Mad as a hatter! by Toby
Well it’s been a few years but I’ve decided to dust of the old keyboard and chip in with my tuppence-worth. For those who don’t remember me I was a regular poster on here around the Fabregas era and had many journalistic duals with my then arch nemesis Adam Kemp. I was one of Wenger’s most die hard supporters and always did my best to explain away his apparent stupidity and obscure ways when managing our club.
When things changed for me though was after letting a 4 goal lead slip at Newcastle, what, must be 4 seasons back now. I alluded to a more deeper underlying effect and consequence that match would have, and it appears the chickens have not only come home to roost but taken up permanent residence at the Emirates.
The trouble was with that game (and what I tried to point out at the time) is you simply just don’t get over something like that happening. Never before or since have I ever seen such a superior team in such control of a game demonstrate such a complete collapse of mentality. If memory serves me right it is the one and only time in Premier league history a team has come from 4 goals down to get anything out of a match.
Ok so what’s the relevance? Well ever since that day I’ve always questioned the mentality of the team and the more time that passes and the more players that come through the club the more it becomes clear it’s the managers mentality that’s the issue. We are absolute trend setters when it comes to folding like deckchairs on the pitch. How many times in recent years have terrible teams broken goal droughts or losing streaks against us? How many times has a team won its first game away in Europe or first win away from home all season against us? its ALWAYS AGAINST US!
Put alongside the constant collapses in the first leg of Champions league knock out stages, the constant hammerings by big teams, most notably a season-ending run that led to us shipping 20 goals virtually without reply in just four matches against Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool and the Toffees. Throw in the 8-2 against Man United and the League cup calamity against Birmingham and a pattern clearly starts to emerge.
This season is as far as my support for Wenger goes I’m afraid. If a team like Swansea can come to the Emirates at the pointy end of the season and pick up such a cheap 3 points with a weakened team then we really are bang in trouble. Take into account their League position and the fact that they didn’t even take the game seriously by resting half there team for the next game which they considered higher priority – then it looks even worse.
It all goes back to that Newcastle game for me as the day Wenger lost his mentality, never mind the players. I stressed that game would cut deep and leave mental scars and the effects would be permanent if things didn’t change. Unsurprisingly, Wenger hasn’t changed and so here we are. Groundhog day!
On a side note I’ve never been of the view to just throw money at it. The two teams that sit above us in the league make it clear its not just about the money or buying world class players. If more examples are needed just look at Athletico Madrid or Dortmund a few years back to realise you don’t have to financially compete to compete for trophies. If even more examples for the ‘spend spend spend’ fanatics are needed then just look at the blank cheques Man City have been writing for the last decade, and have they managed to make any notable impact on the Champions league?
Its seriously isn’t just about the money, guys, its all about who’s steering the ship. For my tuppence we have had a squad capable of challenging both domestically and in Europe the whole Emirates era, with the attacking players we’ve had at our disposal just about any manager that could defensively organise and setup a team with grit and fight could’ve won something, or at least challenge, with this squad, never mind the relentless cries of who could possibly replace Wenger!!!
The straw that broke my back (never mind the camel’s) was and is the farce that is Joel Campbell. The lad has shone wherever he’s gone and his performances at the last world cup to lead the line and take Costa Rica deep into the competition puts him way above many of our players. My verdict is he is the most fit and in-form and up for it player we have in the squad, and Wenger is bending hell over backwards to keep him away from our starting X1. His creativity and composure on the ball is second only to Ozil and although Giroud bagged a hat trick to get us out of the group stages of the Champions league, Campbell was the star that night and should be starting every game, and I mean every game, no excuses or exceptions.
Wenger has lost the plot with Joel; Wenger has lost the plot with this league; Wenger has lost the plot full stop. Oh and I almost forgot the season the title was almost in the bag when Gallas decided to have a sit down protest on the pitch and the whole team threw in the towel. who the hell is managing these players? its a rhetorical question no need to answer.
Is there a particular day that you remember when you first thought Wenger had lost the plot?
Good for you…
Hahaha………. Toby saw the Light early on!
Can’t this wait for the end of the season , if you feel so strongly go sit in front of the stadium and demand wenger out. What the point of this win a few remaining games .Support the team till may and then put all the pressure you want
The board and the manager need that pressure now and then …
I have not read an article in a while that I agree with soooo much!
You know Toby I still remember that game – it was Diaby that was red-carded and then…
Do you also remember the tottenham at home 4-4?
You put the point so well – Its always against US!! Players come and go, its always the same mentality in the team. Who is the common denominator in all this? That is why all the questions have to go to the Manager.
I can bet the AKBs here this same team of ours as it is, just as it is, give it to Guardiola or Klopp and they will rain havoc with it. If they sorted the ST, CDM, CB issues we have had for half a century they would rule Europe!
I was gutted when Klopp went to Liverpool, even worse when Guardiola chose Man City – because now I cant see salvation anywhere in sight for our beloved Arsenal!
God help us! – and I mean that.
Klopp was always my 1st choice manager, I love how he motivates players, “Klopp told me to play like a man, and I add 4kg of weight”-Origi. Did you see what good coaches do?? I bet if its in wenger’s case he will say Origi is unique just the way he is. Time up #WengerOut
Thanks for the memory.
The first time i thot so was the infamous 8-2 at the hands of man useless damn! But the old man has repeatd many errors since then but of late i like that Coq sub for Flamini during the barca game haha…that rili showed to the whole world that Wenger is a genius 🙂 There was a time Sanogo was our hope too hehe! Sticking with Ramsey since he was ….
ADMIN COMMENT – Kotte I swear you do not listen to a word I say. Listen to me for the last time. NO SWEARING! (twice even)
Then you compound it by saying you think I’m an AKB. Sigh…. Do you know how many times I (and many others on here) have said that they are NOT AKB or AOB? We are ARSENAL FANS whoever the manager is!
I have a feeling that was a calculated comment to see how much you can wind me up before I ban you, but I am going to give you one more benefit of the doubt, as I think you are probably just very young and maybe need to grow up a bit and listen to your elders and betters. But seriously, do you know how much time I have wasted these last couple of days trying to explain the rules to you….
And Admin goes speechless…. L()L
Basically the day he accepted the task of football manager instead of football coach. And that’s after the meeting where Dein resigned. Dein shares the blame as well for convincing him not to follow him by resigning but in his defense, Dein did not anticipated Kroenke is the “benefactor” and even if he would knew not sure what could he do. Even if Wenger learned a lot from Dein, he did not have the same shrewdness as Dein. I don’t remember Dein missing any player Wenger wanted: Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit, Marc Overmars, Thierry Henry, Davor Suker, Robert Pires, Sol Campbell, Gilberto, Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure, Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie not to mention Ian Wright and Dennis Bergkamp.
Following his departure, Wenger was believed to have asked Dein whether he wished him to resign from the post of manager in support for his friend. Dein told Wenger that he should not leave Arsenal as the club would suffer greatly from his loss as manager if he decided to leave.
What is between Wenger and the board now is all hypothesis, what is clear for me is that Wenger agrees the board policy (if not participated in it) and defend them, he looks like he runs the show, didn’t he say that? … for me they are no different …
I very much appreciate the guys who raised that banner regardless of our results, someone has to deliver the message, we deserve better than we get …
Steve Bruce nailed it when he was asked what he thought about the boys raising the banner at the final whistle : idiots! I agree with him.
Managers (normal managers) try to respect and won’t wrong other managers in public … He couldn’t say they are right (even if he thinks that), could he?
We would be really idiots if we take it anymore …
@Budd that was the difference when Dein was at the club, and you nailed it. He was shrewed, he didn’t dither or miss transfers, he activly participated in the management of the club. He got us into the G-14, and took a lot of pressure off of AW at board level. Heck he even brought AW to the club. AW doesn’t have any of that support anymore, but he tries to do it all himself. That is too big a job for any one man, at Man U Fergie had support for Bobby Charlton etc.
You sound like Arsene himself mate. Completely ignoring what people say. If you want change, you have to want it all the time. Why wait till the end of the season to protest? What the fans did with the banner was awesome. It’s exactly what Arsenal needs. A spark! One Wenger proved countless time over the years he cannot produce!
Change all the time? No thanks. Arsene Wenger is the most succesfull manager in Arsenal history. Emirates will still be standing once he leaves, now that’s something he built. His personal life went in shambles because of Arsenal. I wish I was half the Arsenal supporter Wenger is but I am not. Everything Arsenal is today is his work, bad or good. And the funny thing is the Arsenal of the future will still be his work. What do you have to show better than Wenger in your support for Arsenal? I know I have nothing near this but then again, I am not you.
Thanks Budd i agree with You. I have supported Arsenal a long time through the good and the bad. There is a time and place for everything, now is not the time to undermine the teams confidence especially during home games. Arsenal needs our united support now. Arsene Wenger is the best, he has earned the right to leave on his terms. The amount of Good he has done for Arsenal is highlighted by the fact that he is blamed for everything when he has an employer, he has “become” Arsenal, and i have never heard him deflect the blame and he could have left a long time ago but he stuck around. When he leaves, and that time is getting closer, arsenal will be in great position for the next guy.
Which coach or manager listens to what the fans say? Have Your words or any of ours, ever reached his ears or eyes? Everyone has an opinion. They would never be able to do their job. I think he had produced enough sparks especially when the team overcomes its challenges, granted they get themselves into avoidable situations sometimes, e.g 2-2 draw with spurs. Criticize but give credit where its due.
Hahaha…….. The twists and turns in the wenger saga
are u now laying the blames on dein? Or are u saying wenger should have followed Dein home at the time?
Nice article …
I used to be one of those staunch Wenger fans through the years … I used to believe he is superior than Sir Alex, because with almost nothing to spend and playing with kids, he managed to keep us up there every year … I was really caught up with that half season wonder we used to show …
In the summer 2013, him or the board (I don’t recall) came out and said we are much stable financially and now we can fight with the biggest bullies, I got my hopes high, I thought we are definitely signing a top striker and DM, that what we need … What happened, only hours before the window closed we managed to sign a top AMF (remember we have our best player for the season 2012-2013 was AMF, Cazorla if you remember), I was really depressed seen Giroud leading the line every match … then comes winter window, and we were right there top of the table … My friend send me a poster of an elephant on a tree, and on the bottom of it “no one knows how it got there but everybody knows how it will get down” … I told my friend that we are only one decent striker far from the gold … and what happened, we signed an old injured DM on loan … That for me was a completely arrogance and stubbornness cost us the league title …
There I completely lost the plot with Wenger …
I wish yesterday I was with those who raised that banner … I would write in my banner
“Enough talks and philosophy, we need results”
Nothing against the author but that 4-4 was against 9 men. Greater teams than Arsenal lost 4 points advantage at even more crucial points. Milan comes to mind. But then again, so was Reading from 5-1 to 5-7. Not sure what game was that or who they played against but they were the home side.
Funny I wasn’t depressed seeing OG leading the line as you say. He just achieved 20 goals in a season last night. If Theo and Alexis would on that same pace which they should maybe we would be higher up the table?
I don’t look at statistics that much … being a striker what’s the meaning of your goals tally when you rarely score when it is really matter … After Henry, VanPersi, etc, we stuck with an average striker (not his fault off course, it is the manager fault) … Yes I am still hoping we have a wc striker, that what we used to have at Arsenal …
Giroud cant score alone, Sanchez is World class, an Arsene purchase, but where are his goals. Giroud needs support from the current forwards that we know are capable. So dont be depressed with Giroud. Be depressed with Sanchez.
Ozil has a quiet game but then pops up with an assist – he’s MOTM and best number 10 that ever lived!
Walcott has a quiet game but then pops up with 2 goals and an assist – he’s an overpaid average player who hasn’t learned anything new in 10 years!
Come on Twig, you are defending Walcott in here … Say yesterday he scored supper-hatric, he’s still an overpaid average player who hasn’t learned anything new in 10 years! … this not a one match judgement, it is 10yrs Twig …
I think Twig’s point is that Ozil does not influence games enough especially these days. He can do better, the assists are great but Arsenal needs more from him. Giroud does not get as much praise for scoring a goal as Ozil does for an assist when they are both quiet. Lets be fair in our analysis.
Walcott had a very quiet game. Two worst corners in the game taken at an interval of less than a minute.
BTW, that assist from the bench was Ozil masterclass. Wink.
The article doesn’t say he should be sacked now, but he won’t support him after this season. All the warriors on here call me an AKB coz I don’t agree that he should be sacked after every game. Sensible clubs change their managers when the seasin is over and there are no more mathematical chances of trophies, or unless they are on a desperate losing run and ropping away.
Arsenal are neither of those and not stupid enough to dump Wenger now anyway. We HAVE to support the club, the manager and the players to perform to the best of their ability until the end of the season. Then we will see the reckoning on our final positions and performances.
If we win nothing and lose more games that we shouldn’t , then Wenger needs to consider his position.
But don’t tell those AOBs that. In fact they would probably still call me deluded!
I am pretty sure if you asked all those “Wenger out” when they want him out, they will say at the end of the season …
If I asked them I am pretty sure they would say SHUT UP YOU DELUDED AKB WENGEROUT which is the normal response. It is sweet that you would expect a reasonable response tho.
So If I support Wenger now, but would think about him leaving at the end of the season, does that make me a deluded AKB or a brainless AOB?
You are entitled to have your own opinions, no doubt … I am just saying when you see me or others write “Wenger out” after a match, it doesn’t mean with immediate effect, we need him to step down at the end of the season …
I would also appreciate if I could read more on what you expect to happen afterwards. I know you need to throw behind assumption it, but lets say the next manager went two season without any trophy, do you think his job should be called into question?. Or of all the bookmaker candidates how many do you genuinely believe could do a better job than Wenger, and I don’t mean a better job working with the set up Wenger has left to their disposal. I mean the long run, who can create entire club set ups, use a working attacking phlosophy, and nurture/spot young Fabregas’s Bellerin’s Henry’s etc etc. Is their even a candidate who fits us like a glove, pep is taken, after him Wenger maybe is regarded as most attractive football. So do you think we should go a completely alternate route by losing the “play the Arsenal way”. I’m just wondering how many of the sack Wenger people have the same ideas on what comes afterwards, or how much thought has really gone into it.
Theo has reportedly said that, Cech, Per, Rosicky and Arteta called a dressing room meeting after the Swansea game to talk about the floundering season (this was supposedly without AW knowledge). He said this has had the effect on the players we’ve seen in the Spurs and Hull games. Hopefully, Cech’s starting to gee up our winning spirit.
We done the same thing two seasons ago and went on to win the FA cup. Two talks in three seasons, winning teams have these meetings every season and whenever levels drop drastically off. So it goes to show you the players do know about responsibility and pointing fingers so I am amazed we have not been doing this even before bad performances, we should be doing it leading up to crucial periods. Next time we as in us the fans believe that one of these meetings could be helpful we should have a petition (I would prefer signing a constructive petition rather than your usual should they go/stay are the good/bad) and get the petition/message to the players. Guarantee that the team would have less meltdowns if they had more internal meetings.
God idea Gooner. Because I feel it would be much easier to influence the team as a whole, than it is trying to influence the manager…I think it was Robby Savage who during the match last night said “Arsenal are a confidence team”. The fans/supporters should concentrate on team confidence, instead of manager bashing. These are the guys on the pitch doing the hard work. They are who need our support…
Tactics, refs, pitch, weather and any other ridiculous excuse aside, we need to ask the following simple question: Is our current starting 1st team good enough to win the CL?
The answer is an obvious NO. Walcott might have scored a brace last night, but what does he have to say about the rest of his season? Far too inconsistent to be a first team starter. Same applies to Chamberlain, Ramsey, Giroud and a number of players. Arsenal simply need BETTER, more CONSISTENT players. Giroud good enough backup to a better striker.
If we compare our squad right now to the Invincibles (who won trophy after trophy and almost the CL), what is the difference? Certainly NOT the manager. The difference is the quality of our squad. The problem here is that what happens behind the scenes between Wenger and board is pure speculation. I honestly believe if you had to put Wenger in charge of Bayern, Madrid, Barca, PSG he would go on to win the CL. I bet if you even had to put him in charge of Man United with the type of money at his disposal, he would end up winning the BPL. Wenger is not Guardiola, but he is probably one of the best managers in the world.
Why then is he persisting with and accommodating this average squad of ours? Is it out of his own desire? Has he placed too much faith in his players and afraid to have been proven wrong? I don’t think anyone will ever know but it’s painfully obvious we need better players NOW. We cannot afford to lose Ozil or Sanchez, Wenger needs to build our squad around these players and start removing the inconsistent/average players. Does he really have enough funds available to do this? Does he want to? What is Kroenke and the boards agenda? We are not privy to such info.
What I have come to realize is that Wenger will not be around as a manager for much longer. It has only been 2-3 years with decent money to spend during which he has brought in 3 world class players (I don’t think anyone would replace Sanchez, Ozil and Cech) and won back to back F.A cups and others in this short time. Let him just finish his stint and give him the benefit of the doubt. If he wins the BPL in the next year or two, that would be a fantastic end to his career. If not, well I would still applaud him for what he accomplished during the years financial drought (top 4 finish with shoe string budget).
I still don’t think there is a good enough reason to sack him right now. And let’s GET REAL, Arsene enger WILL NEVER be sacked. He will resign when he thinks the time is right. So I think we need to stop fantasizing about the board changing heart all of a sudden just to give the man making them all their money, the boot!
I actually disagree with you, given the current circumstances our team is good enough to win this year, Leicester players cumulatively are no way better than our players (if you ask me “if we are good enough” at the begining of the season, I would say: hell no), but the tactics and the favoritism let’s down …
How can you justify him not signing a single outfield player last summer?
Here at Arsenal, you take any circle and you will end up blaming Wenger …
I know we cannot put it all on Wenger but I believe he is the arrowhead …
“Arsene enger WILL NEVER be sacked. He will resign when he thinks the time is right” that’s prove why we need more banners …
You are contradicting yourself. You say our team IS good enough to win the league, but in the same breath you say that Wenger failed to sign an outfield player…which implies our team is not good enough as we needed better players? Which is it then Sam?
I was afraid you might misunderstand my words that’s why I used words like “given the current circumstances” and “if you ask me if we are good enough at the beginning of the season, I would say: hell no” …
At the beginning of the season we are really not good enough to win the title and we need serious reinforcement, Wenger failed to do so … Now with the current circumstances we are pretty lucky that Chelsea, City, UtD all shambled so far …
I hope you get my point …
Sam, I think you are going to get your wish. Wenger will not sign another contract with us IMO, I have rarely seen him so hurt from constant criticism. After delivering two trophies, I think he thought people would let him get on with things, however, not even a couple months into each season after the first FA cup win the flack was just not going away. The media are primarily responsible for early pressure, the cherry pick twitter comments to suit their story. The only way I see Arsene signing another contract is if the unlikely happens this season, or if he/we were to win it or CL next season. I also think too many fans are not caring about what comes after Arsene, while he should be doing better the thing is how long are our fans going to give the next manager to win the top honors. I can truly see us become one of those hire and fire clubs, that never works out with a club like ours. The reason I think this is because we have fans who admit that even if Arsene won the title to go along with his FA cup wins they would still want to get someone else in?. Let a successful manager go so to try and get a successful manager in ..go figure?
You actually believe Wenger is a good manager? Did you follow his work in this season? Did that not show you he is trying the same thing with the desire of different effect?
If he is so great, why is he not bringing home the easiest title in the recent football history? He lost to Swansea and West Ham at home, lost to WBA away, got trashed by Soton away. That doesn’t show good management, no sir. He is past any prime, he is just past. Should be celebrated, not brought back to life.
Why isn’t van gala winning theeasiest title in history? Why isn’t mourinho who does actually think hes god. Why isn’t Pellegrino?
The fact is that it is not a game of fifa. These are real people playing 11 against 11 every week. Do you have a brilliant day at work every single day of your career?
Get real not play station mode.
Why why why do you keep bringing up fifa? is that YOUR understanding of soccer? The reason many ARSENAL fans now want him out is after 12 or is it 13yrs (its been soooo long i forget) of watching other teams win the league, its time for a change.
The AKB’s try to say but how can you blame Wenger when Man U, Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool are also having a bad season. Well.. he should be blamed because we are a top 4 club and the only top 4 in the past decade who has not won anything major apart from the Fa Cup, even Liverpool who were a top 4 but now mid table has won the Champions League. NOW if we were a mid table club, I would not be so dissapointed at our performance and standing because I would expect it.
I understand the financial aspects of the game and as one clown (who only comes on to bag comments) has put it, its a business. Hey we understand its a business GUESS WHAT?? Chelsea and Man City who were bottom dwellers because of their success has overtaken us as the richest and most followed soccer clubs. So maybe NY when you do treat Arsenal properly as a business and strengthen the team to win major trophies, you will get even more money
Nebs, of course he’s a good manager, that’s not in depute at all. He’s a damn fine manager and has been regarded as one of the finest in the game throughout his entire AFC career. What people are asking is he hungry enough to get back to his former greatness. It is because of his early standards that our fans standards are so high. I like all Gooners, would love nothing more than Arsene reaching those highs once again, Ill forgive him he cant go season unbeaten, I cannot speak for everyone of course.
Nailed it…You laid it out as real as it gets Gooner.
The more you earn, the less energy you burn!
I’m sure that the majority of the older fan’s can relate to that.
It’s a fact that when you first start working (Apprentice)
you are paid peanuts, yet you are Grafting more than your fellow worker’s who are earning 4-5 times your wages!
And as the year’s go by, your wages increase and your workrate decreases!
It’s the same with Footballer’s, with Theo Walcott being a good example of that.
As For Wenger, He was already loaded (£££) and his desires were more Ego based, (wanting to achieve the ‘ultimate Supremacy’ ) and i believe that his efforts decreased after he achieved the ‘unthinkable’ invincibility season!
Which explains why we haven’t won the premier league since then.
In General, When we reach our goals, We become content and our efforts decrease!
Wengers mistake was… thinking that he could carry on achieving, without putting in the same efforts!
In his case, Supremacy lead to Stubbornness, arrogance and stupidity.
Even earlier than us, it takes me up to our game against Man U’s School boys to completely give up.
Some fair points, for sure. I have to believe that Ian Wright also has a point on this one, sometimes you need to stop caning the manager and pile some of that pressure onto the players. I read Theo say that the team had a team meeting after the third loss, the third one?, why the hell weren’t they sorting themselves out sooner. The third loss, yes but after the fifth bloody meltdown. Then after this meeting we see them go down to ten men at the home of the now favorites and look hungry, and at 11 v 11 we would have won am sure of it. Why aren’t our players taking this kind of responsibility onto themselves on a regular basis. Arsene doesn’t need to tell them when the bloody sun comes up or when it is raining. We all talk about the days we had real men in our team, I wont name them you already know who I’m talking about. All winning sides have players who take matters into their own hands and have meetings to stuff out in the open. These players have sorely let down the boss by leaving him with 100 % of responsibility, I know if it was me with those talents I would throw myself under the bus as they say. I think fans need to direct much of that disappointment towards our players, could of helped us if it was done much sooner. Only after the booing from Swa game they had team meeting. They need to get from under Arsenes coat tails and start behaving like men.
What would tony Adams made of this team if he was still playing? BFG goes of with a cut but tony would have had stitches on the sidelines and come back on. And I see today that BFG might not play this weekend. That dressing room need a captain and A S or Ozill for me but would rather A S. But come next season BFG will have the arm band. I hope AW buys 4 players and let’s 11 go. We need change big time and this would be the start. I would sell OG TBH because AW just bigs him up. Would he have got in our team ten years ago? No way
Last season the tottingham lad went I think 11 games without a goal but again played us and bang they go in. AW has messed with GP confidence by always playing BFG when we all no that lad is a far better player. The DM position everyone in football said the same thing but AW never changed and the amount of games we lose because of it is mind blowing.for FQ to move on to the next level we need a world class DM end of. SC won’t be able to do a full season anyway now so we need cover for him but we don’t have this. Thing I’m saying is January AW could have sorted this but again he knows best. Sorry mr AW you don’t no best and things need to change big time because the other top 6 are better then us and will buy in the summer but will YOU?
I dont understand why Wenger takes most of blame if not all for Arsenal’s position considering that he is an employee of Arsenal unless i am missing something. Is he bigger than Arsenal? Is he the majority shareholder? Does he renew his contract without the employers approval? I think he is an easy target. If the transfer policy is not working, if Arsenal is regressing or whatever, what are Wenger’s employers doing about it. The manager may change but if the employers are the same then i dont think it would make a difference. So if You gona lose faith, lose faith in his employers.
At Budd, i do not understand the point you are trying to make. Are you saying tthe team’s mentallity is not that of Wengers, as the author clearly articulated it?