson, Ian Wright

    Vs

    Leno, Maitland-Niles, Luiz, Papastathopoulos, Saka, Xhaka, Torreira, Nelson, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette

    1. ken1945 says:

      Your point being?
      Write down the Invincible team/squad and ask yourself the same pointless question.

      1. David says:

        The point of course is that Wenger inherited one of the great defences in European football at the time. This is still revered today as one of Arsenal’s greatest in history. The rest of the team was not too shabby either. A number of the players in that squad had actually won a European trophy for Arsenal – with grit and determination.
        Whilst Wenger did very well in transforming Arsenal he inherited a core of very good players. Almost all of those players are respected and considered legends of Arsenal.
        Compare that to the shambles Arteta inherited. How many of those players are likely to be spoken of with fondness in years to come? Arteta is now having to almost completely rebuild the squad whilst competing against some of the best teams and strongest squads in world football.
        There is no getting away from the fact that Arteta was left a fairly weak squad. This is not all Wenger’s fault but many of the still underperforming senior players are part of his legacy. It has to be said again that sadly Arsenal were going nowhere fast under Wenger in his later years. Wenger had quite markedly lost his touch. There are a number of well-reasoned comments in the link above from years ago which highlighted the problems and why he needed to go.
        Creating the ‘Invincibles’ was a fantastic achievement but the latter day Wenger was no longer one of the great managers in world football.

        1. ken1945 says:

          So tell me, from the Invincible squad, how many had played in GG’s first team before he was sacked?
          MA inherited a squad from UE that had reached a European final the season before, had finished fifth in that season as WELL.
          Reached the semi final of same european competition and finished sixth under AW the season before that.

          He has now let 30 players go and signed eleven players and renewed the contract of Xhaka.

          We currently have no european football and finished 8th last season, our worst finish in nearly three decades – yet you blame AW and say MA inherited bad players.
          Shouldn’t we, at the very least, be matching the results of those “dross” players he has got rid of?
          Or is THAT down to AW and UE as well?

          1. Simba says:

            Very true. It is also important that Wenger built a fantastic team with Fabregas, RVP, Rosicky, Song, Sagna, Walcott etc during the period the club was paying off the loan for the stadium. That team was capable of giving any Arsenal team a really good fight.

  15. Angus says:

    As a major In Wenger We Trust advocate (up until his final year, it was untenable at that point) think this article is in poor taste currently. In the summer yeah but off the back of two wins going into the NLD, no thank you. So won’t add my 2 cents to the subject as tempting as it is.

  16. gerry burke says:

    some guys are still getting hot undeer the collar with respect to arsene wenger. as for myself, mr.wenger has left the building, regardless, if he was pushed ,or ,if he walked.this subject is always a bone of contention among all arsenal fans, and i wish it could be put to bed altogether. wenger has had his day, albeit a day that was way too long, in my own humble opinion. i am beginning to think , that, whenever anybody brings up the subject of our FORMER amazing manager, that there is always a large slice of baiting going on here. so sad to see wengers name being useed in such a way, no matter if one was for him leaving,or not. lets leave the memories, the good ones, where they belong, firmly in the past.

  17. Whamio says:

    We will not get ANY manager who will come close to what Wenger managed. Accept this fact and move on. I will be very impressed with ANY manager who can get even top 4 with Arsenal right now. We were very harsh on him, this is a fact, accept it. Spurs are kissing the ground Pochettino walked on…and he won nothing with them…while we are debating whether Wenger was finished even though he always had some silverware in him every now and then. He is gone, there will probably not be anyone who takes over Arsenal who will do what Wenger did..we just don’t give any of these coaches time but at the same time, I believe we need to get behind whoever is boss at the moment, the only true way we can help the club…anything else is just a distraction and pointless!

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