Wenger: the man, the mystery

Discussion in 'Football Forum' started by TheHorse'sMouth, May 19, 2011.

  1. May 19, 2011
    #1

    TheHorse'sMouth Full Member

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    When looking at it from an outside point of view, is Wenger in your eyes doing a good job? Like someone mentioned in another thread. he is 'a chairman's dream'..gets into the CL every year, while spending peanuts in comparison to everyone else.

    It's also been said that he's scared to spend big in case it goes wrong. Considering our financial situation in recent years, is it a case of job well done or underachievement? In the hypothetical scenario you didn't have SAF and the club was going through a relative barren spell in terms of trophies at the cost of paying off a new stadium, would you stick it out with Wenger?
  2. May 19, 2011
    #2

    Plechazunga Grammar partisan who sleeps with a real life Ryan

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    Excellent in the market and at developing players, gets his sides playing superb, if somewhat one-dimensional, football.

    I've always thought he started going a bit loopy in 02/3, when we caught you up. He was bang on before then, and so were his sides. Seems to have started fraying at the edges since then and it's communicated itself to his teams.

    I don't really believe all this business about having the money and refusing to spend it. That's like someone refusing a pay rise... never happens. if he hasn't spent, he's not been given it.

    Also, he looks ridiculous in that jacket. I've realised who it is he looks like, he's one of the Goths from Asterix the Legionary, the whole time he wears this huge coat and looks like a big bloke, but then he takes it off and he's stick-thin and gets refused entry to the Roman Army for being a weakling. Essentially he flatters to deceive... like Wenger's sides post-03/4.
  3. May 19, 2011
    #3

    SFraser Rest in Peace

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    You mean like a club that's going through a rich spell of trophies despite financing the largest debt in sport? You are paying for a new stadium, we are paying significantly more for the "privilege" of the Glazers owning us. There is no point trying to make excuses for your lack of trophies.

    The problem is that the team Wenger has put together has the same flaws this season as it has had for many seasons, and he seems completely incapable of addressing them. It's a completely football issue. I think it is getting to the stage where everyone is realising that Wenger cannot do it at the really cutting edge of football anymore. The question is whether or not you can find someone better.
  4. May 19, 2011
    #4

    Wibble In Gadus Speramus

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    He reminds me of a lizard for some reason.

    Not sure how that is relevant.
  5. May 19, 2011
    #5

    adexkola American Arse

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    This.
  6. May 19, 2011
    #6

    Levi_Jm Full Member

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    If Arsenal Football Club is all about business then it is a very successful business model but I think it's a disrespect to the game. Manchester United shows that you can be successful and profitable at the same time but... I do admire Arsenal's philosophy over Manchester City and Chelsea.

    Having said that, I'm annoyed with Wenger and his acceptance of mediocrity. I think that annoys me more than anything. "To finish second is a fantastic achievement....I'll take 3rd over the FA Cup"....what does he have to say about finishing 4th again? In any event, in the grand scheme of things, I'm just happy my teams wins but his utterances about the inability to compete financially with the big clubs is dishonest. Maybe if you actually win shit, you can be competitive. We proved that this season. 3 Bargain buys. 2 worked really well.
  7. May 19, 2011
    #7

    Plechazunga Grammar partisan who sleeps with a real life Ryan

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  8. May 19, 2011
    #8

    Red Dreams Full Member

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    think he has given up actually.

    He has concluded he will not be able to outspend, Chelsea, City and us.

    His excuses are now legendary.
  9. May 19, 2011
    #9

    TheHorse'sMouth Full Member

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    That coat is literally one of the warmest things you'll ever wear. Tried it on before and it's the donkey's bollocks when it comes to keeping the cockles warm. Shame it's not a visual spectacle, everything's a compromise at the end of the day.
  10. May 19, 2011
    #10

    ciderman9000000 Banned

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  11. May 19, 2011
    #11

    Denis' cuff Full Member

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    he is compared to Fergie, which is an unfair comparison and even Mourinho, who's time here was only fleeting but despite the lack of trophies, and I still am not convinced he actually has the funds to spend, when you look back on his time here when he is gone, it will always be said that the stadium was built under his watch whilst keeping them competitive and at least in Europe, bringing the money in and securing Arsenal's long term future. He gets on my tits a bit sometimes but he has laid the foundations and a platform for any future manager to enjoy the resources.

    Another interesting consideration is that the influence of George Graham's discipline and players he left behind has finally waned.
  12. May 19, 2011
    #12

    Cold_Boy Banned

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    A perfect manager for a club's owner or chairmans who want only pure business.
  13. May 19, 2011
    #13

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    Regarding the "money to spend" issue, I just can't believe that the board of a football club can come out and explicitly state that the manager can have as much money as he wants to sign new players, only to refuse him funds when he asks for them.

    That's an insane way to run any business and would have wrecked their relationship with the manager years ago. It's much more likely to me that Wenger's philosophy of buying only up and coming young players was started because of a lack of funds but continued these last couple of years out of a stubborn desire to prove that his approach was the right one all along.

    For me his biggest failing of this strategy is their upside down salary structure. Arsenal's total wage bill is comparable with the likes of United and Chelsea, even though the average wage of their first team is considerably lower. This is because they pay youngsters way over the odds to fend off interest from other clubs (e.g. Aaron Ramsey) which means they're on a huge wage from the moment they join the club, yet don't have much scope to increase that wage as they become established. This has to cause complacency. It also means that he tends to get rid of the senior pros while they still have a lot to offer. Therefore, they end up with a load of very well paid young footballers - with minimal financial incentive to take their game to the next level - and no older, wiser heads who can act as role models and show the type of obsessive dedication, focus and commitment needed to convert all their nice football into trophies.
  14. May 19, 2011
    #14

    Donkey's Ears Full Member

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    He was excellent in the market. Is he anymore? I would say his record since 2003 is highly mixed.

    I agree that it was the 2002 season which seemed to send him off the rails.

    I think people underestimate the huge advantage the experience of the old back four gave him when he arrived.
  15. May 19, 2011
    #15

    humdinger Full Member

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    Underachievement if you ask me. He's done brilliantly to get them this far, but everybody knows how close Arsenal are, and that there is some money available yet he won't go and add real quality players where needed. He instead takes punts on randoms like Squillaci and he keeps Bendtner around. If they want to win something, especially the league, they need to strengthen the problem areas and give them some mental strength. Swallow some pride, buy a couple of tough, hard-working players, and there will be an improvement.

    Jack Wilshere is the closest thing they have to someone who fits that bill, but he's only a kid and needs some help.

    Oh, and it's very disruptive to have the captain and talisman constantly linked with elsewhere. It's not entirely Fabregas's fault that the rumours still rumble on but he did court the interest initially. Either he needs to convince everyone that he doesn't want to leave (he said it last summer eventually but nobody really believe he'll be there long-term), or else he needs to go and Arsenal need to use that money to strengthen the team.
  16. May 19, 2011
    #16

    kf Full Member

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    He's a great coach. You only have to look at how he turned Tony Adams from an old fashioned English stopper to an actual footballer! But he's become more and more stubborn and I don't really understand why. The obvious gaps in the squad in terms of goalkeeping and central defenders have been there for several seasons now. Everyone can see the problems and they're serious problems... you can't win the league with dodgy centre backs and a dodgy goalkeeper no matter how sweetly you pass the ball. And if as the papers are saying, he really thinks the answer to his problems is Scott Parker, he must be bloody insane!
  17. May 19, 2011
    #17

    TheHorse'sMouth Full Member

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    You make some excellent points here. Our wage structure has been something that's been bugging me for a while. In the market we're in, if you're a CL club you need to be able to buy and retain the best talent out there which all comes at a cost. We're obviously not going to be paying City-style wages, but relative to performance a lot of them are on far too much money..the market dictates this I suppose and we just have to roll with the punches.
  18. May 19, 2011
    #18

    Bilbo Full Member

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    My concern would be that it's going to get tougher to continue to qualify for the CL. It might only take missing it once for a downward spiral to begin that could have significant consequences. Players will leave, fans will baulk at the ST prices, and it'll be harder to get back in it.

    Its impossible to predict, but IMO likely, that they could have gained another 5/6 points this season just from signing a more experienced quality keeper. That could have made all the difference this season if they'd have gone in front and led the table.

    So while Wenger is doing a good job getting them CL football every year on a low transfer budget, I'd be concerned that he might be missing those small edges that can change things.
  19. May 19, 2011
    #19

    peterstorey Specialist In Failure

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    It's not that easy to sign a good keeper as you're about to find out. Everybody said we should buy Schwarzer but he's been mediocre all season and had the worst game I've ever seen from a top flight keeper the other night v Liverpool , letting in 4 shockers and 5 in total.
  20. May 19, 2011
    #20

    Bilbo Full Member

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    The difference is, being such a key position United will spend whatever it takes to give ourselves the best opportunity to resolve this. Szceszny is an outstanding prospect, but he would actually benefit from having a top experienced keeper at the club for a couple of seasons.

    The fact that Wenger was keen enough on Schwarzer to have actually made a bid, and then refused to pay the extra £0.5m or so that would have landed him, was a concern (hindsight on his poor season notwithstanding). Could well have cost you the title this season.
  21. May 19, 2011
    #21

    Brophs The one and only

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    In fairness, Pete, I think even you'd have to admit the goalkeeping situation was pretty aimless over the summer. He had no idea Szczesny would come on the way he did, as if he had, he would have put him in when it became apparent Almunia had shot it. I don't think Fabianski is a good enough keeper so he started the season with two keepers who have been proven not to be good enough and a kid with potential. I can't help feeling that Wenger should have done something, even if it was only a short term move. As it is it may all have worked out if PIG 2 is as good as you lot think it is, but that didn't come about through some sort of masterplan.
  22. May 19, 2011
    #22

    SteveJ all-round nice guy

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    Can't help but feel that Szczesny has more attitude than talent.
  23. May 19, 2011
    #23

    JazzG Resident Arse.

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    Our problem is more with the defence rather than the keeper, more often than not we get exposed in that area and our keepers are far too exposed. Our defending as a team and individuals are the back leaves a lot to be admired at times. We have been unfortunate in that our main CB has been injured for most of the season and on top we let Gallas go in the summer.

    I'm content at the moment to let Szczesny have a go, not saying he is the best keeper in the land but this season apart from the Carling Cup final he has been pretty solid for us. Too early to say whether he will be a success story at the moment but if you look around there aren't too many top keepers about who are available, the ones are will probably go for silly money.
  24. May 19, 2011
    #24

    marjen Desperately wants to be like Noodle

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    I think he is a great coach who understands how one develops players, and he's great at working the market. His former success and the style of football and entertainment he brings to the table keeps the fans happy, as well as the new stadium and talk about this being the reason for a lack of spending.

    I do think he's too stubborn, and makes too much excuses for my taste as a manager. He hasn't really showed that winning mentality since 2003/04, and it filters through to his players. Also, he's time and time again putting too much trust in young players who doesn't have the experience to bring them over the finishing line. Then, when his established players get older, they tire of not winning trophies and are sold an replaced by young unexperienced players. This cycle has gone on for a while.

    I think he needs to throw away his principles and sign players with bite, not necesarilly excellent, nimble ball players but players who impose themselves in a game. That's the biggest think that's lacking in this Arsenal side, experience and winning mentality aside.
  25. May 19, 2011
    #25

    marjen Desperately wants to be like Noodle

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    I do agree with this post. It's not strange that keepers make howlers when they're continually exposed as badly as they are by their defence. I feel Arsenal play too high a defensive line at times, especially as their defenders positioning and reading of the game isn't top notch.
  26. May 19, 2011
    #26

    Inigo Montoya Full Member

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    No doubt that would be because he is quite articulate as Arsenal players go.
  27. May 19, 2011
    #27

    Donkey's Ears Full Member

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    He's obviously a very good coach but Pogue's comments re the wage structure are very true and the praise he gets for buying players cheaply should be offset by the knowledge that many of them are earning above market wages.

    But he made some pretty basic mistakes this season: beginning with Manuel as number one, then humiliating him by preferring an 18 year old and relegating him to 3rd choice, then having to bring him back, is shoddy management by anyone's standards. Having Song as your main defensive midfielder was obviously not going to be good enough.

    I think some clear pressure might do him some good and force him to get rid of some of the underpeforming players.

    And at the end of the day it has to be said that Fabregas was so so this season. Was it wise to force him to stay?
  28. May 19, 2011
    #28

    peterstorey Specialist In Failure

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    Well I would have bought the Portuguese keeper Eduardo but he went to Genoa and started poorly. I could never see the point of buying Schwarzer, who's no better than Almunia.
  29. May 19, 2011
    #29

    SteveJ all-round nice guy

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    Maybe Arsene's project/philosophy just isn't suited to the Premier League, which is as much about 'blood n' thunder' as it is about the beautiful game.
  30. May 19, 2011
    #30

    Inigo Montoya Full Member

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    Well he's won 3 before. I just think he's less pragmatic than he was when he had the Graham Defence
  31. May 19, 2011
    #31

    Dwazza Van Hernandez A Special Kind of Hipster

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    Yes, he's doing an excellent job. Needs to invest a little, perhaps rip the heart out and rebuild his team but he's not that far off getting it right.

    Anyway if finishing consistently in the CL positions and getting to the knock-out stages isn't considered a successful season there are 13 other teams I'd like to show you.
  32. May 19, 2011
    #32

    noodlehair "It's like..."

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    One thing I've always been interested in (as a hypothetical scenario), is what would happen if you put Wenger into Ferguson's job and Ferguson into Wenger's.

    Wenger at having the pressure of NEEDING to win trophies every year, but at a club where he can attract the better players easier...Or Fergie at a club where he has to manage things on a shoestring.

    I think Fergie would still win things, though not nearly as often as he has or would at United, while Wenger would also win things at United, but also less often than Fergie has or would.

    I've heard a few people saying Ferguson would have won the League with Arsenal's squad this season, but that's a nonsense. If Fergie was in charge at Arsenal, it wouldn't be anything like the same squad of players to start with.

    That for me is the difference. Wenger knows how to recognise and develop fantastic foootballers, Ferguson knows how to recognise and develop winners, and to an extent create them.

    I wouldn't say that means Wenger's doing a poor job. He's only stopped being succesful since Chelsea raised the bar and forced United to do likewise. There's a very short list of managers who would be able to do a better job in Wenger's shoes, and none who already know the club inside out as Wenger does
  33. May 19, 2011
    #33

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    That's an excellent point.

    The respective strengths in the transfer market is reflected in the teams they've built. Wenger has an eye for players with great technical ability as footballers, while Fergie might not target the most technically adept players but is second to none at judging the character and personality of any potential United player (although even he occasionally gets it wrong... cough... Tevez... cough... Heinze...)
  34. May 19, 2011
    #34

    TheHorse'sMouth Full Member

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    The way we try to play offside every time the opposition have the ball in the final third is just strange to say the least. It's smacks of not having much confidence in your ability to defend.
  35. May 19, 2011
    #35

    SATA Full Member

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    I frequent a forum with 90% of the posters in there wanted Wenger out at the end of this season citing they have had enough of his policy and stubborness. I sometimes am tempted to log in and say they are somewhat a bunch of clueless fools. Arsenal wouldn't be the club it is today without Wenger. Least that he has the belief, let him do what he wants and let him stick with it.
  36. May 19, 2011
    #36

    peterstorey Specialist In Failure

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    I used to do that regularly until they banned me.
  37. May 19, 2011
    #37

    B Cantona Desperate

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    I'm feeling all Wengered out at the moment. Seems to be open season on the poor bugger at the moment. I think he's done - and continues to do - a cracking job at Arsenal. They really weren't a million miles away from winning the league this season, the flaws aren't all that great to be honest. I think Arsenal fans berating him might be in for a shock when the next manager comes in, I think they're now punching above their weight
  38. May 19, 2011
    #38

    SATA Full Member

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    And you certainly deserves the same on here though
  39. May 19, 2011
    #39

    ALX8725 reyalP maeT htuoY

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    amen. There is not a single manager that can step into Wenger's place if the club were to get rid of Arsene.

    There really is no one better for Arsenal and their situation.
  40. May 19, 2011
    #40

    peterstorey Specialist In Failure

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    ... and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.
    I'm much more likely to flay a few Arsenal muppets than I am to slag off ManU muppets. After all I'm a guest here.

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