Should Arsenal be all about the money? Or our values?

When you look at the mega football clubs like Manchester City and PSG and Real Madrid, they have unlimited money to spend on players and resources, but when you also consider how much money is now being shared, even among the smaller clubs, through the investment of billions on broadcasting rights, it is easy to forget what the game used to be like.

Arsene Wenger feels that the most important thing about the beautiful game should be the values that the club can share with the millions of Arsenal supporters, and he believes that he has earned the respect for the way he has kept that philosophy through his 22 years at Arsenal. “I’m very thankful for that – that I have some respect in the game! I think that despite all that, football, the modern game has gone to money.

“But football for me is first about values so if I can leave behind me that fact that it’s as well that. Maybe, somewhere, people who respect a little bit that Arsenal is about winning or losing of course, it’s vital – but it’s also about what’s important in the game, what is important in football. My regret personally is that, today, that has completely gone underwater. We don’t speak about that at all now. It’s all about only the side of the game that’s important but is not essential.”

He was also asked if he felt the full force of fan’s feelings against him personally when Arsenal are going through a bad patch, and he said: “Honestly I can take a distance with that because it’s not the person they hate, they hate the manager who doesn’t deliver performance. I can make the difference but I’m just unhappy that we lose games. I want to win. My whole life is guided towards that. I want to win with style, so it’s very ambitious and when we don’t do it I suffer like everyone else. But what is taken into account is Arsenal today is 30 million people – it’s not the suffering of one person. You want to make 30 million people happy and that’s what you care about.

“I have people around me – people should not think that Arsenal Football Club is just me – I have a huge staff around me. The difference between when I arrived and today is that I now have a staff around me of maybe 20 people who I talk with, I ask their opinion and after I make the decision of course. But I’m surrounded by very talented people who dedicate their life to Arsenal Football Club. But, at the end of the day, I have to stand up for what is important for the club and that means the results and the way we play football.”

So does he still take it personally when the Gunners lose? As that is the most important thing for Arsenal fans everywhere around the world, and he admits it takes a toll on him as well. “Difficult because I want to do well for the club. I want to do well for the fans and want them to go home happy and when I can’t give them that satisfaction I’m unhappy of course. First of all, I dedicated my whole life to winning football matches so when I lose I’m in disastrous shape.”

So does all the pressure get to him so much that he can’t sleep? “Every manager will tell you that. When you don’t get the results, the first thing affected is the mood and the lack of sleep and the desire to find solutions. Overall it’s part of the job. When you’re a young manager, you dream of taking a job and winning every game but it’s not that. It is about surviving through disappointments, finding solutions and that’s interesting as well because it can make you a better manager to face a crisis.”

So in reality perhaps Arsene is the right man to get Arsenal out of a crisis, like he did in Milan on Thursday, taking us out of an incredible four-game losing streak. Will his experience be the difference between falling further into the mire, and will his values carry on sustaining the club when the going gets tough?

Sam P


  1. Innit says:

    Of course it shouldn’t be ALL about money
    Fans need to appreciate that Arsenal is a business and making profit is very important. Fans also need to appreciate that we have a budget thats lower than Chelsea, United and City. We can’t overspend

    Owners need to appreciate the fact that its the fans who make them wealthy by buying tickets and merchandise. Without the fans their would be no Arsenal
    Also, Owners need to appreciate that fans want Arsenal to do as much as possible to create a winning team within our budget.
    Getting top players
    Sacking a rubbish manager and signing a top manager

    There needs to be mutual respect and the right action to back it up

    1. The problem is the ownership structure of the premier league clubs. One single owner’s business interest trample over every fan’s heartfelt desire to see their club prosper and compete for titles. It would be best if a model similar to Bundesliga was adopted, where clubs are fan-owned with no single owner enjoying a 50% stake in ownership. It would prevent these pesky tycoons from forcing their will on the club and just taking out profits and making unilateral management decisions at the expense of the competitiveness of the club.

      1. Ingleby says:

        Couldn’t agree more.

  2. Grandad says:

    While Wenger,s values and philosophy on football and the way it should be played are admirable the fans who love the Club first and foremost have become increasing frustrated by hearing him play the same record time and again.When it was first issued the record was something completely new and interesting but over the years it has become boring and stale and out of date.Very few Arsenal fans hate Arsene Wenger, most like me admire the man and what he has achieved for AFC.However during the past 5/6 years he has failed to address glaring weaknesses in the team .It’s not a question of money or matching the spending power of Man City etc. It’s the fact that his recent signings such as Mustafi ,Xhaka and Kolasinac are clearly not good enough.Leicester paid Hull City £19m for Maguire who is a cut above Mustafi who cost £35m.Add to that a string of signings who seem permanently out on loan ,the fact that we are no longer a top four team ,is it any wonder the fans are up in arms.Like it or not we are in this position did to Managerial incompetence.

    1. Break-on-through says:

      Kolasinac will come good, it takes time for defence to work as one.
      Mustafi can be good, but he’s not the quality we demand, he’s similar to Koscielny which doesn’t really suit. Even if he sat next to an organized & excellent positional defender am not sure if he has what it takes. I like that he’s scrappy, but like Ospina ..he judges ball flight really poorly which is bad for a player that needs/demands it to be one of his strong-suit.
      Xhaka, unless he can become a permanent play-maker (that doesn’t or wont get bullied) he is of no use to us. I don’t know if it would work moving him forward slightly because we usually go with at least one box to box player. He could be an option for taking off the b2b and trying for an extra passer (on days that demand caution) but am not seeing it as we have limited runners as it is.

  3. Break-on-through says:

    I think Arsene has a point well made but I also think he’s lying a bit about how easily he can remember its not him they hate as its really the AFC manager. That is too practical, no one could do that, the way he says it as if it just came to him. If you love your job and your entire life is your job how can it not sting like a mofo to hear many people including peers asking for you to be dragged kicking and screaming from it. How can you not take that personally, it’s impossible. If you’re a minimum wage employee who hates his bloody job well then yes you couldn’t be arsed if it wasn’t to anyone’s liking.

  4. What values is the decrepit imposter talking about? The values of paying players £350K a week? The values of buying strikers for £60M and midfielders for £40M? The truth is the senile fraudster long abandoned his “we do not buy stars, we make them” values. He has tried splashing the cash and failed miserably. Year on year we are spending bucket loads of cash on deals that are supposed to make us competitive yet here we are, languishing in mediocrity. The big clubs have turned us into their personal whipping boys while the small clubs have, under his watch, turned into stubborn weeds that we seem to be unable to finish off when we need to. I have had enough of these useless values.

    1. pires says:

      So when de dont spend you moan and de spend you moan ….make your mind up

      1. pires says:

        When we

        1. You are right, I do not want anything from Wenger anymore, only his resignation.

          1. pires says:

            It’s not down to you to make decision un thé club so stand behind thé team and respect it’s legends

          2. Simon Says says:

            Its not down to you to tell anyone what to do is it?

          3. jon fox says:

            And its not up to you to tell real fans what to think and write, sonny!

          4. Simon Says says:

            Couldn’t agree more, sonny

          5. Admin says:

            Umm actually Jon, it is not your job is either!

      2. Lugdush says:

        When te money is spent wisely…not ozil for 300k a week when he is not the player who can guide and drive a team for himself, is cold and unconsistent…buoght xhaka for 35m when we could get kante for 30m…mustafi for 35m…and most of it, a manager who is paid like one of the best for watch the game like ud but in the front line, and who is uncapapable to get the best from our youngsters

  5. Gelz says:

    Values or money, Wenger is not the man to take us forward Sam, his philoshpys and disire to play beautiful football are a thing of the past, the identity of his past teams that play beautiful football are now recognized as pushovers and a team that are easy to get at. The win over Milan only slightly papers over the cracks to end our 4 match losing streak but what about all the other loses we suffered to supposedly inferior teams. As fans we adored him in his earlier years but he has tarnished that to a point we would all be happy if he was sacked tomorrow, if he truly valued Arsenal he would step aside but that is a hard thing to do when you value your 9 mill a year salary more.

  6. Rkw says:

    Waffling on about values is one thing saying what they are and then abiding by them is another thing altogether … Loving football is a passion abiding by your contract is an interest … Loyalty seems to be one of wenger’s values but that begs the question to who? … The fans? The players? The owner? Survivability .. Defined as the ability of someone to withstand a disaster or hostile environment, without significant impairment of their day to day operations … Certainly appears to be another value of wenger’s and clearly resonates with the wenger junkie writing this article but sadly his ability to find solutions to maintaining an 8 million quid contract and his loyalty to a grubby tax evading owner have over a decade now produced stagnation and decline on the pitch which is the only place football matters … the only real solution is to boot this particular fake philosopher in to touch and hope for better times ahead

    1. jon fox says:

      Magnificently observed comment and how distressingly true.

  7. ThirdManJW says:

    Poor Sam P, just as deluded as always. “So in reality perhaps Arsene is the right man to get Arsenal out of a crisis”. So it’s a positive step you’ve FINALLY acknowledged we’re in a crisis, but ask yourself one thing, who’s responsible for the crisis? It’s Wenger! So it’s more than laughable you would think that the very man that is destroying our club before our eyes, can now suddenly become our saviour!

    And yes, let’s talk about the values shall we. The club, and the fans are meant to come first. Without the fans support, and money, there is no club, and there wouldn’t have been an Emirates Stadium. Yet the Arsenal fans are treated worse than any fan of their respective clubs. The board, and Wenger, NEVER care what the fans think, want, and are only interested in squeezing as much money out of us as possible. Wenger says he loves the club, yet is happy to see it crash and burn under his management, just because he has nothing else to do with his life. How selfish and arrogant can one get!

    Another fantastic value is to consistently reward failure with riches beyond your wildest dreams! Whilst the fans pay for that failure with the highest ticket prices in our solar system! Injured players getting new contracts even though they’ll never play again, Ozil on over 300k a week, Wenger one the highest paid managers for years, and son, and so on!

    The values at the club stinks!

  8. pires says:

    The problem with Wenger is that he has a Keynsian conception of economy (he has a degree in economy from Strasbourg University)

    1. pires says:

      A keynsian conception (which is différent from the neoclassic conception )is to spend juste what you earn (thé effective revenu theory) .Thé neoclassic conception ils thé permanent revenu theory

      1. pires says:

        Is the

        1. jon fox says:

          Just thought I would mention that there is no acute accent, in English, over the letter “e” of the definite article, if it helps you to write accurately, which it seems is your ambition!

          1. pires says:

            Hi Jon i have an AZERTY keyboard (french) so he writes things especially accents by inadvertance,and , unlike most people on here english isn’t m’y native language,it’s m’y third after arabic and french…anyway we love the same team and you can be proud that foreigner like me support your club

      2. pires says:

        Stop the personnal abuse mate

        1. pires says:

          Give an explanation if you have any économic clue

          1. rkw says:

            saying that the keynesian conception is about spending what you earn is the opposite of what it stands for (its actually what you haplessly describe as the neoclassical position) beyond the even more meaningless claim that wenger adheres to it … keynes broke with the idea that the economy was simply a collection of perfectly informed individuals and firms responding rationally to price incentives generated by market forces and that the big variables that frame an economies performance — output, employment, price level, wages, etc — tend to move in cycles and are shaped by decisions and judgements made under hugely uncertain conditions that if left to markets generate bad outcomes .. governments can bring stability and predictability to this environment by using a series of monetary and fiscal levers in a strategic manner but its pointless going in to those details given your even more IDIOTIC comparison between the french and uk economies … is that sufficiently polite

          2. pires says:

            What you’r saying isn’t totally false but i am not speaking about macroéconomic theories(the state bring stability)…i am talking about microeconomy….Google the effective revenu and you will see.What you’r calling “huge incertain conditions” is why Wenger is so reluctant to spend…So he adhers to Keynes or not!!!!.As for England and France that was juste an OT comparaison which still stand right…And please be polite with your fellow arsenal fans.

          3. Rkw says:

            Lol … I suggest you avoid google for your views on football as well economics

  9. pires says:

    In simple words a club can spend a lot of money( more than they earn) to get résulte un thé pitch and more profits off thé pitch(that’s what they call the neoclassic theory)in what wenger dont believe, sadly,his way of thinking economy is a little bit outdated

    1. pires says:

      In France they still think economy that way(that’s why they have A Huge number of people suffring from unemployment)in England Thatcher switched to a more libéral economy

      1. Simon Says says:

        I think Wenger is clutching at straws because he knows results on the pitch haven’t been as consistent as what they should have. It’s nothing to do with economics nor will it ever be. We do not spend what we earn as a club, we spend what Stan tells us to spend and in recent times Wenger has spent poorly. Trouble with these values is that it differs from fan to fan. My Arsenal values are to fight for every ball and to not stop till the final whistle no matter whether we’re winning, drawing or losing, Wenger’s can’t be the same as we hardly ever do that. What do you think these values are pires?

        1. pires says:

          i,and you, must admit Simon that a football club is more nowadays about economics and profit.Wenger as i say has an outdated vision of economy which he call values.

          1. pires says:

            as i said

    2. Midkemma says:

      Gazidis deals with AFC money.
      You do know what a CEO is don’t you?
      Are you aware of who David Dein was?

      David Dein was a share holder, he was on the board and he was the one who got transfers and wages sorted. He and Wenger used to talk a LOT, both have confirmed that they used to have evening meals together while talking about football.

      Compare that to Gazidis and Wenger.

      Those two have been fighting each other more than fighting ‘the world’, internal fighting over a uniting to fight the world.

      We all know that Wenger had to go to Silent Stan for his 2 year contract, not to the CEO, over the CEO… Weak CEO!

      How can we expect the same level of harmony within the club when there isn’t the same level of harmony?

      Before these recent actions from Gazidis I was a Gazidis out more than Wenger out, now he is making those changes… I am more Wenger out. I’m an Arsenal supporter so how could I want the only guy who knew about football to leave? How could I not look at what Ed Woodward at UTD and be jealous? He has more than doubled UTDs income from sponsorship deals and he got UTD a record £75 million a year shirt deal when UTD had no UCL football…

      Compare that to Gazidis!

      I have hope that Raul Sanllehi will help with more than just getting a transfer done, I hope he helps us get better sponsorship deals to increase AFC income so we can reinvest that money.

      UTD done it and look at them, shirt manufacturer deal paid for Lukaku which is more than AFC record transfer! UTD was bought using their own money while AFC wasn’t bought for Silent Stan using our own money!

      Gazidis has failed year after year in increasing AFC income enough to compete.
      Can’t blame that on Wenger, he isn’t the one who messes up sponsorship deals and allows them to run out of contract. Wenger has had to put up with Gazidis selling players to make up the difference while he had the excuse of stadium debt.

      Stadium Debt didn’t stop Wenger wanting Arshavin for close to a record fee, actual fee was undisclosed but rumored to be a record fee. We had stadium debt… Prior to Arshavin deal, Wenger wanted Nasri, Nasri signed a new contract to help his old club get more in a transfer for him and Wenger just paid it while having stadium debt.

      This is different to AFC wanting Cazorla and missing out on him by a couple million, Wenger wanting Lacazette and having Perez bought for him, wanting Xhaka and having ElNeny bought for him… All transfers while Gazidis was CEO and in charge of the money.

      Up till Sven, the big fee spending appears to be mainly pushed for by Wenger. Wenger wanted; Ozil, Alexis, Xhaka and Lacazette. I will say I do not know who Mustafi was wanted by, I didn’t read Wenger wanting him and wooing him like he did with Alexis and Xhaka, how Ozil said talks with Wenger convinced him AFC was the team after RM… Funny how 2 of that 4 was signed at least 12 months after Wenger had shown interest in them while Sven shown interest in Auba and AFC got him in the same window for a record fee, tried penny pinching still but hey…. That’s Wengers fault right?

  10. Nothing changed says:

    Arsenal should all be about winning. Winning costs money, dedication, and a winning attitude. Ask the likes of Barca, Real, Bayern, Chelsea, Man U etc. All clubs for whom anything less than competing for major trophies leads to change of both manager and players.

    1. Lexynal says:

      Not winning at all costs my dear. I give kuidos to ManU for winning things with money internally generated. You will be amazed at how much indebted most of those clubs are now. I am not interested in false sense of victory

    2. Midkemma says:

      Man UTD was bought by a yank who used UTD money to buy UTD, yet they spend.
      Arsenal was bought by a yank who hasn’t used AFC money to buy Arsenal yet we do not spend.

      If you have a look at the clubs you mentioned and have a look at the board, you will see that they all have people who care about the club as a driving force for the club.

      Ed Woodward is a good example for UTD, he has more than doubled UTDs income and he is now in the pos to spend that income on players for big fees.

      For example, their shirt manufacturer deal is about £75 million a year, a Lukaku.
      Arsenal is £30 million a year, less than half of UTD! Not even one of our CF signings.

      UTD got their deal signed when they had no UCL, we had ours signed when we had UCL football.

      It is NOT the manager who arranges sponsorship deals or renew those deals, it is the board and at Arsenal it is the CEO, Gazidis. He deals with contracts… Sponsorship deals have been let to run out and we have fewer sponsors than a few years ago. Just like player contracts have been running out, Gazidis deals with them, Gazidis replaced David Dein and Cashley Cole confirmed it was the CEO who insulted him with a wage offer.

      Gazidis is getting the infrastructure in place, it may not be ready to replace manager after manager, afterall… Gazidis has failed every year up till hiring Sven and then it was Sven who done the real work of picking which players to recruit.

    3. Midkemma says:

      UTD didn’t spend massive for a few years, they spend now but Ed Woodward has more than doubles UTDs income from sponsors in that time. Lukaku cost the shirt manufacturer income, £75 million.

      Who can Arsenal get for £30 million, that is what we get from Puma per year, less than half of what UTD get.
      Can’t use the excuse of us not having UCL football as UTD got that deal signed after they fin 7th! We had UCL when we agreed the Puma deal.

      Barca have good income from sponsorships and I hope that Raul Sanllehi will aid AFC in increasing the income from off field areas, Gazidis has failed to generate enough without having to force us fans to pay a stupidly high ticket price…

      Winning does cost money and we do not need Silent Stan to fund it, we could generate more income to spend and pay for it ourselves, UTD paid for it themselves and the Glaziers used UTDs money to pay for the purchase of UTD, Silent Stan hasn’t done that to us.

      Gazidis is a poor CEO and without support he has been costing us a LOT.

  11. Ozziegunner@Newcastle upon Hunter says:

    What about values such as respecting the tradition of the Arsenal, playing for the shirt and the badge, playing with heart and leaving nothing on the pitch at the end of a game and grinding out a win from a position of adversity? Sometimes the opposition doesn’t allow you to “play beautiful football” and a team has to not allow themselves to be bullied, but get down and win ugly if necessary. There is nothing to be embarrassed about 1 nil to the Arsenal or even a defeat if you lose with honour having done your best.

  12. Lexynal says:

    I personally respect the values of the club…the major reasons I gave my support. Dont spend more than you can earn. That is what I do in my personal business – i dont know about others. The fact is other clubs are investing so much (from outside of the club earnings) and making the honest ones (like Arsenal) to look stupid..we arent. We need a balance of the whole thing…the football governing bodies have to enforce financial fair-play, clubs have to respect it, coaches have to have the right performance and strategies while operating within budgets, players have to deliver, fans have to be realistic on expectatiins (no football club can win everything every year..and no football club who havent played in any finals nor won a single trophy in the last decade -to be modest is worth celebrating over some achieving clubs – regardless of fine football). Meanwhile, Arsenal….I support…all day long.

  13. andcliff says:

    PSG has spent over a billion pounds on players in the past couple of years and the are out of the CL. Juve has spent less than a tenth of that and they are still in, you work it out. Money helps but you also need a good coach. We have spent more on players in the past three years than ever before, and yet we are going backwards and we all know there is only one reason.

    1. Midkemma says:

      If the CEO is buying players that the manager doesn’t rate at all then how can we blame the manager for having a squad that isn’t good enough to compete?

      Gazidis bought ElNeny when the manager didn’t want him but wanted Xhaka.
      Gazidis bought Perez when the manager wanted Lacazette.

      Squad is made up off players who come through our own system or bought, if the bought ones are initially cheap knock off which the manager rejects then WTF is the club doing by buying those cheap knock offs?

      Juve haven’t been buying Perez while wanting Dybala, no, they bought Dybala.

      Thankfully we have Sven who Gazidis appears to listen to more than Wenger because Gazidis is a crap CEO and he needs support, Gazidis has been AFC biggest weak link. Wasting our money, failing to make infrastructure changes until the manager embarreses him with contract renewal.

      You may not need to spend a billion pounds but you need to make sure what you do spend is spent well, ElNeny and Perez was not well spent money.

  14. Midkemma says:

    Wenger showing the players how to be inconsistent.

    Come on people, we all know Wenger isn’t totally clueless when it comes to football but the way he sits back and encourages players to learn for themselves, it breeds inconsistency while the squad do not have the right mentality. Players like TH14 and Vieira would do well as they had the personal desire and fight… Theo waited for things to be handed to him. Prob waiting for Wenger to give him some magical training to replace TH14 without thinking that he had to fight to become something so great.

    Look how well Wenger did against AC Milan, he was on the touchline giving instructions while winning… Yet in our last loss he was sat on his seat with arms folded and sulking.

    Best thing Wenger could do is remove his seat so he can’t hide and sulk in it.

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