Wenger says stuff

Arsene Wenger said stuff today.

The stuff Wenger said was about the same stuff we have been talking about all week. It’s important stuff. It’s the stuff that we all care deeply about. Wenger spoke about that stuff.

Wenger gave an impassioned plea about the stuff he cares deeply about. That is the stuff that a lot of Arsenal fans don’t care about. “I take care of stuff,” he said “especially when it’s not my stuff.”

Wenger also spoke about stuff in a vague way so as not to let people glean too much stuff from the stuff he was talking about. This stuff has a double-edged meaning to it and people can and often do interpret it as both some stuff and other stuff.

Wenger explained stuff. It wasn’t overly complicated stuff. We have heard this particular stuff before. It’s about how one place has stuff and there is entirely different stuff in another place. “There are two rules for stuff,” he said “one rule for this stuff and another rule for that stuff.”

Wenger also warned people about stuff. “Sometimes when you really want some stuff, and then you get that stuff, then you realize that you don’t want to get stuck with that stuff, but you are stuck with that stuff.” he said. A lot of fans agree and have been saying this same stuff for a long time.

Wenger also said that the club are working on stuff. He said “we are working very hard on stuff, people think we aren’t working on stuff, but I can assure you that we are totally working on that stuff.”

“I want to do that stuff too.” Wenger said. “Yes, that stuff. It is very important that the stuff we do reflect the stuff we believe.”

When asked about his history of stuff Wenger responded angrily “I do stuff. I have done a lot of stuff. Stuff is different. It’s never the same stuff twice. I can assure you that I have done stuff at least 400 times and I am not afraid to do stuff again. If we can find the right stuff, stuff that’s better that the stuff that we have, we will do stuff. We are not afraid to do stuff.”

Football fans don’t care about all this stuff. They just want to stop talking about stuff. They want some things.

Arsenal do stuff on Saturday with the reigning champions of England.



  1. My favorite stuff that Wenger says is when he says that “we have to be careful with stuff because then you might get stuck with stuff.”

    All I can think about is the stuff we are currently stuck with and the stuff we were stuck with between 2006 and 2013.

    Do you guys remember that stuff?

    1. Sometimes, but this is an instance where not doing stuff means that we will probably get stuffed.

  2. I respect Wenger because he isn’t going to do a Fergie and rape and pillage the team to get one last title before retiring. I resent Wenger for not having a more aggressive win now (at some cost mentality). I anticipate one signing in this window, one in the winter, and a competitive team next year under a new manager with loosened purse strings.

    ** most of the above purely speculative, conjecture, and opinion.

  3. Getting stuck with stuff you don’t want has more to do with buying cheap stuff. If you buy high quality stuff in the first place, you want to keep it forever.

    1. Sure, but Wenger’s point was that ‘cheap’ stuff and ‘higher quality’ stuff aren’t always the same thing, or rather that higher priced stuff isn’t always higher quality.

      As for the 2006-13 years. A different era for the club for which we had prepared differently. Both Wenger and Gazidis have mentioned that they decided on paying on potential (which meant slightly higher wages for youngsters)so as to not lose the majority of the squad to rivals, and (partly as a consequence) paying a more equitable distribution. ‘Socialist’ as Wenger called it. They have both also since said that that policy is now defunct and has changed.

      The only one we’re ‘stuck with’ now is Walcott.

      1. Arsenal have always had a socialist salary scheme. It was a problem even for George Graham, at least according to Tony Adams’ book.

        1. Is this where Adams claimed Fiszman payed 50m to Arsenal for building the North Bank?

          I’m not sure I’d trust Adams as an authority on these aspects of the club, but sure, I can believe that. Arsenal seem like they are traditionally run.

          I just think it was a different time right after the Emirates build. Arsenal were paying players on potential and this meant often overpaying, but it did help us keep the majority of our squad for that period and never fall out of the top 4.

          I think now we pay more on performances than simply potential, and have a greater variation between the top and bottom earners. Guess I think it was just more extreme during that phase, with the exception of Fabregas, who was..well..exceptional.

  4. You make Wenger sound like Trump.. I’m sure Bunburyist will derive a little pleasure from that.

    Honestly, I was starting to worry since Wenger did have a different tone to it last time, but today’s press conference gave me more hope that transfers will be done. Though I guess, like you said, it can be interpreted either way.

    One interesting bit was that Wenger said he intends to keep Gnabry at the club, as in no loan, and also extending his contract. Which is good. I think he’s better than Iwobi, and maybe even the Ox. But he’s been out of the limelight for 2 years with injury and the horror loan at WBA, and will have it all to prove again. Not just against senior players, but also players younger than him and just as hungry.

    1. I don’t think you should interpret what Wenger said as him giving Gnabry a chance with the first team. He will go on loan this season.

  5. You commentators in blogs comment spots or on MSM cannot comprehend Arsenal and Arsene. He is trying to teach to make a point about Values Principles which to most of this world is pap Values “give me a break I want Stuff RIGHT” These values transcend sport which most fans/supporters cannot see past the point as he said of sport/football “it is not a financial competition it is a club competition BUT alas the whole world has drank the international european illuminati Vatican Kool Aid manufactured and marketed by this cabal who have money and own the media and try to make Arsene look Mad he is Not the idiots on ESPN BT Sky Sports where winning as the ONLY STUFF which clearly this writer in his sarcastic dribble miss follow the main story you sheeple Arsene is making a point way beyond sport and way beyond every pundit and it seems bloggers imagination as the world turns to dregs like Mou Mou whop you probably think is GREAT

    1. Perhaps as part of his “value principles” Wenger will give “the idiots on ESPN BT Sky Sports” back 50% of the record tv money AFC get and refund the fans 50% of the ticket prices, and give up 50% of his £10 million page he mugs for a living. We’do all get his “principles” the

    2. “alas the whole world has drank the international european illuminati Vatican Kool Aid manufactured and marketed by this cabal who have money and own the media”

      We have this season’s “buttress your junks”.

      1. I’m not sure it’s as dramatic as he makes it sound, but the media definitely have an interest in keeping the money flowing in, or rather out, of football. Clearly to fill coffers through transfer stories which are cheap and easy to produce by the truckload, but also likely through relationships with agents or even certain clubs.

      2. If the international european cabal are marketing Vatican Illuminati Kool Aid then they’re doing a rancid job of it cos I can’t find any for love nor money

      3. Yes, this is the buttress your junks comment of 2016, though I might make the case for “Mou Mou whop.”

  6. Test comment.

    Is Socialist a bad word on this blog’s filter?

    My previous comment disappeared and I don’t think I used any swear words. Weird.

    1. Sorry. Just checking. Didn’t mean to confuse anybody. My comment went into moderation for saying an alternate political system.

        1. I see, us anti-statist collectivist anarchists are obviously not considered a big enough threat to be moderated.

  7. Funny thing, when you say a word enough times it becomes stripped of it’s meaning. Then, as if for the first time you see the word exactly as it is, and realise what a strange sound it is.


    Arsenal fans are suffering from Wenger-fatigue. They’ve heard it all before. Multiple times. Do those words make you zone out or get angry? Or do you get to the point where you see his words exactly as they are? Stripped of meaning. Replayed repeatedly for the sake of rhetoric.

    I wonder what he can say at this point to placate fans? Probably nothing. At this point even action won’t do. Trying and failing won’t do. Only outcomes matter. Coffee’s for closers.

    1. I wonder what he can say at this point to placate fans?

      I’ve actually just spent about 1 minute pondering on that after similarly thinking ‘Is there anything that Arsene could say at this point that wouldn’t upset or anger some section of the fanbase?

      I’ve narrowed it down to 3 things.

      1. ‘We are proud to announce the signing of (insert name of one of maybe 10 players in the world who would satisfy everyone, eg. Messi, Neymar,Audembang,Pogba etc. Their clubs wanted to hold on to them, but we made them an offer they couldn’t refuse'(ie. not a castoff, this is important!). But we’re not finished yet. There is more to come.’

      2. ‘We are happy to get the win, but overall you are never completely satisfied, and there is always room for improvement. We must never become complacent, and now all we think about is winning the next game.’

      3. ‘We are very angry. Dropping points is never acceptable for this club. I am furious with both myself and the players. There will be an internal investigation and consequences to be faced. Players will be fined, training will be intensified, and no stone will remain unturned until we identify and remedy the cause of this defeat. Most of all though, I’m furious on behalf of the fans. They pay their hard earned money to support us and they only deserve the very best. We all humbly beg their forgiveness.’

      I think that might cover it 🙂

  8. I told you what he’d say the day before yesterday

    TJ AUGUST 16, 2016 AT 3:43 PM
    Anothe way to look at it is that Arsenal have released a soundbite to keep the fans off their backs until the transfer deadline. In the meantime it will be “we are working hard”..”but there has to be agreement on 3 sides”. Then the transfer deadline comes and Koscielney and Gironde are back, Gabriel just two weeks away and he doesn’t want to stifle Holdings or Chambers, Iwobis or Gnabrys development. Then the scramble for 4th and knockout phase of the CL begin. Meanwhile The Emperor signs a two year extension while he and Stan snigger at the mugs still going to the Effiminates Stadium doling out their hard earned cash to pay for being mugged


  9. You all talking about stuff over and over and over…..We all know Wenger knows his stuff more than we do….get over it…

  10. Honestly, I don’t know how you do it, Tim. Arsenal must be one of the most boring clubs to write about these days. Everything is so predictable, from our transfer windows to our performance arcs each season; from Wenger’s behavior to fan behavior.

    1. I hear you, but to some extent we get the narrative we deserve. We could be on here obsessively talking about tactics or the new kit or who’s going to be top scorer, or who are the young players to watch this year, or league predictions, or premier league newcomers we’re looking forward to watching from other clubs or refereeing or who at Arsenal had the best Euros… this is no slight on Tim, he’s just writing about what we’re all thinking about.

      1. Tactics talk is dreadfully boring.

        Also, those things are a SHITLOAD of work to compile.

        For example, league predictions. Seems easy, I fart out a list, right? But it’s not easy because I wouldn’t be proud of that. To do a League prediction I’d want to talk to some of the analytics guys and write about how they are crafting their predictions. That article is coming. I also want to do predictions of my own but I can’t because we don’t have a settled squad. I think our League position will be massively changed if we get a top quality player in. So, I’m obsessed with transfers because I feel like if we don’t get a striker, we will struggle to make top 6.

        1. And that’s totally fair enough. I’m not asking you to write anything else.

          I think we will challenge for the title, that’s based on a couple of hunches (because I’m too lazy to think very hard about it) that the new managers will struggle, and that our squad is being pretty comprehensively underestimated by all and sundry. It’s also based on both magical and wishful thinking, I am not ashamed to admit, because I am a fan and that’s what we do.

    2. It’s a testament to how obsessed I am with writing and Arsenal that I still do this.

      I’ve told you before that I could just say “fuck it” and wrap the whole thing up at any minute. I still could. I probably should. But it’s been a part of my life for so long that I don’t know what to do.

      It’s coming though. One day I will stop. Then I will re-emerge as a guy who writes about something else.

      1. At least let up down gently Tim. 🙂

        A film review every now and then, the odd political thinkpiece, some thoughts on the world’s best whiskies maybe. Slowly but surely there’ll be less and less Arsenal content until somewhere down the line we’ll realize there’s no Arsenal content, and we’ll just be reading whatever you choose to write about.

      2. Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate what you do, and read everything you write. It’s just that I’ve found it harder and harder to give a shit about Arsenal these days because it’s the same shit every summer and every season. (Actually, I think Wenger is getting worse. The more the game changes, the more he doubles down on his already entrenched stratagems.) But I understand that for you as the one doing the writing, it’s more of a habit or really a kind of exercise, no different, perhaps, than getting up every morning to work out, and not really considering whether to do it or not.

        The other writers I don’t envy are the Andrews who write for Arseblog News. Can you imagine churning out article after article reporting on yet another snippet of Wenger’s tired philosophizing? And yet they do it, knowing full well that pretty much everyone who reads it will respond with something like, “don’t care, sign someone now!” And I get that. I do. Because that’s exactly how I feel when I see another Wengerism posted in the media. Nothing he says is helping or improving the squad. The modern game is passing him by.

        1. Arseblog news is so weird. Apart from the occasional piece by me and the Youth guy he is just republishing articles from Arsenal.com. He has to do it, though. Arseblog is his livelihood.

        2. I don’t disagree with you, Bunburyist. I thought Klopp was by far the more flexible manager in that opening game and the win was in no small part due to his adjustments (and his signing, Mane). Wenger seems to consistently expect more than his players are able to give him while other teams are getting better and better around us. It’s far to early to reach sweeping conclusions on this season but so far the evidence says nothing has changed, and I feel that frustration too. This will probably be the swansong for Arsenal’s greatest ever manager and I just hope he has the chance to say goodbye gracefully and proudly.

  11. Please excuse me while I take the psychologist’s armchair for a minute and then take you all 10,000 feet into the air, like Felix Baumgartner before the space jump. I don’t expect any of this to be news to you, but I think it deserves to be said once in a while.

    Arsenal is an entertainment industry in its own right. That’s how it has functioned and that’s how it will continue to function as long as it is around. In that it is no different form any other football club. The fans and the sponsors supply the money, the money is funneled into the operations cost, a little is left over, and the cycle repeats itself every year. How all of that is done internally is none of our business, quite literally. We are consumers and nothing more. We keep coming back to Arsenal because we choose to do so, just as if we chose to buy the same brand of soap all the time. And we have about as much control over the running of the club as we do over the manufacturing and distribution of that soap. Getting too upset or too invested in how the club is internally run without having any actual traction within the club to elicit change is like getting too much into a soap opera series (pun intended). Are Johnny and Bridget really through? The look she gave him in the last episode suggests it may be so. But Johnny has a track record of loyalty. How will it play out? Tune in for the next episode… or if you find yourself too turned off by the melodrama, just turn the damn thing off and go do something else. No amount of emotional investment on your part will make the slightest bit of difference to the next episode of that soap, just like it won’t influence Arsenal’s on or off pitch fortunes.

    1. We are both consumers and we are the product. Our eyeballs are sold to Emirates and Puma.

      And we have all of the power in the club. You see it time and again. If the fans aren’t happy with the way things are run, they protest and quit buying the product, quit being the product for the advertisers. If we stop going, the “club” ceases to exist.

    2. IF the consumers of a product start spreading negative reviews about it, they affect sales, share price, reputations etc. Football is in a bit of a bubble right now where these things don’t hurt the club in the financial sense.

      But it is an industry where so much is determined by sentiment rather than fact. I mean Liverpool or Spurs fans are happy and get good reviews even though objectively they are further behind Arsenal simply because they buy players and change managers, which is the accepted way to do things.

      So while the financials can stay safe right now, to say that the fans have no control over how the club is run isn’t completely true. Look at how fans have gotten rid of managers, or sometimes even owners, through creating discord.

      It is just that Arsenal have shown that they are unwilling to be swayed by this, regardless of the associated costs. This drives people more wild as they feel more helpless or disenfranchised. Which in my view, is one reason that has led to a disproportionate level of angst and annoyance than the results and situations call for.

      Of course, if it gets out of hand and becomes a large scale/universal protest, I think they might change SOMETHING. Like perhaps the manager. Gazidis even said once that Arsene is ultimately answerable to the fans. Though I doubt this fundamentally changes how they operate. But the fans/consumers will be happy because sentiment drives them and they’d have evidence that their voice was heard, and a symbol of change.

    3. Another thing I would point out is that the manager and the club are beholden to the players. If the players revolt, the manager is toast. That’s what’s happened with Mou Mou whop in his last two jobs.

      I think Wenger is starting to see a bit of player ennui at Arsenal. Per Mertesacker took the piss when he said he could play striker. That’s not a full on revolution but it’s pretty unusual in Wenger’s tenure. I think Henry also nailed it when he said that players don’t seem to want to come to Arsenal.

      If Wenger can’t keep his top players and can’t attract top players, the board will have to do something.

      Anyway, Wenger’s tenure at Arsenal is coming to an end. I think this season might be his last. 40% chance he retires from managing at Arsenal this Spring. Especially when Arsenal drop out of the top four. And unless they sign a good striker, I can’t see them finishing top four this year.

    4. Doctor, you misunderstand the nature of football fan support. A football club is not a manufacturer of widgets and soap. So while a club IS a business that must sustain its operations, a large part of the relationship with its fans is romance. Not for nothing is Old Trafford called the Theatre of Dreams. They EXPECT. Correctly.

      Romance sours when you lose trust or believe that the other person is screwing you over or taking you for ride. Or even if they’re well-intended, they’re engaging in delusion about something that is very important to the union.

      This is where we are with Wenger. The 8 -2 at Manchester in 2011 followed the same slow burn of dragged our transfers, fan frustration and the predictable denoument of ineptitude and injuries. That was on August 28th. We signed Arteta, Mertesacker (whose signing we’d been dithering over to get a better deal), Park and Santos. We could and should have signed Mertesacker at the beginning of the window.

      See how long he’s been at this? Fans who are STILL patient with him either have short memories, or started supporting the club yesterday.

      No, we are far more than consumers. A consumer can switch from Dax to Ariel, and vice versa.And do not believe for a minute that we can’t make a difference. We can. You are seriously misreading the mood out there.

      Time to get back down to earth.

      1. To stick with the romance theme, I have gone from revering Wenger to barely being able to stand listening to his cliches and dodges these days. Like someone you used to love deeply who now simply annoys you. No one else in football management gets asked as much about transfers by the press. Why? He feeds and perpetuates a sense of permanent crisis and inertia. No one is bombarding Pep, Mourinho or Klopp with transfer questions. He brings this on himself… and then feeds us all the same pap year after year after year.

        Gawd, enough.

      2. Claudevian, a romance implies expectations, trust and passion in both directions. My point is that this does not exist in modern football, if it ever did. Those fans in Manchester can expect all they want, try to rebel, even start their own football club (which they did), or print yellow/green scarves by the thousands but the Glazers still rule the roost and Man United, like Arsenal, is still first and foremost an industry.

        Tim and Shard, the supporters as a whole have all the power just like the mobs in ancient Rome had all the power. At any time they could have stormed the Emperor’s quarters or the senate and killed them all, but they did not. The masses always have the real power in theory, yet they have none in practice because they lack unity, conviction, and the ability to govern their actions over a sustained period of time. Not showing up to an Arsenal match en bloc would be unprecedented not just at Arsenal but in all of football. And it’s not just because mobs are an unsustainable form of dominance and rule, but also because most match going fans just don’t care enough about the BS we gripe about day in and day out online to abandon their chance to enjoy a nice day of sport with their friends and families. They want to watch drink beer, take selfies with their favorite player, and tell their friends they were at the Emirates. Many fans come from across the globe for this experience. Imagine flying or traveling to London after booking all the lodging, etc and then being asked to abandon your match day ticket because some other fans are unhappy with the transfer policy!? Hell no. You go to the stadium, you try to get Mesut Ozil to sign your book or jersey, and if you’re really upset you may participate in a Wenger Out chant. There will be no full scale revolt, even if results worsen.

        1. You’re right about the theory vs practice of power of the mob, and yet, clubs have had to change tack in management and ownership because the fans wouldn’t have it.

          Arsenal don’t succumb to the pressure from fans or the media to change direction, which is why it sustains itself. As claude puts it above, Wenger has this perpetual sense of crisis around him and Arsenal because he brings it on himself. ie, he doesn’t listen to the mob. If he/they would only do it our way we wouldn’t protest or create this sense of crisis. Arsenal nix on that. And while it might be part of the reason they haven’t won the title, it is surely also the reason they have reached where they have, which a lot of people just take for granted. Arsenal are prepared to stick by their guns.(no pun intended)

          But, if it gets way worse, we might see either Arsenal say goodbye to Wenger, or Wenger decide he’s had enough and leave. Honestly, I believe Wenger would have left in 2014, if Wigan had managed to beat us in the semi final. Not because he would have really wanted to not renew, nor because the board no longer believed in him, but because the fans and media would have made his position untenable.

          I would say thought, that more than fans, it is the media who hold the power, and boy they aren’t shy of using it. It is because of them that clubs aren’t allowed to build anymore, with managers’ tenures getting shorter and shorter. They fuel this immediacy idiocy, while supposedly bemoaning it. Fans act as the instrument of power, and as with any mob, the guy pulling the trigger is usually someone else.

      3. The difference in my mind between the 8-2 and now is that it was a different era for the club. 3 days before we lost there, we qualified for the CL. I believe this might have a lot to do with our signings or lack thereof before.

        Which is why I don’t carry this weight of 12 years or whatever the narrative of negativity is now. X years without a trophy, 12 years without a title. Whatever. It’s not been a constant, except that somehow, Arsenal managed to not fall too far below. I don’t have a short memory. I can just separate that period from this.

  12. Ugh. I can’t see anything other than a draw or loss on Saturday. Leicester’s lethal counterattack is sure to expose our makeshift CB pairing (and bizarrely ineffective midfield protection), and without a recognizable striker, I can’t see us outscoring them. It could be an ugly weekend, and an even uglier aftermath.

    1. If there is any hope it’s that Leicester looked completely lost against Hull.

      Funny, but I think they miss Kante.

      1. They’ll be galvanized by a newly focused Mahrez, who is no longer at the center of a prolonged example of Arsenal’s inability to strengthen the squad. Clearly, Wenger believes Walcott is better than Mahrez, and who am I to argue with that spectacular logic?

        1. I did actually think this same thing about Mahrez. He was clearly not 100% in their first match.

        2. Walcott is free, Mahrez is 40 million at minimum+wages and agent fee,etc. That is Arsene logic.

        3. Mahrez cost Leicester next to nothing from Le Havre four seasons ago, just as Kante and Vardy were bought for peanuts too; so Arsenal signed Leicester’s head scout. That’s Arsene’s logic.

          As much as we want to gripe about not getting big money deals done, it’s worth pointing out that our scouting has fallen behind as well. It’s been a while since we’ve unearthed anything approaching a gem, especially from an attacking perspective. Arsene’s always thrived on such finds but his touch has let him down lately.

  13. The odds of us signing a striker continue to plummet with the “good” news that Danny Welbeck is now recovering faster than expected and may be back by Christmas.

    1. So I couldn’t decide:

      Do we actually believe that’s true before the inevitable ‘setback’ that puts him back on his original schedule?

      Or am I being too cynical here and actually take that news at face value? (Even so we need another striker, but still…)

      I hate I’ve been reduced to this kind of debate rather than other more fruitful discussions regarding Arsenal.

      1. Oh man, I feel completely the same. Timing of this announcement and inevitable setback crossed my mind as well and I felt little ashamed.. Oh Arsenal, what have I become?

  14. “We are both consumers and we are the product. Our eyeballs are sold to Emirates and Puma.”


  15. We are all super angry and fed up by all Arsenal way of handling transfers, but I think Wenger is the only manager who is making plans for the Post-Brixit era.
    He is right with the Money, there is really a double standard with regards of the price for English teams, so realistically we are not richer than before.
    I mean, yeah you are definitely richer if you want to invest in a new training facility or a stadium, but not if you have pay 40 m for a 12 m player in every market.
    I also believe that was the exact reason he cut Henry out of youth team, he is serious with his self-sustained club plan.

    1. Of course. Wenger foresaw Brexit and planned for it. And the insipid transfer planning is in reality part of a genius masterplan.*


      1. The for Wenger crowd really never cease to amaze me with the excuses and narratives they cook up.

        1. Just because someone can look at something from another angle doesn’t mean he’s making ‘excuses’.

          You lot seem to believe that only your point of view is entirely rational and anyone else is a spin merchant desperately creating a narrative.

          The plain fact is that transfers are supposed to drive results. In terms of results, your level of angst is completely overboard. Note, I don’t say that the criticisms aren’t valid, that Wenger doesn’t show failings, or that Arsenal shouldn’t do more at times. But come on. Ultimately our results don’t validate this constant crisis talk.

          The transfer market is treated like its own competition these days. And I swear for some people the football actually comes a distant second.

        2. I’m not ashamed of supporting Arsene Wenger
          Actually, my only concern is not seeing him wining the title again.
          Having been watching this game for 20 years now and he was always standing there. And I built my taste and logic based on his vision. I don’t know how I’m going to feel about football without Arsene Wenger
          so, yeah
          As long as he is in charge I will support him
          simple as that

  16. I can sympathize with this. While George Graham was in charge when I first started supporting Arsenal, Arsene has obviously been a part of Arsenal for such a long time that I know it’s going to be weird for me when he’s not the Arsenal manager any more. I wouldn’t be surprised if even after he’s gone, the managerial face that will come most easily to mind when Arsenal are mentioned will be his.

    And you know that’s fine by me, because when I think about Arsene Wenger I have nothing but admiration for him. Sure he’s not perfect, and sure he’s made and will continue to make mistakes and sure there’s things I maybe wish he’d do differently but I think he’s been, and continues to be, an awesome influence on the club.

    I think one of the reasons I feel this way is that ultimately, my love for the guy doesn’t come from the title wins, or the doubles, or the unbeaten season, but from how when he arguably had the football world at his feet, after bringing so much joy and success to Arsenal, instead of worrying about his own legacy and his own success, instead of funneling all that money and goodwill into players and wages in the short term, he thought about what was best for the club and not what was best for Arsene Wenger.

    It’s hard to think of an even remotely similar case where such a well loved manager would make decisions for the long term good of the club, the benefits of which, would be of far greater benefit to the managers that came after him, while he himself would have to essentially do his job for years, with essentially one hand tied behind his back. And when he did this, he must have known that those decisions which he made for the good of the club, not himself, would turn a significant portion of the fanbase against him.

    So that’s why it’s easy for me to love Arsene. It’s a love not born of the titles and the amazing football. It’s a love born from admiration and gratitude for the sacrifices that he made for the good of the club. For the loyalty he showed when he could have gone anywhere. For building the stadium instead of buying players. For putting up with being called a cheapskate after throwing down hundreds of millions on a new home. For putting up with accusations of a lack of ambition, after showing more long term and audacious ambition than any manager in the premier league that has had to generate his own funds.

    The guy is a visionary, a thinker, a warrior, an Arsenal hero and a gentleman.

    1. Yes, the flip side of that though is that in Arsenal Wenger found one of the few big clubs in the world that would let him apply his vision so thoroughly, that would be so responsive to his ideas. The club has been good for him, too. After 20 years of pushing his changes forward, he now has the club he always wanted. I can understand why some people would resent that, and yearn for the Highbury years when, as Richard Williams says today, we had a real stadium and a real soul. I don’t agree in the end, but I understand it.

      1. Oh yeah I agree with what your saying. Arsenal Fc did agree to let him apply his vision and stuck by him while he carried it out. Although in my opinion he’s pretty much delivered above and beyond what they reasonably could have expected. Champions League every year for a decade, while making necessary transfer profits, having to sell off our best players and paying off a huge debt, in a league as competitive as England, is pretty spectacular. It’s not like he’s really given Arsenal Fc any reason to not stick by him. Even if you want to leave the stadium move in the past and talk about the hear and now, our last 3 seasons have ended with us finishing 4th, 3rd and most recently 2nd. I’d be willing to say that even if you want to ignore the 2 fa cups in the last 3 years, he’s still doing pretty well by Arsenal.

        If you ignore the drama, and the narratives, and the pet theories, the speculation, and the constantly negative press, the cold hard facts are that, again, Arsenal have finished 4th, 3rd and 2nd in the last 3 years, and yet some people would have you believe we’re stagnating, or a joke, or a laughing stock. The actual facts, our final league positions, the stuff that we can actually point to as things that have actually happened, tell a different story.

        Again, I agree with what you’re saying. I can understand people being frustrated or angry or disappointed at times with both Arsenal and Arsene, but I don’t think the intensity of the anger and frustration, that seems to almost constantly surround the club is a reasonable response to the undeniable progress the club has made, and is still making. And honestly, I have no problem discussing Arsenal and Arsene’s failures and foibles. All I ask is that whatever is being said is reasonable, believable, has some basis in reality, has points that back it up that don’t ignore stuff like the stadium, the debt, the oil clubs, the collapse of the housing market just as Arsenal made the stadium move, the fact Arsenal is run as a self sufficient entity, the fact that Arsenal Fc doesn’t want Stan Kroenk’s money, the recent trophies, and our final league position over the last few years.

        And finally, sorry for the tangent, getting back to Arsene, you could easily argue that while Arsene has built and solidified and grown and expanded Arsenals reputation, being manager of Arsenal has basically destroyed his. I guess I just think the bigger sacrifice has definitely been on his side.

        1. Basically everything I’ve been trying to say. I get the frustrations with Arsene and the club. But the response to those shortcomings, if indeed that is what they are, is way over the top.

          But why I am replying to this is as regards your point about Wenger destroying his reputation. Don’t get me wrong, I know exactly what you’re saying, and I agree. But his reputation is only tarnished by the English press and consequently by our own fans. His reputation in the football world stays intact, or even enhanced. Johann Cruyff, Karl Heinz-Rumminegge are just two people who know football inside out, who appreciate exactly what Wenger has done.

          And this negativity is all temporary. No matter what Wenger does or doesn’t do from now on, Arsenal will not have a more important, influential, and a greater individual associated with it than Arsene Wenger. Not in our life times. He’s done more for us than what Cruyff did for Barcelona. Wenger’s legacy will be similar, and perhaps more deeply and directly down to him.

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