Is Arsenal’s apparent crisis really Wenger’s fault?

by admin

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

It’s not been a great few weeks for Arsenal FC, that’s putting it mildly too, as if the loss of Cesc Fabregas and the imminent departure of Sami Nasri wasn’t bad enough, Arsenal have also failed to score a goal in their first two Premier League games and have the difficult task of qualifying for the Champions League tonight.

It’s not really too much of a surprise that Arsenal’s season has got off to a start like this, all Summer there has been transfer talk surrounding the club, talk that Fabregas and Nasri could leave the club. This talk went on far too long, I can understand that Arsenal will want to hold onto their key players, but if a player wants to leave, it pays off to get them out of the club as soon as possible.

Arsenal’s transfer dealings have brought on mass criticism from a lot of their fans, it appears that most are frustrated that the teams around them appear to be moving forward whilst Arsenal appear to be standing still. This criticism has been thrown in the direction of Arsene Wenger, with many fans frustrated that Arsenal haven’t signed players of a high enough quality, as well as the fact that they haven’t signed them soon enough.

I completely agree that Arsenal have taken far too long to sort out their transfer dealings, Sir Alex Ferguson showed exactly how to deal in the transfer market, getting all of his business out of the way before the start of pre season. I just don’t agree with the fans that are blaming Arsene Wenger for the lack of movement in the transfer market.

After Arsenal found themselves caught up in a bungs scandal back in the 90s, Arsenal’s board made it clear that they would deal in all transfers from then on to help maintain the clubs credibility. The manager would now have the job of telling the board which players he wanted and then the board would do all the negotiating, I believe this is still the case.

In my view Arsene Wenger is doing the best he can for the club, I believe he has limitations that he’s having to work with, which is why he tries so hard to make his own stars. People want Wenger to make ‘big signings’ but what is being forgotten is that Arsenal just can’t compete with the top clubs in the wages department, so it makes it increasingly difficult for Wenger to sign established superstars.

So before any Arsenal fans criticise Arsene Wenger, they should take a moment and think about the good times he’s brought to the club. Wenger won Arsenal three titles within the space of seven seasons, and he gave us the Invincibles in 2004. I hope that this group of fans soon realise it’s the board and not the manager that is the problem.

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  • Darren

    I’m sorry, but Wenger is to blame. He’s finally lost the plot. I think it’s time for him go upstairs. He is far to involved in the business side of things. His job is to manage the team, and ensure that the 11 players on the pitch are the best Arsenal can get. THEY ARE NOT. That’s the problem.

    If you sell your number 1 left back, you replace him with a new number 1 left back. We all know Gibbs is the new RVP.
    Solution – Leighton Baines 12m (8m from Clichy costing 4m)

    If you sell your captain and creative force. You replace him with a new experienced creative force.
    Solution – Arteta, Bastian Schweinsteiger, both of these are not as good as Cesc but would cost less than 15m. Freeing up another 20m for Hazard or Mata.

    If you concede 80% of your goals from set peices, you seriously need to but center halves. This old news and has been for 3 years.
    Solution – Samba, Jagelika, Cahill. All these players coast under 20m.

    We’ve wasted so much time looking at players without actually making offers we end up losing out.

    Enough is enough. Spend, strengthen the squad or go and manage PSG.

    Sorry, but I’ve had enough.

    Oh, and Wenger has quoted that if we sell both Fabregas and Nasri then we are not a big club, and now he is denying it.

    He also said he will only but quality or players that are better than what we currently have. So Jenikson is better than Saga.

  • gaya

    in all the good times of wenger’s reign , did the glory go to the board as well? i dont think so.
    Wenger is the go between those behind the scene and the fans and whatever the situation he gets the blame or glory.
    Besides Martin O’neal and the present Villa managers where not happy with somthing behind the scene, they quit.

  • JT

    Wenger’s hands are tied by the wage structure. Wages are capped at £90k meaninng we can’t compete with wages offered by the Mancs and Chelski. Until the wage structure is revised to make us more competitive we can’t sign any majorly big name players.

  • Darren

    so are you saying that Baines, Jagelika & Arteta are on 90k per week at Everton? I very much doubt it.

    We could purchase all those 3 for 50m. Everto seriously need the money.

    This of course, should have been sorted out 3 months ago

  • James Lamb

    I would love Baines and Arteta at the club, but I’m not sure if the board will pay as much as Everton will be expecting for them.

    Hopefully this changes now that Arsenal have the money at their disposal, I wouldn’t mind seeing us paying over the odds for players in order to help us win a trophy again.

    A problem we have now is that after tonight, if we fail to qualify for the CL, it’ll be very difficult to attract the type of players that we want.

  • Gunner2301

    If I remember rightly after the end of season debacle Gazidis did say to the AST that there was money to spend and we would be active in the market. This was before the money from Cesc and Nasri so there was no reason to wait to address the most obvious problem area which was the defence.

    I disagree that it’s either the board or the manager it’s both. Arsene for proposing the policy of buy em cheap sell em high and the board for entertaining it. There may be a problem that we can’t break our wage structure and bring in the players on higher wages but it was Arsene himself who architected the current structure of paying kids high wages to attract them and those kids who became senior players wouldn’t expect the highest wages because they would have benefitted from years of being overpaid. The fact that it’s now blown up in the clubs face is directly attributed to Arsene how can it not be. Now the board won’t have highly paid kids and fringe players as well as senior players on superstar wages at the same time which is understandable.

    We need to rip up the current contracts and start again. Pay the kids the going rate like other top clubs like Man U who offered Ramsey 5k but he decided to come to us for 20k. Once we have the kids on sensible wages we can then pay the top players more, which is where we should have been in the first place and would have avioded the problem we are facing now.

    We do think about the good times Arsene has brought to the club but do you think that just sitting here and thinking about the good times without doing anything about the current situation is going to get us anywhere? We need to act and act now before we get left behind as we are quickly becoming a club that is not attractive to top players.


    All the people saying Wenger should go are are fools.

    Quite simply, he performed miracles in making us into a global footballing superpower with a small budget. No one can take us further than where we are, because the footballing landscape has changed, and any new owner would have to splash cash to compete that doesn’t exist. We cannot compete with wages of other teams. Hence why players are leaving.

    Man City and Chelsea rewrote the footballing landscape since we invested in the Emirates Stadium; Man United operate on a 700 million debt; and Real Madrid are funded by the government.

    There is no man on planet Earth who could have achieved the same thing to Arsenal, or any other team. Actually, no one else has done the same thing. Today, the landscape of football has changed: the reality is that we cannot compete. We are punching above our weight today. And FIFA’s failure to stop Man City wiping out the hard, honest work of teams like Arsenal with their financial doping is not surprising considering that they sold the World Cup to Qatar.

    Be angry at FIFA, be angry at oil money, be angry at the state of football but don’t be angry at Arsene.

    David Dein knew all of this. Hence why he got Usmanov involved. It was the Arsenal board that denied him. Denied the man who brought in Arsene.

    If the short-sighted drive Arsene out, then you shall see what bad times really are.

    I’m talking to you Darren, first commenter. Are you Darren Dein by any chance? You sound like him.

  • Mystical Mike

    enough is enough guys.

    the good times were 6 years ago. we play pretty football, so what, the trophy cabinet is bare. Even Spuds fabs are laughing at us.

    Invest in the team or jog on

  • slugboy

    I cannot believe how shortsighted some ‘fans’ are being. Wenger is the best thing to have happened to our club. The lack of trophies in the last 6 years correlates very closely to the large injection of oil money from abramovich (and latterly for City . We cannot spend on large salaries like Man C and Chelski and we do not have the revenue generation of Man U.

    Our only hope is paying sustainable wages and hoping that the youth team develops well. We do not have a sugar daddy and personally I find the whole idea of Billionaires losing their billions on overpaid football players quite repulsive.

    We are far better off than most of the league and do not need to buy success.

    I repeat that wenger is the best thing to have happened to our team and we will miss him badly when he is gone. Grow up kids


    I sincerely blame the board. This is the hinderence to the progress of Arsenal fc.
    Why does the board give weak contract to our star players???!! Fabrigas joined Barca & immediately they gave him a contract with a buy out clause of so many Millions, Why cant that be done to our players???!!

    The authority to release money to buy players does not belong to AW as an individual, its the Board!!
    The way i see Arsenal fc now is really bad & We should pray that one share holder increases his stake and owns the Club.

  • roy mah

    i really find it funny there are people who thinks they are a better of judge of players than a manager who has a proven track record. i keep reading that we should buy this player and that and how much money we have and therefore this minus that we have surplus we should buy that player who costs such and such …. pardon me, but i find these discussions hilarious. but i guess this is common among ignorant people. how many times have we read about what governments should have done to improve living conditions etc … from people who know nothing about politics ? it’s different in the real world out there. since the club will never fully reveal the entire situation (from players demands to agents and clubs’ bargaining and negotiating positions) we, as fans will never know the full story behind why we have signed so and so and not so and so. if fans want to support a team that mirrors their football manager playing experience, go support man city, chelsea and real madrid. stop spouting ignorant comments, and putting down our team. do we really want arsene wenger to start buying and selling players like tottenham, man city and liverpool ? after 10 seasons of buying and selling, they still finish below us on average. get real, the pastures always look greener out there …

  • ray

    We used to be a big club but not anymore when your best players start leaving, if we cannot keep them than we are a middle league club.look at Spurs they kept their best players no matter what and they don t get paid as much as Arsenal players why because they love their club.

  • Nipper88

    Yeh nice 1 ray spurs dont kerp there top players mainly as they dont have many, where did carrick go? Berba? And modric this year your a fool. As for wenger wait until 2moz morning as i belive cahil hazard and the german from bayern wil all have been bidded for and you so called fans will feel a little stupid u douted our best manager in history

  • Kevin

    One thing I’ve noticed is that people that don’t have a clue (Darren) are starting to get bitten back for their short sighted comments.
    Baines and Jags are good players but not good enough to play at Arsenal, full stop, before we talk about the club being willing to sell. People look at the few things they do well, free kicks and commanding the back four but we can already do that (RVP and Vermaleen). Wenger knows what we need at the moment and buying 3 players from a team that finished 8th isn’t what we need, before I go into how ridiculous it is suggest that we buy 3 players from the same team.
    A creative midfielder to fill the gap is required in my opinion and some fans that are ready to get behind the team and be the 12th man. That’s the best we can hope for now.
    Also, with everyone now aware how much money we have it’s nigh on impossible to get any value from buying a player and that needs to be taken into account.

  • roy mah

    i think the only world class players tottenham ever had this past decade were berbatov and modric. and i think modric will leave in a heartbeat if man city, chelsea, real madrid, barcelona or even arsenal want to buy him, haha … and we all knew where berbatov went … players are loyal because they are not good enough to get offers from clubs that are bigger than where they are. sure, it’s a blow losing fabregas and nasri BUT we were always gonna lose fabregas and had been grooming ramsey and wilshire for the past 2-3 years. ideally, wenger would have preferred to sell fabregas when wilshire is ready 91-2 more seasons), but barcelona forced our hands. buying gervinho more or less offset the loss of nasri. they are different players, but wasnt fabregas a different player from vieira when we sold vieira ? wasnt nasri a different player from pires when we sold pires, and pires a different player from overmars ? come on, let’s adopt a more balanced view to what’s happening now to arsenal. personally, i’m not too worried. But i will be worried if wenger starts buying players for the sake of buying players like harry redknapp or dalglish, o’leary or even benitez. they pay inflated prices for above average players, and sometimes, i wonder why they keep doing that ? (i’m thinking of george graham) how many full backs have liverpool bought and sold the past 10-15 yrs ? how many mediocre players have tottenham bought for inflated prices ? sure, we have not won a title in 6 years but we did well last decade where it was more or less a level playing field, even though we were playing it with a handicap (small stadium). but the paradigm has changed, and 6 years to respond to a paradigm shift is not a crisis. it’s normal. within these 6 years, we built a new stadium, developed our own players, seen great players come and go (at least we have great players, unlike the other 15-16 teams), finish in the top 3-4 (except for last season), performed pretty well in the champions league etc … the hallmark of a great manager is not how well he does when he has alot of resources to spend, but how well he can perform with limited resources (transfer budget, wage caps etc …). i think, pound for pound, he is one of the best manager in the premier league, and the world. yes, he makes mistakes, but who doesnt ?

  • Darren

    @ Kevin, what are you on about? RVP commanding the area. Erh, he’s a centre forward mate.

    We were told, that we had around 40m to spend on new players, and thats before the sale of 3 key players, which comes to a staggering 65m. We’ve wasted, sorry spent 23m. So in my books we have 80m in the kitty.

    This should have been sorted months ago, I don’t care who’s fault it is, it should have been sorted. Simple as.

    I’ve been a massive Wenger fan for years, he has made us one of the most exciting teams in Europe, but the current crop are not up to scratch.

  • JT

    @Darren, the transfer window is not done yet…there is still hope. A centre back thats made of something that is less breakable than most of our defenders, another proven striker and another proven midfielder would just about make things right.

  • andyarsenal

    I think the atmosphere at our club is bad or something to do with wenger,why our best players are leaving, Fab, Nasri, Clitcy and I heard WAlcott as well something is wrong with the club.Look at Spurs they hold on to MODRIC and BALE and clubs offered millions for them. I say Wenger should have stood firm, if we keep on going like this we will be a feeder club

  • Darren

    @ JT, you’re right. I really hope so, 3 players would be great.

    @Kevin so are you saying Gary Cahill is not good for Arsenal because Bolton finished 10th? I’ve never heard such nonsense in my life

    Any of these players would fit perfectly into our first 11

  • Mystical Mike

    good point Andy.

    we find these little gems, bring them to the Emirates only for richer clubs to have first pick.

    lets we can build a team around Wilshire

  • Ray

    Nipper you re a fool if Berbi and Carrick left Spurs we had World class leaving Arsenal like Henry Overmars Fab Nasri Clitcy etc ,we must keep our best player even if we get more players they will take some time to settle

  • JT

    @andyarsenal – its nearly all about the money.
    Our wages are capped at £90k. Manu, Manc, Chavs etc will pay upto £250K a week. We are not competitive and unsuprisingly the players go where the money is.

  • andyarsenal

    JT you are 100 per c right no one can compete with the top 3

  • Mystical Mike

    you say we can’t compete, we earn more on match days then every other team in England

  • Kevin

    Think Vermaleen would be the one command the area there mate,…..
    And would you rather have Cahill or Vermaleen? Easy for me there.
    And as for Cahill not being good enough because he finished 10th, that’s exactly the point. I didn’t see him saving the day during the Man City defeat or in any of the big games last year. I can’t see him doing an incredible job against Barac both home and away, which Kos did.
    On top of that you have to take into account the fact that we would then have 5 CB’s in the squad (now limited) before Bartley comes back off loan. So to spend 17M on a player that will replace someone we paid 10M for last year when that player is forming a good looking partnership simply because “The Sun” tell people how good he is makes it only moronic sense.
    Let’s also not forget Jag’s is 29, and at the price quoted hugely over priced.
    Defending isn’t our problem currently, it’s scoring and none of Baines, Cahill or Jags will help that out.
    And suggesting thatArteta or Schwinstieger are less than 15M is so far off the mark is ridiculous. Plus the simple Playstation idea of buying players invalidates the idea of having to actually ‘buy’ them. Clubs have to be willing to sell, the players have to agree terms it’s far more complex that saying buy A, B, C which it the point of frustration for reasoned fans.
    Live in the real world.

  • GunnerX

    Arsenal are ranked 5th wealthiest club in world football, so why is it we struggle to complete? We’ve contested CL football since Wenger’s been here, so have earned extra funds over most of our rivals, yet we’re finding it difficult to find that balance between financial prudence and investment in the playing staff. I’d really to love to know exactly where all the money goes.

  • JT

    @Mystical Mike we may earn lots of cash but we have awage structure that stops us spending it. The boardneed to change it. They are never goign to pay someone £200K a week but if they upped their top limit to £150K or something around there we could compete for a higher caliber of player rahter than lose out every time

  • JT

    Gunnerx, I think you got to look to the board, as once wages and the emirates mortgage are paid they seem to snaffle the reminder but don’t really disclose the details.

  • roy mah

    agree with you there, kevin. the sheer ignorance of some fans frustrate me … they think that buying a player, is like buying apples at a grocer, let alone a good player. witnessing how long it took for barcelona and man city to buy fabregas and nasri (even when both players want to leave and the clubs having willing to pay for their fees and wages, ok not so much with fabregas) is testament to how difficult it is to buy a great player. and do fans seriously think that cahill, samba, jagelika are suitable replacements for koz ? if they are, why are they still at their clubs after numerous seasons ??? i mean, i’m not sure if squillaci is as good as any of them, but there are many reasons why a player is not performing well. i’m sure squillaci has sufficiently good defending attributes for a back-up defender, otherwise wenger would not have bought him; but i wouldn;t go out on a limb defending him (too many individual mistakes, but didn’t alex go through such a phase when he first joined chelsea?) i remembered wishing alex will start every match when he first arrived (sending off, penalty, own goal etc …). and personally, i like djorou. he’s fast and recovers first for a tall defender, kinda like a kolo toure without the wild gestures or a gallas without the tantrums. i just feel we lack presence in the striker position. sure, i will feel better if we get our hands on another dependable back-up defender because we seem to suffer more injuries (and they all seem to come at the same time in the same position) recently. But is that a sufficient reason to spend 15-20 mill on a back-up defender ? i don’t think so. because maybe the new back-up defender will also suffer from the same curse . we will never know if we would have won the league last season if we had 1-2 more dependable back-ups, but we can all speculate, can’t we ? what if it doesn’t make a difference ? and we wasted all the monies for nothing ? what will wenger critics say ? he bought the wrong players ? PLayers he buy always suffer from injuries ? can we predict when players suffer from injuries ? Just enjoy the games supporting my favourite team is enough. watching th match against udinese now, and arsenal kicks ass !!! nuff said !

  • JT

    Roy mah, agree with you about all purchases being a gamble. However, Gibbs is fragile, Djorou is a good defender but last season was the most games he has played in years, scillachi has not convinced me and seems to have a calamitous presence on our defence.
    We have lost two highly experienced midfielders, we could do with one coming in, we’re struggling to cover injuries and forcing Ramsey to play every game and he’s not going to be able to play every game.

  • JT

    With Jack out for a while we are a biy thin in the middle.
    If B52 buggers off we will be short of a striker too and chamak is struggling to find form. I still think given the lose of aforementioned plus Eboue we need one forward, one mid and one defender who can preferably play centre and left back.

  • andyarsenal

    you are right JT we may earn lots of money but we cannot afford to pay 200 gran a wk like unt,city or chelsea ant that is why our class players keep on leaving us, and you can never be a big club if you don t pay high wages.

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