The reasons why Arsenal fans are RIGHT to criticize Wenger

Why Wenger IS to blame for Arsenal’s failings by PA

Arsene Stubborn and Impractical
Even before the trophy less spell Wenger was always stubborn, with a rigid adherence to philosophy over tactics. It was always his way or nothing. There are two problems with this.
First his way hasn’t arguably translated to success on the playing field. Success is the great arbiter. If he was successful, in a manner not open to arguments then his philosophy and personality would not ever be questioned.

The second problem is that Wenger’s footballing philosophy requires that his players be extremely technically gifted and in form to succeed. The times he has managed to craft such teams they have been an absolute delight to watch and can beat any team in the world. But when first team players are injured or out of form and have to be replaced by less technically gifted players or when the players he has gathered haven’t the technical ability to translate his philosophy to action, then any team can beat arsenal. This is probably the reason why Sir Alex Ferguson and Mourhino have triumphed over him again and again.

There is really nothing wrong with his philosophy. Barcelona has proved that it can be highly effective. But Barcelona has been successful because they marry the idealism of their ‘tiki taka’ to the pragmatism of acquiring the players they need to make it work. For such a philosophy, as that practised in Arsenal and Barcelona to succeed then you need the right players. As good as the Barcelona academy is, the club still spends a lot of money bringing in world class talents. Because your academy can’t give you all the players you need and gifted players cost money.

There is also his insistence in certain ideals to the exclusion of all else. First it was youth, now it is a British core. Regardless of how impractical these ideals may be he stubbornly pursues them. No compromises no room for adaptability. Wenger has closed his mind to this fact. Somehow he believes that doing what he has done for the last years will somehow bring a different result.

Genesis of a Decline
Totally disbanding the Invincible Class
His failure to leave a core of players especially from the invincible class is also inexcusable. The winning mentality and spirit left the team when the likes of Viera, Campbell and others were allowed to leave the club and we have not recovered since. His then emphasis on youth and youth only did not preclude him from leaving a small number of key players who embodied that team of Invincibles. They would have formed the backbone of the young team he was trying to build then.
While Manchester united had the likes of Giggs and Scholes to pass on the ethos of United we had none, the result a break and discontinuity in the growth of the team as epitomised by the ten year wait for a trophy.

Failing the Post Invincible class
Can you all remember that of group of young talented players that always seemed to fall off just at the finish line. They might not have won anything but they played wonderful football. They were a joy to watch. Wenger was always saying – when they outgrow their immaturity they would become winners, So why didn’t they win anything? Wenger and his then insistence on a youth policy, using only players from the academy or second rate players

Bear with me as I explain. That team only ever at anytime needed one key element to succeed. It was either they lacked experience, a CB, or a striker but Wenger never addressed these needs and consequently that team never reached its potential. When we needed experience he sold every member of the invincible team, When we needed an experienced CB, he gave the team Cygan and Sanderos. When Van persie was perpetually injured, Eduardo had a long term injury and we had no striker, he played Arshavin as our lead striker. These decisions were not about being frugal, there were several economical options available then, they were evidence of an unwillingness to adapt. Arshavin came to say he couldn’t play the lead striker role yet Wenger did nothing in the January window and we dropped off a good run that would have led us to the premiership title.

Dortmund and Atletico Madrid have shown that you can build a winning team on a small budget. So Wenger apologists should stop alluding to the fact that our finances were limited for a period of years. The 2013 – 2014 Atletico side that dethrone Madrid and Barcelona and romped to the final of the champions league, the 2012 – 2013 Juventus team that went unbeaten have proved that it can be done. Why did the mangers of these teams succeed and Wenger did not? Because they are pragmatist willing to adapt to win while Wenger is an idealist unwilling to change from a course he has chosen.

No progress on the field
We have a new and bigger stadium, better endorsement deals and a higher revenue profile but on the field of play we have regressed. If we as fans are unbiased we will accept that we have not been playing well this season and this is a culmination of a steady decline in the quality of our play. Except for certain matches last season that Arsenal way we have grown used to, admittedly Wenger’s doing, has been missing from our play. We might have possession but we do not create chances. Players are static in the final third, there is almost no movement off the ball. Where before a player with the ball had two or three players running into forward positions now we pass around the box waiting and waiting. Were before we created chance after chance but failed to put the ball in the net now we just run around with the ball

Failing to fix what is wrong
For a long time Wenger has ignored glaring problems in his teams. The teams injury problems is common knowledge but every season he blames it on bad luck and does nothing about it. Positions that need to get filled don’t

His Transfer Dealings
Wenger’s transfer dealings have been a source of frustration and annoyance for some time now. Case in point the Luis Suarez saga. Why we put forward a bid of $40,000,001 is beyond comprehension. What was wrong with adding $100,000 to the amount we thought we had to top to trigger his release clause. We probably would have gotten Suarez for 45 to 50 million dollars if we had approached the whole situation with a little more common sense. He scored 32 goals after and got a $80 million transfer to Barcelona and we see how myopic Wenger can be. This has not been the only time Wenger has bungled what would have been fantastic transfers. From the same Liverpool we wanted to buy Xabi Alonso and would have but for the refusal of Wenger to be pay a couple more million. The next season he was sold for twice as much to Madrid.

Rather than buy premium Wenger has shown a preference for offering hefty contracts to mediocre players. Even when we were struggling with finances as a result of moving to the Emirates, we still had the third highest wage bill in the league. This was because we were paying top dollar to players like Silvestre, Diaby, Dennilson, Chamakh, Bendthner, and a host of other players that didn’t add value to the team.

Arsenal should be in Second place.
Several commentators and fans have taken people like me to task for our criticism of Wenger. According to them we are just 4 points off Manchester City and above United, Liverpool and Tottenham.

The issue is we should be taking advantage of the short comings of these other teams. Like last season when we lost the opportunity to capitalise on the failures of the other teams to win the premiership so too are we disappointing this season.

Last season United fell out of the top four and Chelsea was not playing particularly well yet we could only manage fourth. This season when everyone expected we would have improved we are languishing in sixth. Manchester United is still rebuilding, Liverpool has lost their talisman, and Manchester City show effects of an aging squad and yet we cannot take advantage.

Simply because our manager failed to address concerns in his team that were obvious to everyone. So we should criticise him.


Tags Invincibles Suarez Wenger


  1. In the end only results matter to me. He can use whatever philosophy he wants: had it given us silverware on a more reliable basis, nobody would be questioning his methods. Reality is the ultimate judge of his methods and they have come up short in the last 9 years. If Wenger does not leave soon, his legacy will truly be tainted. Everything has a lifetime: he’s had a good one as coach and should accept that, as judged by results over a multi-year period, his methods are no longer effective.

  2. I say good write up but you have succeeded in analysing what your opinion about Wenger’s short Cummings but u have failed to provide solutions to these your points… like..
    *sack him or
    *force him to do the right things
    * keep looking until he gets tired…… or

  3. For ten years Arsenal fans
    became accustomed to being
    top or near top.
    Then Chelsea, Abramovitch and
    Mourinho arrived. At the same time
    Arsenal embarked on the relocation
    to the Emirates.
    United under Ferguson adapted to the
    changes and continued winning.
    And then the abu dhabi
    crew arrived at City.
    Arsenal chose a 4th place franchise model.
    Now we have become used to 4th.
    I believe the board has a delicate
    challenge before them.
    Continue with the “sustainable”
    4th place franchise model or
    develop a first place model which
    may or may not be sustainable.
    Only a catastrophic melt down
    would change anything.
    Right now sustainability looks more likely
    as we have already secured last 16 ECL
    and sit 2 points off 4th EPL.
    Wenger seeing out his contract
    becomes more likely every day.
    Although I pine for the good old 1st place days
    I have to acknowledge that the 4th place model
    is still a pretty good fit. If we make the FA cup semis
    again and make the ECL quarters I’d be more than satisfied.

    1. woaw,to support a team like Arsenal and to admit that you are satisfied in not competing for trophies.Do you realize how things are gone down under Wenger so that the fans have the same views as he has.Ferguson was a winner(bad looser) as Mourihno and Guardiola,those guys just cannot accept the idea of loosing and will make everything in order to win.
      Wenger is a man who goes fishing and just take half the material required,once he is there he has to improvise and moan about how uneffective he is with what he has.Each trip he goes fishing he does the same mistake and he wonders why things don t go his way.

      1. Yeah JM and PG are winners – and that is why they are happy to take the piss easy jobs to ensure they can do least harm to their egos and reputation. Real toughies like iconic European powerhouses and clubs with blank cheque books. I admire their achievements but in the annals of great managers they do not have a body of work that suggests genius, creativity or legacy.

        Not sure where you get the idea that supporting Arsenal means an automatic entitlement to glory and trophies. Bit patronising to all the other teams and supporters who ride their team roller-coaster without the unrealistic and petulant demands. Can you articulate precisely why we are required to be top of the pile before you can spare your support? Is it just to feed your ego and pub bragging rights? Before Wenger we had won the old 1st division 3 times in the previous 43 years – why is your bond and pledge to Arsenal now contingent on us winning titles? Wenger matched that tally in his first 8 years – a reasonable PL achievement only surpassed by Man Utd. Are you holding Wenger accountable to a standard created by him?

        1. Dude.. That’s like Sunday League bull****. I support Arsenal to the end, but that doesn’t mean one cannot feel frustrated and angered by someone who’s getting paid money so that he manages a team in a league (which btw, we’re there to compete) and just doesn’t compete for it. Because that is the team I support, and no self-respecting Arsenal fan should feel alright about seeing the team going nowhere.

          1. Dude to you as well…..I didn’t question your right to feel “frustrated and angered”. I feel frustrated but find anger a bit harder as in the real world there is little I can realistically do about it – despite the fact that the key-board warriors and self-proclaimed “real” supporter activists on here (so active they are on here 24/7 whining) have a particular delusion that they matter. I could whinge but prefer not to. I asked why is it seen as a right or an entitlement for Arsenal to be the top team in England/Europe. Why have we a greater right to win the PL than say Everton, Aston Villa, Leeds or Newcastle? The only reason I can attach to this arrogance is that once not so very long ago we shared top-dog status with another big club and managed to cobble together 3 PL titles and some FA cups in a short space of time. Can’t remember who was at the helm then. The rationale seems to be that the only time it is worth supporting any sports team is when it is winning everything – and if that is the case then sport is dead because that can’t or won’t ever be the case. And this Wenger “earns £8M a year so we should be top of the table” is the real bull**** going on here. Talk about hanging your hat on a bollocks argument. So if he got paid £1.0M a year then no-one would have any gripes?

            1. You’re completely missing my point here. I don’t believe Arsenal are entitled to “being the top team in Europe” although I’ll be honest, I would love to see them there, wouldn’t you? It is always worth supporting Arsenal because I’m a real Arsenal fan and I know I am. I started supporting Arsenal literally around 9-10 years ago, right when the drought started. I’m not saying Arsenal deserve to be at the top more than other teams or anything of the sort, I’m saying Arsenal deserves to be managed by someone who will take it further than it is now. I mean seriously don’t you even want that for your team? Is it a sin that I want Arsenal to just move forward and become bigger and better? There’s no right involved in something like that, it just is because that’s what you’d naturally want for the club you support. Times have changed man, the league is ten times more competitive then how it was even 10 years ago, let alone 20 or 30. Therefore, the general idea also changes. It’s a competition, for which everyone knows Arsenal are capable of winning. And yes, this is due to their top-dog status (ironically enough, cemented by our current manager and for that he deserves a lot of credit) and the air of a big, big team. So where does the frustration come from? The fact that the current manager (also ironic) does not manage well to make use of that capability any more. So what, that is something wrong for a fan to feel? It doesn’t mean I just support them for trophies, if that was the case then these past ten years were quite a waste of time.

              I just support because it’s just… Arsenal.

              /cheesy rant over

        2. In case you will read that,I say and always said I would not mind if we were not doing well if all the steps were taken in this direction as no one has a God given right to succes.
          The point is that Wenger is sabotaging the team years after years for selling and not replacing where we need.Those last years he has added that to playing players out of position,reducing the substitutions ,playing a core of favourite and refusing to adapt tactic to the opposition.
          You re saying he done well in his firts years,I agree with you but he is now in 18 years on life support in function of those first years so he should be glad to still be here because he is no more there by merit.The competition is fierce i know but we don t longer compete since some time now ….

      2. Shallow analysis. Because we can play with the big boys does not mean we can spend with the big boys.
        I saw one problem with the match against Dortmund. Ramsey banging upfield instead of playing DM.
        Injuries have destroyed Dortmund, Arsenal and United and their league positions show it.

        I never listen to couch geniuses and the “get the coach out” FOOLS. Last season Rogers took Liverpool one game from the EPL Championship and I hear MORONS screaming “Brendan out.”

        Arsenal needs two fast center backs for when the fullbacks BOTH push forward. Against Dortmund, I saw the two fastest defenders HOLD while Gibbs pushed forward.
        We are an elite team, just short of greatness. I think the just short part is getting to us Gooners.

        Wenegr will get us there. Who do you want ? Moyes?

    1. Exactly. The club also demands fans pay higher ticket prices than any other. That’s the problem. These actions(Wenger’s wage/ticket prices/ empty claims we can compete) are contradictory to the 4th place sustainability model. If they were more forthcoming with their ambitions it would make a lot of this easier to swallow.
      I don’t think most people want to see the club ran like chelsea or man city, but nobody should be paying top dollar when we aren’t striving for top results. It’s thievery.

      Also, this is a very good point-
      “Why did the mangers of these teams succeed and Wenger did not? Because they are pragmatist willing to adapt to win while Wenger is an idealist unwilling to change from a course he has chosen.”

  4. Wenger must’ve been a politician in another lifetime because he’s been fooling gullible afc fans for a decade while making his lords plenty of riches. “The 2013 – 2014 Atletico side that dethrone Madrid and Barcelona and romped to the final of the champions league”– i quickly researched this and that whole team cost 30 million to put together, you don’t believe me? look it up!

    His problem has never been money, it’s he’s a one trick pony when it comes to tactics but he’s been useful to the board in terms of financial prowess. This is why he rejected big club moves and stayed here where he knows the board is all about making money, where he would never have to face pressure to win or be sacked

  5. 100%, fans are right to criticise Wenger, I am a Wenger fan but I do understand where all the Gooners are coming from, we had all summer to sign a striker, DM and CB but he just ignored it due to his arrogance, stubbornness and massive Ego.. He just hate to be told what to do so he does things just to prove he is the man and that he can do whatever he likes..

    This has hurt our progression as a competitive club. So he rather sacrifice the clubs glory in order to feed his own ego.

    I gave him this season to show that he can progress the club, it’s not looking good but will wait till the end of the season to start having a real go at him..

    1. You might as well start having a go at him now because he ain’t changing shit! Used to be a Wenger fan too but gave up on him when the transfer window closed and he didn’t buy a DM and a replacement for Vermaelen. Look, Wenger has even told us on clear terms that he is not ready to change for any one. In his post match interview after the man u defeat he said, “we believe in what we do”. He says that all the time. If that isn’t a clear message to his critics, I wonder what is.

  6. Wenger out, I’d be happy with Details boer.

    Oh and Wenger can take Jack, Mert,Arteta and Flamini with him

  7. We need a mass clear out, board, manager, most players, coaching staff, steward’s at Emirates and fans included. I.e. All AKB’S

    The club can then rusk everything and bring in Messi and Ronaldo

    1. Stewards at the Emirates?
      Thats it we replace the Stewards
      and we go on and win the EPL+ ECL
      for the next 5 years. Its sooo obvious 🙂
      Yes lets rusk everything.

      1. RUSK! finally someone has hit the nail on the donkey!! wait no, pin the tail on your head…
        ahhh – i blame rusk for everything

    1. Well Arsene said in reply to
      Usmanov’s comments.
      “We are open to criticism BUT
      there is good criticism and bad criticism.
      Good criticism agrees with our
      (read “my” philosophy” )
      Its sort of saying your with us or agin us.
      Which makes saying anything but the
      “party” line unacceptable.
      Or am I reading that wrong ?

      1. @davidnz
        Isn’t that how humans react to criticism?
        I took it as AW tellin Alisher”If you got a problem with me, step to me with it.”

  8. fans have the right to remove wenger as well…

    The House of Rahman wants to bring in a quality manager immediately…

      1. The house of Rahman.
        Wow. A vast empire?
        No a squat in back street
        Hack Knee’s 🙂
        Just funnin their Master H. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    1. Errrrrrr……..point of order, stop telling porkies Hafiz, fans have no third-party “right” to terminate a contract of a company employee. What a bizzare dumb comment.

  9. Unfortunately the only people that can remove him is the ones that put him in charge of arsenal and the only way the board will move against wenger is when he does not meet their expectations, have you heard any one of the board members come out and say fourth is not acceptable, for several years he has guarantee the board money from the champions league, they also have several agreements or contract signed with major companies, all that points to money coming back to the board.


  10. I have said all I’m going to say on Wenger and some agree with me some don’t and I have no problem with that.
    Will use my time now to comment on the team,results and speculate on the transfer window and the hundreds of players we will be linked with !

  11. No one can doubt what wenger has given us over the years, the team with henry, bergkamp, viera etc was the best team ever in the english top flight. Football has moved on since then, wenger hasnt. What sticks in my throat is our failure to beat our direct rivals. Wenger gets outsmarted by HIS rivals everytime he plays them. We need a charecter who puts it on the likes of maureen etc and then we kick their butts on the pitch.

  12. Regardless of whether AW should go or stay and despite his frustrations I thought Poldi was bang out of order last night. If he wasnt going to be sold he will be and should be now! Unless the ball falls to him close to the box to striker he offers little, Bye Bye!

  13. Still angry with the fans protesting wenger days by day even win or lost. Why you still think Arsenal is a giant that should be on the top of all tables? I suppose that Wenger has set a standard that we now always want more than that year after year but forget that we did not fuel his car more. What do you think where Chel$e and Mansh$ty stand now without Abramovic and Arab billionairer?? They still are winners? No, never and never. Maybe , all of them are in championship. Regarding to ManU, you think Sir is brilliant? Yes, right, but do you know how was he supported by the board? He could buy any one he wanted and keep them untill retired. Even following seasons, he did not spend much but keeping a unchanged team still comsidered as an investment. Now, see our team, we could not keep a team for a single year, sold top players every year. It is not the thing Wenger wants but he have to accept because the board pays him to make profit not bring silverware and lost. Without Wenger, no one can do. Pls blame our board, not Wenger. And pls do not think we are a giant in the football world stuffed full with oil and black money. And, if you swap our coach with Tottenham or Liverpool, their fans will be died of happiness.

  14. jes seen a funny video on bleacher report: “Arsenal Fans ‘Thank’ Arsene Wenger in Hilarious TalkSPORT Spoof Video”…lol

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