Top six managers head-to-head away record

This is the record for all the top six managers head-to-head in away games: all away matches, all competitions, all leagues.

(Source: transfermarkt.com)

Pochettino has the lowest total because he lost to Mourinho and Conte in every away match he’s ever played. This includes his time in Spain when his Espanyol team faced Mourinho’s Real Madrid. Perhaps that’s a bit unfair, but this is his record.

Wenger’s record is simply not good. But he does average a point per game in away matches against Pochettino. So, perhaps a draw is in order this weekend.

Conte’s record has the fewest matches overall because he has mostly managed in Italy and has only played against these other managers since moving to England. One away win would move him above Jose.

Mourinho’s record is pretty much exactly what he plays for: a single point against top managers away. He does very well against Arsene Wenger and Pochettino – the latter mostly during his time at Espanyol. Wenger, of course, fielded a team put together with literally no money because Arsenal are a poor club, probably the poorest club in England.

Klopp’s record was a bit of a surprise because his team is struggling in away matches this season. But he got some good results with Dortmund away to Bayern and beat Conte at Chelsea. Klopp’s record is especially good because he spent the absolute least on transfers. Ok, he spent less than Wenger who has spent £224m on transfers over the last four years.

Guardiola’s record is exemplary. He is especially good at taking points off Jose Mourinho – whose teams play exactly how he wants teams to play, like a turtle. His record against the “Special Once” includes the Spanish league where Guardiola’s Barcelona faced Mourinho’s Real Madrid. Pep has taken the fewest points off Arsene Wenger in away games. Pep Guardiola is also the only manager to ever spend money in the history of the game and he bought all of the trophies he ever won, personally going to the local trophy shop to buy them. It’s not at all because he’s a good manager.

This is the record. Does the lack of spending and the positive results make Klopp the best manager in the history of football? Is this post full of aggravating hyperbole? Am I doing that thing where I ask questions I already know the answer to?

Qq

46 comments

  1. “Wenger, of course, fielded a team put together with literally no money because Arsenal are a poor club, probably the poorest club in England”
    Hahahha.. seriously LOLL
    Very good. You never disappoint

  2. A new thread but the exchange between Tim and PFO from the previous one gave me an impulse to go back and check transfer spending for the current top five from the Wenger hire in 1996 , to the arrival of oil money in 2004.

    I excluded Man City since they were not a factor in the league until years later.

    From 1996-97 to 203-04 season there were only two PL title winners so claiming the league wasn’t a two horse race is simply false.
    United won it five times, Arsenal three.

    As for transfer spending and Tim’s claim that Wenger spent top dollar to get Arsenal to the top of the league- that’s more questionable.

    Between 1996 and 2004 Arsenal’s net spend was around £66m
    Liverpool ‘s -£100m
    Tottenham ‘s – 106m
    Man U’s – £136m
    Chelsea ‘s – £243m , interestingly this was the first year Chelsea spend big
    ( £150m net) and until that point they were on par with others , more or less.

    I don’t think it can be argued Wenger’s brilliance wasn’t the main factor in his earlier achievements.
    It could be argued, however , that either he’s past it a bit , or that new and more talented managers have taken over which might explain the last two seasons.

      1. Maybe I’m just dense, but I don’t see how that spreadsheet, particularly as it only goes back to 2002, supports the claim that Arsenal were successful in that era (1996-2004), because, along with Man United, they outspent everyone else.

        Also, your original contention was, “Arsenal were also one of just two teams in the Premier League who spent top dollar to buy players at that time,” which suggests to me you were talking primarily about transfers (“buying players”). This was primarily what I was responding to, though I also rather doubt that Arsenal’s wage bill in those years was way bigger than e.g. Newcastle’s or Liverpool’s.

        1. As I recall the financials of the time, I think as late as 2001, Arsenal’s entire turnover was less than ManU’s commercial turnover (I THINK it was some 44m) Liverpool, Spurs, and Newcastle all had slightly higher turnovers (either then or in 99, I can’t remember) and Everton weren’t far behind.

          I completely agree that it wasn’t a two horse race. If anything, it should have been a one-horse race, but at the time Liverpool, Newcastle, Chelsea, Leeds, all presented a challenge.

          However, I think it is true that Arsenal were spending big(gish) money on salaries. The difference is that they knew who to spend it on and who not to. I also think they played hardball with players like Bergkamp (one year rolling contracts) because they knew they paid relatively well, knew they had a great team, and also knew that they’ll have to pay the likes of Vieira and Henry the big bucks and to get Campbell to move on a free.

          I also think Arsenal got the wage distribution right in the project youth era. It led to a lot of angst because it prevented us from getting some star players but I really think that was the right (and maybe the only) way to go.

          Going a step up in spending, and after years of CL bonus payments etc, I expected some inefficiency to creep in to the spend. There were also legacy issues in pay. But I think we’re finally starting to stabilise again, and I think that is part of the reason the club won’t pay Ozil and Alexis’ demands. Maybe we’ll lose them on a free, though probably not (at least Alexis) and that is inefficient. But on the flip side we’ve added Kolasinac on a free and there’s some talk of Goretzka on a free too. So, I don’t know, maybe it’s the market and football considerations that breed or demand a certain inefficiency, but I’m not as down on our handling of club affairs as many of our fans are.

    1. Wenger’s brilliance is never in question: I said in the article that he was an innovator and that he was able to exploit the markets.

      1. No conceding? No “Thanks, Tom, I did not realize Arsenal had spent so little back then. That increases Wenger’s credit indeed.”? That would have been nice!

    2. “From 1996-97 to 203-04 season there were only two PL title winners so claiming the league wasn’t a two horse race is simply false.
      United won it five times, Arsenal three.”

      Um, I think you and I have different definitions of what constitutes a “two horse race” (I would have thought it was obvious that I didn’t mean what you mean). Of course I was aware who won the league in those years. The point was that it wasn’t a Celtic-Rangers situation, or a Madrid-Barca situation, not even close. Teams like Liverpool, Newcastle, Chelsea, Villa, and Leeds pushed Arsenal and United hard some of those years, though clearly Arsenal and United were head and shoulders above the rest (which I never denied–I just think it was largely down to the brilliance of their managers that the gap between them, and, e.g., Liverpool was as big as it was).

      1. “Um, I think you and I have different definitions of what constitutes a “two horse race” (I would have thought it was obvious that I didn’t mean what you mean). Of course I was aware who won the league in those years. The point was that it wasn’t a Celtic-Rangers situation, or a Madrid-Barca situation, not even close”

        La liga winners from 1996-97 to 2003-04 season:
        Real,Barca,Barca,Deportivo, Real,Valencia,Real,Valencia

        So apparently two clubs ( United , Arsenal) splitting the league spoils between themselves eight seasons running is not a two horse race, but four clubs doing the same in another league is?

        You are absolutely correct, PFO, your idea of a “two horse race” is defenetly different from mine .
        It apparently includes four horses 🙂

        1. And if you include the 1995-96 season to that list , United did it in the PL while Atletico were the winners in Spain, which would make it a five horse, two horse race.

          And may I add that some of those years Barca and, or Real didn’t even make the top three, which would make the “two horse race “description of what happened in la liga in that particular time period even more bizarre .

          1. Did PFo say it was for that time period? He simply stated that the situation in England, despite who the eventual league winners were, was not the foregone conclusion like the situations we have seen with the two Glasgow clubs in Scotland and with Barca and Real in Spain.

            This is only from how I recall those times, but apart from a year or so, maybe around 2003, I think he’s right. And then Chelsea happened.

          2. “Did PFo say it was for that time period? He simply stated that the situation in England, despite who the eventual league winners were, was not the foregone conclusion like the situations we have seen with the two Glasgow clubs in Scotland and with Barca and Real in Spain.”

            So now e get to pick and choose the time period that suits the argument best? Brilliant!
            I should’ve known 🙂

        2. Between the 1995-96 and 2003-04 season Man U and Arsenal dominated the PL for nine consecutive seasons, which is on par with the longest streak of Barca/ Real dominance in La Liga , which stands at eleven I believe.

          My Scottish friends may forgive my omission of their Micky mousse league since no one outside of Scotland cares about it.

          You can go virtually through every European, or South American League and find a period where one , or two clubs dominated their domestic leagues , and call it whatever tickles your fancy.

          Wenger apologists have been doing it for ever now.

          “Dortmund don’t deserve any credit for winning because Bundesliga has been a two horse race and even a powerhouse like Bayern needs to retool every now and again”
          Or,
          “Bayern don’t get any credit because Bundesliga is a one horse race”

          To each their own I suppose.

          1. So now e get to pick and choose the time period that suits the argument best?

            Time period was never part of his argument. You introduced it to suit your argument.

            His argument was not the period in question, it was ABOUT the period in question. The argument was that it was not a league that was predestined to have one of two winners (like examples given). YOU decided to compare it to the leagues of that era and YOU based it on who eventually won. Two things which are your unilateral criteria of deciding the argument and which we (if I might take the liberty of speaking for PFo right now) don’t agree with.

            You seem to think that means our arguments are made in bad faith, but can’t seem to see how that applies to you. Of course, you go a step further and also decide to add your judgment of what any dissenter’s motivation is for their arguments, and put up two straw men arguments as your own illustration. Well done. You ‘win’ simply because you decide to keep changing the thing under discussion and discredit the people saying anything else to what you think you have conclusively proven.

          2. “Maybe I’m just dense, but I don’t see how that spreadsheet, particularly as it only goes back to 2002, supports the claim that Arsenal were successful in that era (1996-2004), because, along with Man United, they outspent everyone else.”

            Perhaps my eyes are playing tricks on me but it seems the period in question is being mentioned byPFO specifically, and he even disputes the validity of Tim’s argument based on a fact that his spread sheet didn’t go back far enough, presumably to 1996-97 season.

            In any case , I’m done I think.
            No sense beating a dead horse 🙂

          3. And lastly, clearly I’m not smart enough to argue semantics with you.
            That much is clear.
            I would have to enlist services of someone like Bunburyist, but I doubt he’d be interested in taking the job 🙂

          4. I can’t decide if you’re just being difficult or genuinely can’t see what you’re doing even when it is spelt out for you? I suspect it’s the former, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

            Here’s what PFO said about the two horse race:

            “Of course I was aware who won the league in those years. The point was that it wasn’t a Celtic-Rangers situation, or a Madrid-Barca situation, not even close. Teams like Liverpool, Newcastle, Chelsea, Villa, and Leeds pushed Arsenal and United hard some of those years, though clearly Arsenal and United were head and shoulders above the rest.”

            Read that bit again. What does it tell you? That he clearly knows who won the league (and hence doesn’t consider it the deciding criteria). He feels that to call it a two-horse race is wrong and he tried to explain why by giving examples of Scotland and Spain that he DOES consider as two horse races.

            Nowhere does he say it is the situation in Scotland and Spain at the contemporary time. Because that is not under debate. Only whether it was a two horse race or not, and what the definition or understanding of that term might be.

            Do you even reading comprehension bro?

        3. I was talking about the La Liga race in the last decade or so (obviously Athletico then jumped into the party in the last few years, but everyone acknowledged that was an amazing achievement, precisely because everyone considered it a two horse race). Not in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I was perfectly aware of the winners of La Liga in that era.

          1. Lol, thanks for having my back, Shard. I was busy all day and so didn’t see this fun exchange until now.

            Tom, sorry to be confusing.

            I was, of course, talking about the late 90’s and 2000’s concerning United and Arsenal.
            However, in alluding to Scotland and Spain, I wasn’t talking about that era per se, just referencing leagues that are well known to be or have been two horse races in the recent past (Spain in the past 15 years, give or take; Scotland for like forever, though obviously in the last few years Rangers have had all their financial troubles).

            Hope that clears it up.

    3. “It could be argued, however , that either he’s past it a bit , or that new and more talented managers have taken over which might explain the last two seasons.”

      This seems right to me, though maybe there’s a hybrid of the two options that’s most accurate: innovations in the game have meant that younger managers are better than Wenger in 2017, not that they are necessarily more talented overall, or that he’s lost what made him a great manager (and still makes him a good manager, overall) in the first place.

    4. Let’s be honest too – Wenger inherited a lot of players that he’s credited for but he didn’t actually purchase; Bergkamp, Vieira were both brought in before he came on board (I know, I know… Wenger reportedly engineered the transfer ahead of time). Adams, Keown et al were already in camp. Sol Campbell when he came was a free transfer. And he frankly got a discount on French players – Pires had a higher transfer offer from Juve and Real if I remember. Overmars was sold the same summer for a record steal along with Petit which would have dramatically reduced the net spend.

      I think we look back on the first 7-8 years with too much reverence for Wenger’s talent acquisition – it was very good, but was it exceptional? The austerity years were his best recruitment years.

  3. How do you actually say hyperbole? I’ve only ever seen it written down.

    Yeah this is one aspect of being a gooner that has got much less fun in recent years. Beating the big teams, those are the games you remember.

      1. I took that to be a serious question, though maybe Greg was being cleverly ironic in a way that went over my head…

        1. No it was a genuine question, my irony is mostly stupid.

          At work in a booze shop one night a regular customer made a nasty sexist joke, and instead of pretending to find it funny my mate just said “sorry, that went completely under my head”. I’ve used that line ever since.

        2. I once thought “epitome” and “epitamy” were two different words. I think it’s a reasonable question.

  4. “Wenger, of course, fielded a team put together with literally no money because Arsenal are a poor club, probably the poorest club in England.”

    I think this constant insinuation that Wenger, along with Fergie, bought the league back in the 2-horse days, got to stop.

    Arsenal wasn’t richer than Chelsea or Liverpool back then and was far poorer than United. But Wenger clawed us up to where we are now where we as fans demand to be “Bayern”.

    Same with Fergie. He could buy the domestic league but there was no way anyone can accuse him of buying the Champions League. Back then the Serie A and La Liga leaders easily outspend both Arsenal and United.

    It is different for Chelsea, City and PSG. The gulf between them and the rest versus say Blackburn and Arsenal are light years apart.

    I don’t blame them for what they do, but their spending does distort the market which is a reality. PSG’s spending reflects Qatar’s need to stamp their footprint on the world especially during a time of distress. They don’t buy Neymar with the ultimate objective of winning football matches. Winning matches is a by-product of buying Neymar. But if you are facing a Saudi blockade with a World Cup to market in the future, what else are you going to do?

    1. He literally bought Anelka, Henry, Vieira, Pires and Ljungberg though,who were unknown, undervalued and/or underapreciated. And again, Chelsea and City are not being run at a loss, both clubs are self-sufficient.

      1. I’m self sufficient when my dad clears all my debts and gives me a raise in allowance too. I mean I even sell my ‘art’ and make a few bucks. Yeah, I’m a great businessman.

        1. Yeah, it might not be a big achievement, but it’s the reality of things. It’s duly acknowledged, but what now? Whinging about it like there was a way back won’t get us anywhere. And both clubs are better run commercially now. I’d give a lot if our scouting system was as good as Chelsea’s. If you’re asking if I like it, no, I don’t. I despise both clubs, but there’s a tendency of Arsenal fans to get all sanctimonious and self-righteous about it.
          Tim is right citing Tottenham and how they have overcome us. How must have they felt about Arsenal before? How do you think Bundesliga clubs feel about the english money, from that perspective there’s only a gradual difference between Chelsea, City and Arsenal.
          we definately have a lot of potential and there’s always a way back. Atletico Madrid were a basket case club, on of the worst run in Europe and on a straight way to bankruptcy. Simeone tranformed them and ook where they are now. Same goes for Borussia Dortmund.

          1. There’s a lot of space between being righteous and self flagellating. I’m not defeatist about this. It just bothers me far less than it bothers you because, shock horror, I can accept that Arsenal’s model isn’t the most likely to win. That I happen to like that model probably helps me accept it but so what? I’d like us to win, I’d like us to identify and exploit weaknesses in the market that might exist. Even doing that will need a change of mindset from a lot of the fanbase. Like I don’t know, selling players to domestic clubs being accepted as a smart decision. Or losing players on a free to domestic rivals, Like Dortmund lost to Bayern.
            What I don’t like is the oft propounded idea that Arsenal are only sitting on their laurels, or running around clueless, while look how everyone else has done a splendid job. If you’d like to believe Atletico’s turnaround in how they are run is only down to Simeone then ok. I disagree. I don’t really know the case, but you’d have to prove to me how a manager turned around something that really isn’t his remit.

            Bundesliga clubs is an interesting question. They’ve made it clear how they feel. They supported FFP. They know they can’t compete financially for the best players, but all of Europe makes England pay a premium for buying their players, and they know English players will largely transfer only amongst themselves. The Germans (and increasingly the French) also know they have the advantage in producing talent in the country and that they can benefit from that (while it lasts) and in the meantime, their league is working hard to fill the space that the EPL can no longer inhabit because of their financial construct and the out of control hype machine.

            Arsenal’s options are fairly limited. Except identifying and procuring youngsters from abroad. Creating their own talent. And using their financial ability to get the right player (and hope that a richer club doesn’t lure them instead) Whether Arsenal have always done this is not the question. No one has and no one can be perfect. It has also partly been an issue of identity. We had to try to be the club that bought superstars. It just turns out that, despite what Tim says, that is not really possible because the addition of first Chelsea, then ManCity and PSG have altered the landscape.

            (Though the money in the bank is an interesting issue. I just don’t agree with Tim’s definitive conclusion) So the way I see it, we have to now occupy the space of the clubs you listed. Atletico and Dortmund (or even Monaco), and occupy it better, instead of aiming to jump up to the elite level that Real, Barca and Bayern have occupied and now City and PSG can aim to achieve.

            Spurs have caught up to us. But the jump from a lower rung to the upper reaches isn’t as hard as the one from there to the top, which is where we stumbled. We’re not behind Spurs. We were just running a different race strategy. I think you’ll see us course correct because despite the narrative, I think Arsenal is a well run, and forward looking club.

          2. You’re right, there’s always room for nuance. But I’m being the contrarian on purpose here, too often “oil money” is thrown around as a facile fig leaf that serves as an fits-all excuse. And it doesn’t help much to identify anad analyse all the areas where we’ve fallen behind.
            I’m not sure what you mean by the fans having to change their mindset, you mean in the way the club runs things? Because in the grand scheme of things the fans don’t have much influence on how the clbu is run and what is being done or not done. Mostly it’s just the PR team having to work a little harder to spin things. And we have been slling players to rivals for a long time, me personally I don’t mind selling our CLichys to City, may they have them. Borussia Dortmund btw nebver had muhc say on where their players ended up, they went becuase they had clauses or decided themselves where they would end up, Lewandowski refused to talk to anyone but Bayern. I don’t mind even the big players leaving as long as the club is equipped to deal with it and acts decisevely, purposefully and with a clear strategy. Which I don’t think we do, but I undertsand where you’re coming from, it’s a matter of personal assessment. Right now I think large parts of the club are just trying what they’ve always done and trying to get away with it. then there are other factions trying different things and I’m not sure they’re coordinated. We’re not that far off yet, we could be a top four club again, but I do think after next summer that will get significantly harder but I’m optimistic that it can be done. But it will probably take a few years and significant investement.
            Simeone didn’t change Atletico literally by himself btw, their scouting and contacts in South America were always great. Plus there was a bit of a relationship with Jorge Mendes, but that’s another story. But in the end he was fundamental in transforming them. But that’s kind of a tangent.
            I think in principle we’re both not too far off from one another, but we’re probably discussing with other extremes of the spectrum of our fanbase in mind.

          3. But in good news today, word in Germany is we’re pinching BVB’s Technical Director Sven Minslitat. This is indeed great news.

          4. Wow. A debate that doesn’t descend into name calling and focusing only on the differences in arguments/emphasis.

            Thanks.

            Yes, I think you’re probably right with the last bit.

            You know, I’d love to have a dialogue on what Arsenal can do better, but I find it becomes impossible when people’s starting point is basically that Arsenal suck and have it all wrong.

            Which actually is what I meant about the fanbase. I know they don’t have power over the decision making, and as such are only a small factor. Yet, they can be an important factor. It’s just depressing that regardless of what Arsenal do in a certain situation, the narrative has to be how they did it wrong. They sell someone, that’s wrong. They hold on to a contract, that’s wrong. Boo. They don’t buy someone because they were too expensive, or they buy someone then he was too expensive.

            In that noise, I think it becomes near impossible to actually gauge the things that Arsenal could do better or should try differently.

            So you just know that if Arsenal shift strategies to whole heartedly accept their current status (ie not a member of the elite) there will be noises from the AST and the fams and bluds on aftv about how we were lied to during the stadium build.

            And while this seems like an irrelevance, over time this builds up and causes larger issues.

            I just came across Mark McCormack’s book and in it are numerous instances where athletes focus on some intangibles other than money. If Arsenal’s own fans are constantly pulling down their players, maybe players will decide it is better for their careers to go elsewhere. That’s just an example btw. But I think our fanbase doesn’t help.

            I agree there’s a way back, not just to the top 4, but also to a title, and also that it will take some investment to do it. At some stage, Arsenal will need to focus on the short term even at the cost of the medium term if need be. But as to when that time is, I don’t know.

            What do you mean by some parts of the club carrying on as before and other factions doing things differently? And why do you think this isn’t coordinated?

            Thanks for the info on Atletico. Anywhere I can read more about them?

          5. Well, on the last part on Atletico´s transformation, phew, where to start, I don’t have a single source on that, basically Swiss Ramble’s account on their financial situation, years back though, just to get an idea on where they were coming from in the Jeus y Gil era. Sid Lowe’s columns and Spanish Football podcasts basically. They’re always worth a read, but I don’t have s specific one at hand. There was also a great long read atrticle that I’d have to dig deep that looked deeper into the whole business of agents, third-party ownership and specifically the Falcao business and by that also into Atletico’s business model, I will have to get back to you on that.
            But other than that I do think you’re overestiamting the influence our fanbase has. It’s not much more than marketing numbers and social media noise. There’s not much more to it. Fan support in England and noise in the stadiums, dare I say it, is very poor in England. The more passionate and noisy parts of fanbases have probably long been priced out, even the “legendary” Anfield support is more a myth and marketing than actual reality.
            The directioon the club is taking would be much easier if Wenger would be more decisive in his action and formulate a clear direction. But he’s mostly being reactive as he has been for years. Maybe because he probably doesn’t have time with his workload.
            And lastly, what I mean by factions is, there are different at the clubpoulling in different directions. The simplified version would be that there are traditionalists and reformers, namely Wenger vs. Gazidis/Kroenke Jr. and I’m not sure the work behind the scenes and the recruitment of backroom staff is being done in full accordance with, well, Wenger himself. Although I do recognize that this is probably highly simplified and I’m not trying to porttray the “reformers” as the good guys. Necessary yes, but I do recognize that the Kroenke regime doesn’t care much about the club beyond their investement portfolio. I do not think that this is being carried in coordination with Wenger who still scoffs at the idea of abdicating responsibility when asked about it.

          6. You know, I’ve thought about this on and off. And I think the argument that there’s factions is simplistic and in the media’s case, often malicious (or naughty at least)

            We’ve seen many additions to the coaching setup, the medical and fitness setup and obviously there’s the whole stats thing. Yes, Wenger has sometimes been critical or even derisive of anyone else driving the decision making process, such as his statements on stats deciding transfers. I don’t think this comes from a fear of abdicating responsibility, but his belief that his position as manager comes with him having the final say on football matters.

            Which explains his annoyance with the media questions on a DoF. I don’t know if you watched it, but Richard Law’s presentation in Brazil about a year ago was quite informative in how (and to an extent why) Arsenal do things, and how it compares in terms of advantages and disadvantages to other models. By the way, Law, even though he doesn’t hold the title, is referred to as Arsenal’s DoF by the agent John Smith (not secret agent) , who said that although Arsenal can sometimes take their time, they are also decisive when they need to be, and with them, their word is their bond.

            Plus, I think Wenger along with being a loyal person also has a belief in maintaining some form of organisational link to the past, and as such is reluctant to simply fire people and replace them. Like with the addition of Shad Forsythe. It didn’t lead to Tony Colbert losing his job or title. And the Australian fitness coach too. Rather a new post was created. Similarly with the scout from Leicester coming in. In that sense, I think Wenger holds up change. But I don’t think this comes from an old man traditionalist attitude (at least not in the sense that he’s a dinosaur) Also, the board probably just don’t like that they have to add to the wage bill instead of replace. Basically, they would see the coaches as human CAPITAL, and Wenger sees them as HUMAN capital. All anecdotes about Wenger support this facet of his character.

            But Law has since left and a new ‘contract negotiator’ brought in, and there’s rumours that ‘Chief Scout’ Rowley will go to be replaced by the guy from Dortmund. I’m not sure to what extent these guys were pushed out or they just felt it’s time to move on.

            So yeah, maybe Gazidis and Kroenke Jr are pushing for more, or faster change than Wenger is entirely comfortable with. But I don’t see this as pulling the club in different directions. I am quite certain that Wenger would walk if he felt he was being undermined at Arsenal.

          7. I forgot to say that just because I don’t agree about Wenger being afraid to give up responsibility, doesn’t mean I don’t agree that his workload could be too much. Btw, that’s a position I didn’t hold earlier, and I’m still not sure how to know, or what signs to look out for that. I’d like to know what you mean by Wenger not being decisive or having a clear direction. Maybe that will help.

          8. Well, we’ll have to agree to disagree there. I don’t think doing our transfer business efficently, effectively or in a timely manner. We take way too much time in our decision making and negotiating process and our valuation models are way off. Every once in a while we find someone like Kolasinac, but remember we were looking for a replacement for Gibbs for at least 2 years, a situation that’s similar to what’s happening with Ospina, we had this discussion. Dick Law may act somewhat as a Director of Football, but he’s not. By all accounts he doesn’t really have much decision power, nor does he take part conceptually or strategically in the process. He’s a negotiator, and from what I hear kind of a joke among agents.
            BTW when I’m saying Arsene is dithering or doesn’t act decisively it’s just shorthand for the process that’s taking place. I don’t mean to say I have any psychological insight, nor do I really think he’s senile. I do think it is a matter of workload and I agreee with Tim Stillman that Arsene sees transfers as a hassle he avoids taking too much part in. Neglecting our central midfield yet again was nothing short of negligence. At the moment we’re relying on Wilshere being fit and Ramsey’s hamstring. Let that sink in. And it’s not the first time, we had several season we’re we needed centrebacks, strikers of central midfielders but Arsene preferred to gamble or just take the cheap and easy option, see Kaqllström, Kim.
            Small tangent: You know what disappointe me most? It’s not the blockbuster transfers like our failed pursuits of Hazard or Robinho or Benzema, but rather the little ones like not giving in on the 1-2 million difference to buy Mark Schwarzer and going into the season with Almunia again or not pushing harder for Xabi Alonso (although I recognize that that transfer was a bit more complicated).
            Yes, the word here in Germany is that we’re pinching Dortmund’s Technical Director, which is a very good signing, his record is sensational. Bayern were also interested in him, so that’s good news. But that won’t be enough.

          9. Well, I had a longer version typed out and I’m too exhausted to start over, so a short answer will have to do. I’m not so positively minded, Dick Law was our negotiator, but not a true DoF. I haven’t seen the presentation, but I doubt Law has much input cnceptionally or strategically. Our whole decision making process is painfully slow and reactive. Every once in a while we stumble unto a great deal when we aren’t challenged like Kolasinac. But then again we have been looking to replace Gibbs for at least two years.
            Word in Germany is the deal to tak on BVB’s Technical Director is practically done, which is a good sign, he’s worth his weight in gold just for unearthing gems in unfancied markets like Poland and Japan alone. But mind you, we’re still playing catch up. This is probably and hopefully laying the groundwork to renew the structures before Arsene is sent into his well earned retirement in the summer.
            Honestly, I don’t share your positive view on our transfer dealings in the slightest and on a small tangent, I’m not most disappointed on the failed blockbuster deals we couldn’t push through, but the smaller ones that were much more likely, like not paying 1-2 million to get Mark Schwarzer or not pushing harder for Xabi Alonso.

  5. I think you forgot to add another pov to address. That the referees cost Arsenal points in many of these matches. I mean mocking other views is what we do here now isn’t it? And as views go, this is a very easy target anyway. Fix that oversight Tim. I’ve come to expect better from you.

  6. The words for today is ‘unbecoming.’

    As in, Tim, this kind of snark is unbecoming.

    In other news, anyone see James Wilson’s column in the Guardian? I take it he’s a potatoe hed through and through . That or it’s bring your child to work and let them write your column day, because that piece was full of dishonest garbage. The only thing that was missing was a claim that Wenger only had one more trophy than Poch. Fake News!

  7. I admit that there is a part of me that could care less if we beat Spurs this weekend; a win might help us in our uphill climb back into the top 4, but I judge that unlikely. More likely it just papers over the cracks…yet again. A loss at home will add to the pressure on Wenger, which regretfully I consider a good thing at this point.

    But it will be a draw, which gets the fan base neither.

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