Wenger: the man, the mystery

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

  1. May 19, 2011
    #41

    SteveJ all-round nice guy

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    Interesting letter from Football365's Mailbox:


    Giving Up On Brand Arsenal

    Great letter re: giving up on Arsenal; I've been wondering why, but as a fellow Arsenal fan it strikes such a chord in me.

    I to am sad to report that after 25 years as a season ticket holder and nearly 40 as an active supporter I will not be renewing my season ticket.

    My club disappeared and remade a brand.

    My club would respond to my letters as to how as a season ticket holder, I could secure seats next to me for my friends, casually, who were not season ticket holders, about why on a rain-soaked day, my umbrella was confiscated, on the cost of away travel.

    The brand changed my club's badge, changed my club's stadium, keep changing my club's kit and colours and keep selling things to me at more and more ridiculous prices.

    It became an experiment for a project manager and stopped caring about me, my club and you know what? The Brand. No one cares about a brand. Notice in this weeks cup finals how players no longer care about their club shirt, their brand dictates that they now adopt their flags (of convenience) so they become the next individual brand in their country, a la Beckham.

    My club had local heroes, Charlie George, international sophisticates like Liam Brady and cult heroes like Willie Young. Whilst we all loved Robbie Pires, Thierry Henry and Paddy, they had a link to the club via Tony Adams, Lee Dixon et al, there is no link now that Andrei Arshavin or Abou Diaby understand, they rock up do a job, get paid all that money, our money, go home and await the next contract. Its why no one wants to stay for the lap of honour now, if you get paid all that money for doing a job and you don't do it, we are not going to clap for you.

    I realised my club had gone. It's now about supporting a brand. I don't want to do that.

    The Brand writes to me telling me I need to pay it more money, but not telling me where it goes or why it needs so much more, just that we need to pay our failing employees more money to stay competitive, why? they failed! What strategy is in place to ensure they do not fail again? What is going to change? So they care what I think? NO!

    All clubs are now at a tipping point, where, like my beloved gunners they are a brand. A brand that cares nothing about you and one day that brand will die when it has alienated all its supporters and belatedly recognises that we were all attached to the club and no one loves The Brand.

    I shed a tear for my history, my destiny, my team, my club & for football.
  2. May 19, 2011
    #42

    Stack Leave Pep Guardiola alone!!!

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    Why?
  3. May 19, 2011
    #43

    mufcwarm92 Full Member

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    In his first few years at Arsenal I thought the guy was a genius. He inherited a decent team, but one that hadn't won the title for 5 years, made some very astute signings and took the title from a brilliant United side in 98. He then made some more brilliant signings and assembled two more excellent sides to lift the titles of 02 and 04, turning what looked like fairly run-of-the-mill players in Vieira and Henry into absolute world beaters.

    7 years on from that title triumph, I think we've seen the best and worst of Arsene Wenger. He has a wonderful style of football when it comes off, he has the eye for a great transfer deal and has produced some of the best sides in recent history. But he is infuriatingly stubborn, he refuses to spend big when it is clearly needed and he has too much faith in players that consistently let him down. Loyalty is a real trait in football but knowing when enough is enough is just as important.

    Despite Wenger's unique talents, he's not invincible and the above weaknesses are likely to be the end of him, sooner rather than later.
  4. May 19, 2011
    #44

    RedThaiDevils#7 Full Member

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    Le'Arse's problems are so easy to define...

    When was the last time you had a world class Striker/Fwd ? ( Henry )

    When was the last time you had a decent back four ? ( Cashley,Soul,Toure,Lauren )

    Bayor was good, too bad he was cnut...

    The likes of Bentner/Chamak isn't top quality imo... RVP plays a lot better in the hole... and Fabregas needs more of the ball.

    I don't get Arsene'... Its so easy to say he's doing a crappy job when all he needs is to invest on a striker who will actually get you goals... Rather than trying another Chamak.
  5. May 19, 2011
    #45

    amolbhatia100 Barbiturates ain't got nothin' on me

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    He's a fine manager but I think he's costing you big time at the moment. By that I mean that he's done a great job in getting you to the position that you are, which is being a quality football team which plays a nice brand of football that encourages young talent. In addition Arsenal as a brand as grown over the years and he's given your club a much bigger appeal for fans and players alike.

    But at the same time his failings, having attained that position, are all his own doing. While he's clearly quite superb at finding good young talent and getting them on the cheap he seemingly struggles with 'getting the job done'. I think he doesn't have as much a winners mentality as Fergie or to a lesser extent Mourinho do, and it shows in his players. He doesn't seem to be very astute in defensive organization and his teams, especially in recent times, often lack a certain fight that is usually existent in champions.

    The way we came out the other day against Chelsea almost 'posessed' to grab that title by the scruff of it's neck and bring it back home is something very Fergie. You could almost see his personality shining through the players. And Fergie himself recently said that THE most important part of a manager is his personality.

    As for sticking with him, well given all he's done for you and where he's taken your club, despite the failings in making it count for more in the last 7 years, I would give him more time. I think for that alone he deserves some extra patience. But I don't agree at all with the people who claim there are no failings and that his hands are tired. No. Arsenal have had a very good football team this last decade and felt short often for all the wrong reasons almost completely his own doing. And I'm sure he'd own up to that as well.
  6. May 20, 2011
    #46

    Jopub From Barca to Orient - back down to earth with a b

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    "Thomas..It's up for grabs now - Thomas, righ
    I would'nt stick it out, especially now we know him. There's no mystery any more mate!

    The only cub to have 'stuck it out' are Utd with Ferguson's first 7 years but frankly there's no way they'd stick it out fo that length of time now .

    Only Arsenal

    Thing is back ten years ago we only saw half the man. It takes time to get to really know a person (in so much as one can get to know a public figure you actually never meet)

    Its been obvious to me since 2002/3 but only apparent to some right now that Wenger inherited a great defence and just had to make sure their fitness remained as long as possible, which to his credit it did. WIth that defence and his brilliant acquisition of Petit Vieira and Henry. Bergkamp 'jigsawed' the team into title winners. He then added Campbell (god knows how!).

    At around 2002 he began the 'talk' "we started to hear "power shift" and other such bollocks and I even then had misgivings. For the first time we were on the front foot and had got the better of Ferguson and Utd. Wenger then started talking up and something just told you there could only be one outcome.

    It was an interesting time and in a sense I feel for Wenger. His frst major fk up in 02/3 letting Upson go in January when we badly needed a fit centre back to see the season through whilst Campbell and Keown got injured was telling. We were 5 points clear in March but struggling for fitness at the back and it eventually lost us that title. Then the unbeaten run really had him screaming from the rooftops.

    Poor Arsene - 2003/4 title - unbeaten and he expected Ferguson to retire and Henry et al to grab a couple more titles. But Chelsea ended all that - overnight. It had a twofold effect. It gave Chelsea under Mourinho a huge wad of cash to get big players and galvanised Ferguson at Utd . Wenger sat and watched and hoped our players could raise the bar. They didnt
    What they did was to collapse after losing the unbeaten run at Old Trafford.

    That game for me set a precedent for Wenger and Arsenal. It was unfair, it was unjust, but fk it it had to end somewhere simply get on with it all. But it set the fashion for us going great then one huge defeat that seems to mentally fragment the whole club with Wenger looking for every excuse under the sun and the players likewise. To this day it's how they react to every big mental challenge that they lose. There's nothing wrong with losing a game but how you react for me separates the great from the good.

    This told me more about him than anything and as that defence went over the hill they did'nt get replaced because he did'nt know how. Defensive buys through that early period are telling Stepanovs, Cygan barely Championship standard, Luzhny.

    As Seaman faded with age we had Stuart Taylor who deputised well for Seaman when called upon but surprise ! Wenger let him go and in came a few replacements Richard Wright Rami Shaban and eventually Lehman with Almunia following behind. Apart from Lehman's couple of good seasons they've all to a man been shite with Almunia about the worst goalie to have kept in Premiership history (btw much worse than Shwarzer)

    At one point we were in for Rio whilst he was still at WHam and Leeds but Wenger would'nt go the full hog...mmm

    For me Wenger already showed that defensively he's been clueless 7 years ago. I note comically some are now seeing this as something rather new !!
    Chelsea bought and Mourihnio proved to be a brilliant aggressive manager and Ferguson as opposed to retiring after a poor couple of seasons with the Djemba and Kleberson years ! suddenly pulled out his finger and rose to the challenge buying well and on pure will alone got on parity with Chelsea as Wenger stood buy wondering why it was all so unfair 'we at Arsenal were meant to be running things not these cash rich giants who I thought I'd just trampled on' and that frankly is where he still is.

    As a person he's stuck 'it's not right, we try to do it on the cheap ' and they keep beating us' . Trouble is once Vieira, Henry and Bergkamp were gone any vestiges of a winning mentallity were out of the window because Wenger thinks somehow he's 'entitled' to these things.

    It's been obvious for years that the 'victim' vibe that is Wenger must go to the players as well and unless he has a lobotomy will never leave him, hence the lack of bottle when things don't go his way

    Actually I'm quite cross that many Arsenal fans are wanting him gone now - its 5 years too late and he's been kept on by myopic fans and club that think if you win a title ten years ago you're bound to win another one and that things will always be like this. They are'nt.

    Wenger's the same but the rest of the game has moved on and left him whining like a baby.

    There is no Arsene Wenger mystery. He's always been like this but whilst he was winning it got subdued under the 'professorial' image

    Frankly although great in some aspects he got very very lucky with what he took over at Arsenal especially defensively. He does have a great eye for young creative attacking talent and nurtures kids through to the first team brilliantly - but outside of that once left to his own devices defensively he's been a shambles and that is nothing to do with money - nothing at all. He's made his own decisions regardless of money that have defensively brought us to our knees in the last 5 years

    and uniquely he's still got a job ...................and fknows how
  7. May 20, 2011
    #47

    peterstorey Specialist In Failure

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    ... and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.
    This is the bit you always like to skate over since it doesn't suit your version of events. Wenger built a back five of Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Campbell & Cole for less than £10M and they went a season in the league unbeaten.
  8. May 20, 2011
    #48

    Red Dreams Full Member

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    What they did was to collapse after losing the unbeaten run at Old Trafford.

    That game for me set a precedent for Wenger and Arsenal. It was unfair, it was unjust, but fk it it had to end somewhere simply get on with it all. But it set the fashion for us going great then one huge defeat that seems to mentally fragment the whole club with Wenger looking for every excuse under the sun and the players likewise.To this day it's how they react to every big mental challenge that they lose. There's nothing wrong with losing a game but how you react for me separates the great from the good.


    that sums up Wenger and Arsenal's mentality currently.

    I cannot see how he actually believes he can overcome the other major teams.
  9. May 20, 2011
    #49

    peterstorey Specialist In Failure

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    ... and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.
    When we beat you quite comfortably as we did a few weeks back it's very easy to see.
  10. May 20, 2011
    #50

    Red Dreams Full Member

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    :lol:

    oh dear....
  11. May 20, 2011
    #51

    Jopub From Barca to Orient - back down to earth with a b

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    "Thomas..It's up for grabs now - Thomas, righ
    "built"

    Jesus, when you build something you erect it so it stays there, or so I thought.

    How long did that 'build' last then? Lehman was never a great keeper - in fact the season before he was getting untold stick for being crap. Lauren was a midfielder. Trouble is we now compare anybody to Almunia ad therefor he's "great"

    They admittedly were excellent for that season but that was it. Campbell lasted months and another 'great' Senderos climbed aboard the 'Wenger the Builder' train

    Pete, all joking and bitching aside can you not see how the man is completely defensively bereft.?

    Do you actually think Wenger knows about defenders ?
  12. May 20, 2011
    #52

    Brwned Have you ever been in love before?

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    You think this in spite of his 51 goals (and 39 assists) in 78 starts goals since his move up top?
  13. May 20, 2011
    #53

    peterstorey Specialist In Failure

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    ... and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.
    He bought Sagna, he should still have Cole if the management hadn't fecked up, Vermaelen was a class addition, Gallas was a good piece of damage limitation. He fecked up over Almunia but keepers are tough calls, Ferguson fecked up post-Schmeichel and may do again in the summer.
  14. May 20, 2011
    #54

    Laphroaig Full Member

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    Nine teams bettered or equalled your number of conceded goals the five seasons after that, so it's not such a spectacular record, especially considering that was probably the weakest the league has been for the last ten years or so.
    Brilliant argument, that. Ferguson might make a poor buy. Yeah.
  15. May 20, 2011
    #55

    peterstorey Specialist In Failure

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    ... and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.
    Spotter's badge for that man (we'll ignore the fact that Chelsea played with a 5-man defence and still managed to lose). And it's 'number' of goals not 'amount' since they're counted not weighed.
  16. May 20, 2011
    #56

    Laphroaig Full Member

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    Well spotted. Edited. A+.
  17. May 20, 2011
    #57

    peterstorey Specialist In Failure

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    ... and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.
    Barthez, Tiabi, Carroll, Howard, Kuszczak, Foster?
  18. May 20, 2011
    #58

    Laphroaig Full Member

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    And few "top four" teams have let in as many goals as the great defense that Wenger built conceded the season after their "unbeaten" season...

    I know you're not used to your manager learning from his mistakes, but United fans are. I trust SAF, and I suspect that you too think he won't feck this one up.
  19. May 20, 2011
    #59

    Scoreboard Red Banned

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    Some of these weren't bad buys, they just didn't live up to the expectations Schmeichel had set in place.

    It's clear to me Arsenal need a good goalkeeper, a good centre-back and a proven striker, not one from Croatia or France who have ability but can't match that with effectiveness.
  20. May 20, 2011
    #60

    peterstorey Specialist In Failure

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    ... and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.
    We've got a good keeper, your guy is retiring. RvP is the most effective striker on the planet. Vermaelen will be fit next year.
  21. May 20, 2011
    #61

    Laphroaig Full Member

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    That's why he didn't say "two" good centre backs. One isn't enough, I'm afraid.

    I agree about lil' PIG. It's a gamble to go into a new season with him as first choice, but a gamble I think might be worth taking. He looks like a great prospect. You've got a lot of other issues, though.
  22. May 20, 2011
    #62

    December_16 Full Member

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    Good luck with the quadruple next year ;)
  23. May 20, 2011
    #63

    peterstorey Specialist In Failure

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    ... and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.
    Djourou, Vermaelen, Koscielny + one is fine. We'll see how good your back 4 looks with Kuszscak behind them.
  24. May 20, 2011
    #64

    Scoreboard Red Banned

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    RVP is a top quality striker; so what do you do when he's injured, which seems to be a fair bit?

    At one point you had Alan Smith and Ian Wright, Denis Bergkamp and Nicolas Anelka, Thierry Henry and Denis Bergkamp.

    The defence is a far way off having a Tony Adams, a Martin Keown or even a Toure.

    And sorry fella, but you don't have a good goalie, you don't one bit...
  25. May 20, 2011
    #65

    Laphroaig Full Member

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    What? No, we won't, he's off.

    They're fine, yeah, but compared to our selection of centre backs yours a bit shit.
  26. May 20, 2011
    #66

    Red Dreams Full Member

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    'next year'


    :lol:

    think we have heard that before...
  27. May 20, 2011
    #67

    Scoreboard Red Banned

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    Wenger is stubborn; he refuses to purchase talent instead preferring to live up to his own hype of finding and developing cheap gems such as Anelka, Fabregas etc when in reality, it was players like Bergkamp, Overmars and certainly Henry who contributed most to Arsenal and all were expensive signings...
  28. May 20, 2011
    #68

    TheHorse'sMouth Full Member

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    Interesting point you make here Peter. I've thought the same thing for a long time..hindsight is a wonderful thing, but the reality of the situation is bar one season, Clichy hasn't been anywhere near Cole. People say Cole's become a better defender since moving to Chelsea, however his role in his final season for us when we reached the CL final was vital from a defensive point of view. He was rock solid that season, and in fairness we should have done a lot more to keep him.
  29. May 20, 2011
    #69

    Carl has permanently erect nipples

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    I think it was me that said that and whilst I still agree with it I also think it's now time for a change for the good of the club. Arsenal are going stale under Wenger and if I was a fan I'd be concerned at the way his side has finished the last few years.

    Also, the negative parts of Wenger's attitude (sore loser, bit of a wimp etc) seems to filter through to the players and younger players and that would be a concern for me also.
  30. May 20, 2011
    #70

    Pogue Mahone Poster of the year 2008

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    You know what, pete, your inability to discuss Arsenal without trying to make little digs about alleged failings in United squad is really tiresome and does you no favours. First of all, it's just a little childish ("I know I am but what are you") but the main reason it rings hollow is the complete and utter domination United have had over you for the last five years. Sure that might change, one day, but meanwhile the very obvious failings in Arsenal's squad are all the more obvious in comparison.
  31. May 20, 2011
    #71

    The Hairdryer Crikey that stung

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    I think he's been a victim of his own arrogance. The way he used a shun Ferguson after games was laughable. I don't whether he though he was superior to him or just British Football in general, but either way he missed a real opportunity to learn something from him, the way Ferguson had regulary sought advice, had long conversations with, and learnt from people such as Busby, Stein, Shankley and Clough when he was a younger manager,

    Ferguson openly states he still feels humbled when compared to these greats. This despite surpassing all their achievements. Arsene most certainly thinks his knowledge and experience is superior to all and everyone else and it has cuminated in his demise.

    Look at how cool and collective he was when he first stated. He had the same expression whether Arsenal were 5-0 up or 3-0 down. Now he's an "alternate reality" parody of his former self.

    He will still however be remembered as the best foriegn manager to Grace these shores.
  32. May 20, 2011
    #72

    Scoreboard Red Banned

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    As I say, he's fooled himself into believing his own hype, that he builds these great Arsenal sides from unknown sources when in reality, 90% of their success came from Henry, Bergkamp, Overmars, Pires etc who were expensive purchases who brought their experience and talent at a cost, the fact that he has brought Vieira, Anelka and Fabregas through from the unknown or mega cheap tends to define him when it shouldn't.

    Ferguson has adapted over 25 years at United, he's still learning and will admit his mistakes (of which have been minimal), Wenger hasn't adapted and instead likes to play victim instead of evolve his team to the developing surroundings...
  33. May 20, 2011
    #73

    Aaron Banned

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    People keep going on about how close Arsenal ran the title this year and that this, somehow, is evidence of how they don't have very far to go in order to challenge.

    It's possible, if not likely, they'll finish 4th this year. And with less points than the last time they finished in this position under Wenger. They've never finished lower under him. Besides which, aside from mathematical possibility, their title changes were effectively over in mid April when they couldn't stop drawing games they would have expected to win.

    With United due to delve into the market, City and Chelsea due to spend and Liverpool, god help us, possibly looking resurgent for next year, it is difficult to see just how 'close' Arsenal are or will be next year. Especially if Wenger continues to refuse to spend.

    And I don't believe there is no money for him to spend at all. A club with the turnover of Arsenal's and who pays the wages they do, isn't short of a bob or two. It is absolute pure ego from Wenger because for him winning praise for being successful with a thriftily assembled squad is absolutely paramount. If that means Arsenal fans have to pay £1,000 for the cheapest season ticket for a side that will not trouble first position for the next three, five or ten years - then so be it.

    If you offered Wenger the chance of winning the title after spending some cash or 4th position for the next six years whilst spending nothing, he'd choose the second option, every time, I'd bet.

    He is obsessed with his own hype. Getting kudos for doing things on the cheap, I genuinely think, means more to him that the success of the football club. Of course if Arsenal happen to be successful as well, great. But as long as he's being told what a wonderful manager he is for playing 'his way' and for signing unknown players and not spending tens of millions on 'superstar' names, he's happy and content.
  34. May 20, 2011
    #74

    Jopub From Barca to Orient - back down to earth with a b

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    "Thomas..It's up for grabs now - Thomas, righ
    But there you have it - the whole Wenger psyche. Comes in with, granted, refreshing novel training methods, invigorates an already great but aging defence adds midfield and attacking flair, wins titles cups.

    Thinks "that's it - now I'll rule English football"

    Does not for a second take in the fact that Ferguson far from retiring will feel he can't untill Utd are at least fighting back and the curve ball - Abramovich/Chelsea - completely throws him off his stool.

    If he were Ferguson he'd see what needs to be done and get on with but he did'nt - he moaned and whined, complaining about how, having got to the summit of the english game everybody should now lay down and accept the 'Arsenal Rule'

    Why the fk should they?

    It is an old adage but the "its far harder to stay at the top than get there" is never more relevant than where Wenger is concerned because the moment other clubs showed they were up for the fight since 2004/5 he's collapsed under a lack of personal and general courage to the point where he's a bit pathetic tbh.

    His last couple of interviews have had me genuinely worried for him so 'broken' has he showed himself to be

    Again it may sound dramatic but from what I can see even for his own health I think he should move along.

    Although I do complain about him he has brought fantastic things to our club but has simply lost his way, not dealt with moving times / challenges and even if he does go would still be fondly remembered for what he gave us in the beginning. Knowing him though sadly he'll go on and have to eventually leave in embarrassment and will have his early career at Arsenal tarnished by the rubbish of the last 5/6 years which will become ten years of rubbish by the time he goes
  35. May 20, 2011
    #75

    peterstorey Specialist In Failure

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    ... and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.
    It was always clearly a feck-up losing Cole for a poxy £5K a week after you've agreed it.
  36. May 20, 2011
    #76

    towcester_red Full Member

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    :lol: classic.
  37. May 20, 2011
    #77

    peterstorey Specialist In Failure

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    ... and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.
    :lol: That's fecking rich when you come out with the masterful 'we won the league' close to an argument.
  38. May 20, 2011
    #78

    Galactic Incorrigible pest

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    The thing about Wenger is, he wants to win the title only with his own principle (little money, kids and all that) and no other ways. It's somewhat rather selfish. He should be a bit more flexible in his approach especially if it's not working as well as it should. The success of the club should be more important than whatever he thinks.
  39. May 20, 2011
    #79

    Hectic Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    71,206
    :lol:

    How did you work that one out? He struggles to play 30 games a season. He averages just over 20 games in a league.
  40. May 20, 2011
    #80

    Skywarden Full Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,277
    I'd say he's done ok with the current squad. The players inability to close games could perhaps - or rather should have been - dealt with last season. If he had not been so stubborn and naive, I'd say he would have done a better job tactically.

    He's still a big whiny, gimp though. I'd love if he continues the tradition of throwing bottles left to right!

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