Is it FEAR stopping Arsenal from replacing Wenger?

The chief executive of Arsenal Football Club Ivan Gazidis has been speaking about the Gunners and about our manager Arsene Wenger. And Gazidis’ words on the longest serving manager in the Premier League by a mile, as well as giving the Frenchman all the credit he deserves for what he has dome for the Gunners, also suggest to me that one of the reasons that the frustration of large numbers of Arsenal fans about the boss have not led to us changing managers is the fear of what comes next.

I definitely do not count myself among the Arsenal fans who have been calling for a change at the top in recent years, but there have been times when I have despaired at what looks like stubbornness from Wenger, at best, and naivety or downright failure at worst, usually during a transfer window.

But Gazidis made it crystal clear, in a statement reported by Sky Sports, that the hierarchy at the club do not really have a clear idea of who they could bring in to take the Gunners on to the next level. The end of the nine year wait for a trophy has probably made it even harder for them as well as the fact that he and Kroenke are business men rather than football experts.

Gazidis said, “So much of the attention on a football club is around an individual and that’s very understandable at Arsenal because we have a giant who’s managing us.

“Arsene has been a fantastic driver and has put the club in a great, great position.

“The biggest challenge we’re going to face as a club is that, when the transition from Arsene to the next manager of our football club happens – and I don’t know what that’s going to be – that we come through that strongly.

“Winning the FA Cup was a fantastic moment.

“In my life, that’s one of my greatest moments. The moment you get away from the euphoria of the moment, the next question is, ‘How do we have more of that?’

“We want this football club to be at the top of the world’s game. If the manager believes in someone like Mesut Ozil, he can buy him. It’s the same with Alexis Sanchez.

“Underneath that tip of the iceberg, those star signings that we talk a lot about, there’s an awful lot else going on. Our youth development, for example, is going to be the foundation of this football club going forward.

“Where we are currently is off the shoulder of the world’s top teams. I don’t think we’re at that level yet, but that’s where we’re aiming to get to. We want Arsenal to be in that elite group of football clubs around the world.”

I still get the feeling that the bigwigs at the club are using Wenger as a buffer between themselves and the anger of the fans about our lack of spending, which may be the reason for us starting to sign some big name players. If I was Wenger, I would keep pushing for more of those cash reserves, because with a few years left of his reign he would surely love to add another Premier League title and if possible a Champions League trophy to his legacy. What do you think about this Gooners?

Tags Gazidis Kroenke


  1. Signing big players is one thing but if Wenger had done a simple thing and played Ozil in the number 10 spot, we would have won more games. You can blame the Board for not spending enough and not getting all the big players we need, but you can’t blame the Board for match tactics/formation.

    Anyway, the Annual General Meeting is on Thursday. I hope the Arsenal Fan Trust make their voices heard about spending big this January.

  2. Wenger has been a good manager for us, no question about that but saying that there is no manager who can replace him is being stupid. There are very many managers outside there who can bring back glory to the club. At 8million per year we can hire the best manager in the world.
    Like or not he cant be there for ever, so is the club going to shut down because Mr Wenger is not there?

  3. From an economists point
    of view Arsenal is a sporting
    franchise 1st 2nd and third.
    Making the play offs or in our case
    the ECL group stage and making a healthy profit
    is the measure of success.
    So on that basis Arsenal is a great success
    despite not winning the EPL for a decade
    and despite never winning the ECL.

  4. For us to move forward, i honestly think Wenger has to and a new manager with a hunger and desire to bring back glory days needs to be appointed, unless that happens, we will forever be vying for 4th place

  5. Fans need to start realizing that Wenger is in the process of building a world beating team. 3 years ago, we did not have the finances to build the type of squad we have just recently started to build. Careful planning on a tight budget the last decade has given us MORE than what we should have accomplished. By this, I mean that most other teams building a new stadium whilst all their best players leaving in the process, would not have made top 4 every consecutive season. it is only because of Wenger’s actions have we been able to do this. Just look at Man United…a change of manager and their whole world fell apart and did not even make top 6.

    Wenger might have faults, but what he has achieved during the last decade under these circumstances is nothing short of a miracle. His first year with some financial collateral, and we won 2 trophies! We were top of the league for most of the season too. I really don’t think we can ask for much more. Yes, we do need to replace and add some players, especially DM and CB, but lets just have some faith in the manager that has kept this club afloat during the dark times.

    1. Sorry Big Gun but I’m not having that “in the process” line.

      Wenger has done extremely well to keep us in the top 4 on no money, but he has failed spectacularly at turning a good team into a great one….we pay the same (maybe a little more) wages as Chelsea, and their squad is far more balanced….and just plain better.

      That is all down to him and his poor judgement.

      1. The Chelsea squad has been invested in much more heavily for a much longer period. If Wenger were to continue investing at the current rate Arsenal would easily catch up

        1. Arsenal have outspent Chelsea in the last 5 windows cumulatively, but more importantly they’ve addressed squad needs.

          Case and point, they needed a striker and someone to replace lampard. In came Costa and Fab. We needed a star striker and proper DM….still waiting.

          1. Oh so it was only going to take two summers to overtake a high spender of over a decade. Silly me for thinking that their under spending now was happening because they stock piled platers pre FFP so that they could start selling players like Mata and buy Magic.

            PS: Wenger did address Arsenals squad issue directly. His biggest issue was lack of pace. He bought Sanchez and Wellbeck.

            1. Sorry Robin Vanpayslip, Mourinho dumped Wenger and Arsenal from their top perch in London in one season (we haven’t got back since then despite all the managerial disruption Chelsea have gone through).
              Wenger hasn’t worked miracles he has sold us a dummy about lack of FFP and the building of the stadium dragging us down. Now that FFP in reputedly in force and funds are once again flowing instead of overtaking Chelsea we are falling further behind based on the evidence of this season. And still Wenger continues without undue pressure in his job as one of the top paid football managers in the world. AKB fans say that Wenger passed up joining Real Madrid at 10million but that was merely cuteness on Wenger’s part he knew that one season at 10-12million is no attraction in comparison to 10 seasons at 8million with no real pressure to do anything other than come 4th???? If Wenger tried taking that attitude to Madrid (or Chelsea) he’d be sacked by Christmas.

              COYG it’s time to put the club first. Gazidis should be sacked for the type of drivel he came up with in that interview.

          2. You have your facts wrong. Chelsea have spent a hell of a lot more than Arsenal. In the last 5 years, they have spent almost 500m pounds on transfers. Arsenal have not even spent 250m. h.t.t.p:// Take dots out of http and html

            1. No I don’t, our net spend has been higher the last 5 transfer windows. Look we can make excuses all we like but our 8mil a year manager hasn’t spent well the past 3 seasons.

              1. Sorry but where is your proof of this? I have looked at several sites including the one I linked above, all stating exactly the same thing. Chelsea are the 2nd highest spenders in the last 5 years, Man City being the highest.

    2. Building process, what a load of crap!
      Wenger has had 18 years to build a team, not George Graham’s team with a few additions but his own team 100%
      Coaches are Wengers.
      Medical staff are Wengers.
      Players (or lack of) is down to Wenger..
      Team selection is Wengers.
      Tactics are Wengers.
      Botched transfers are Wengers.
      Lack of loyalty from players is down to Wenger.

      If he can’t do it in 18 years he is never gonna do it.
      Wenger is getting worse, those big defeats last year, the fact that we as fans weren’t thinking of a win at the Chelsea game but hoping for a small defeat shows just how far off the pace Wenger is.

      No doubt someone will chirp in with ‘the stadium debt’ pah!
      Stadium debt is the same now as it was day one, around 34 million a year, sales of players through those years didn’t go to the stadium, they could have been replaced.
      AKB’s really need to sh1t in one hand and wish in the other and see what one fills up first.
      Then again they would probably stand there in denial with a steaming heap in their had and keep on wishing!

  6. I like what Gazidis is saying, and it’s nice to see that we are looking at other models (Dortmund/atletico) with the aim of competing etc. However it all comes across a little like false promises.

    Transfers are my biggest gripe. Wenger’s hindsight is 20/20 post-transfer window, but it goes beyond that. What do our scouting team get paid for? Why is our ability to find south american talent non existent….and why can we not seem to identify an eastern European who is good enough? Our scope of the market seems narrow for a club with our apparent resources and ambitions.

    I’m not sure the crux of the issue, can we not identify players? Or are we identifying them and just not trusting our judgement? (We know the Ibra/ronaldo stories). Seems more recently the issue lies in knowing what positions to strengthen; why arteta and flamini have been our DM’s for 2 years is quite beyond me.

    I look at the last two summer windows and come to the conclusion we have no plan, no strategy, we just react to deals as they happen. Ozil is a great player, but he came in and replaced Cazorla in the middle which is bizarre given Santi’s terrific debut season. Then this time Alexis, anyone actually have LW as top of the wanted list? Did we even identify him, or was he offered because Suarez needed funding?

    Really not impressed with how we operate, and I think Wenger is the culprit. For 8mil a year I shouldn’t be able to pick such glaring holes in his approach. Not sure why he is in charge if I take what Gazidis has said about ambition to be true…..perhaps the sad fact is we are a club run by people settling for 4th. Really hope not.

      1. No its not. If you actually lift a finger and so some research you will see what he said is a load of bs.

  7. The CEO, the owner, the Manager
    and the board believe winning
    the EPL is simply financially
    impossibe for this club
    So ECL qualification is the goal. Is it true?
    Well despite spending mega millions Chelsea
    Barcelona and Utd won nothing last season.
    The trick is to convice the fans you are still “trying” to win
    because some fans actually still want to win the EPL.
    Indeed when asked about our title aspirations
    Mr Gazidiz always looks agrieved, mumbles something
    about patience before scuttling away.

  8. Replacing Wenger is a must!

    The reason is NOT whether X player plays in Y position(ozil in no.10)
    time and time again, i’ve been saying that the modern game is not a about fixed positions, EVERYONE is moving around on the pitch 90mins.

    it’s NOT Ozil should be untilized better. look at David Silva, How is it, that a player who’s similarly weak in physical attributes is able to play in the EPL properly?
    you might say well city’s got Yaya, Fernandinho, Fernando, etc. But that’s only 1/2 the story.

    I mean, simply put, just because you have a teammate that is physically strong, doesn’t mean the physically weaker player won’t get bullied off the ball. if Silva needs to make a pass, he still needs to touch it, and the moment he does, anyone can push him off if he IS that weak.

    That’s what happened to Ozil, but not Silva, Why?

    there’s also a whole load of problems with the way we play, more so than the way the team was built, such as:

    -bad at set pieces
    -crosses never finds target
    -lack of lob passes/long ball through out the game
    often weak against counters after over committing players to attack.(when even Koscielny starts to dribble up front to make a pass, or when we have 8+ players outside their box passing side to side)
    -if no walcott or Ox, flanks are almost ignored as an option for attacking.
    -the mid trio, no matter what combo, never seemed to have a clear sense of who should be playing what role(not position, but the role)

    so as much as we do need a DM because flamini and arteta just doesn’t have the speed to catch up to other players, There’s MUCH more wrong to the squad than just getting a specific player.

    It’s either Wenger leaves so someone new can do the job, or that wenger should start listening to other opinions and figure out WHY he’s only losing/drawing against Mourinho in the same way, same tactics, same method.

    It’s about time he figure out that doing the same things but expecting different results is what a fool does, not a genius.

    1. @jibber, you have hit the point. That is what i always tell guys here. Our central midfield pairings just lack coordination. It is the poorest in the league. When it comes to set pieces no one seams to no what is going on.When it comes to marking around the 18 yard box they make a high line. Any guy who knows how to dribble will go through the line. The same mistakes every season. They coordinate well while taking selfies though.

  9. The current Arsenal squad(injuries aside) is good enough to compete for the Epl and FA. But old clu-less Wenger makes us look like pure amatures, always struggling to score even the small teams 🙁 🙁
    But at times he wakes up and plays a good team with good tactics, but they are few times that can’t win us anything 🙁 🙁
    I hope we get a better coach after Wenger leaves

  10. @Pythagoras

    Cannot have put it better.
    Well done.

    The fact is, with Wenger current wages, we can easily afford to even “take” a manager from the “big” club in Europe as long as he gets free choices on the spending and recruitments.
    Apart from Guardiola, Mourinho and Ancelotti, nobody in world football earns more than Wenger (shocking when you look at the track records of those managers compare to Wenger pitiful performances for the last 10 years).

    Some fans are afraid of change because they are “addicted” to the minimum and may be “failure” (top four and being above Spurs is may be enough).

    Arsenal is a big club (well, we like to say that with really no basis apart from the financial strength we can barely see), but in Europe we are nobody and have been for years. We cannot even win our own domestic league and just manage a minuscule FA Cup…!!

    We will never know until we try something different.
    Yes, we have great quality in the squad, but obviously poorly managed.
    The Wenger staff has proven to be of an unprecedented incompetence and it starts with the “head”. Wenger is not up for the challenge anymore and has not been for years. Just in the basics… He is poor at each stages of modern football.

    1. Agreed, the decline is all over the club, even our much trumpeted youth policy has descended in to ‘buy from Southampton’.

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