Where do we go from here?

Arsenal are a team in chaos. Mustafi is set to be loaned to Inter. Ramsey was dropped at half-time in yesterday’s match. Wenger keeps switching the team from a back three to a back four. Kolasinac is benched. Mertesacker, the club captain, hasn’t played in 105 League games. Ox is set to leave. Alexis is set to leave. No one wants to sign a new deal with the club. There are rumors that the players were fighting in the dressing room before the Liverpool match. Players are being played out of position constantly. Lacazette was dropped. Wenger isn’t fielding his best team. There are strong indications that Arsene Wenger, who just signed a new 2-year deal, is at war with someone on the board. And Arsenal just lost 4-0 to Liverpool with a performance that was easily one of the worst I’ve seen.

The players have given up on Arsenal. They are jumping ship. And with just three days left in the transfer window Arsenal are in no position to replace all of the players that they are about to lose. And it feels like the season is over already on August 28th. So, what do we do?

When I say we, I mean we the club. We are the club. Us supporters are the club. Stan Kroenke is not the club. Arsene Wenger has been a long-time servant but he is not the club. Alexis Sanchez is not the club. We are the club. All of them are replaceable. We are the ones who aren’t replaceable. So, what do we do?

First, let your voice be heard. I don’t like to shout at people, I will if it’s important, but generally you can accomplish the same thing by simply refusing to play along with people. So, I choose to use my economic voice. I haven’t bought anything from the club store now for three years. I haven’t bought anything with an Arsenal logo on it. I gave up my red level membership. I was on the season ticket waiting list. They contacted me last year. I gave that up as well.

Most hurtful to myself is that I have also given up going to games. I only get to go once a year and see maybe three games if I plan well. But I gave that up as well. There is no way I’m taking my daughter to England to see the Arsenal in their current state. I’d much rather take her to Hawaii.

But the big thing that we can do as Arsenal supporters is to voice our displeasure by refusing to watch games. Imagine how powerful it would be if all the people on twitter, if all the writers, if all the fans boycotted watching Arsenal, tweeting about Arsenal, writing about Arsenal for the next match. I don’t feel like this will ever happen. But #ADayWithoutArsenal would send a powerful message to the management and owners of this club.

The only thing I’m asking for is for the board to fire Wenger. I’ve been very gentle about this since November 2014. At that time, I said “Wenger should announce that this is his last season and take a farewell lap.” I was joined in 2015 by other big name bloggers and I think many many fans wanted Wenger to go out on a high this Spring. It was the perfect way to end our relationship with the greatest manager who has ever been in charge at Arsenal.

At some point the club has to make a transition. We are not going to have Arsene Wenger forever. And as you can see from the chaos that the club is in right now, someone will have to come in and be the fall guy. The common question I get when I call for Wenger’s retirement is “yeah but who will replace him”? It literally doesn’t matter. None of the very top managers are going to take Arsenal in this condition. The insane contract situations, the toxic dressing room, player recruitment is a mess, the Arsenal Academy is a mess, defensive organization is non-existent and Arsenal have a ton of players under contract who are happy to just collect a paycheck.

Top managers are recruited with promises of big cash spending and the ability to build a team who can challenge for the top trophies. It’s laughable that Arsenal supporters thought that Guardiola would come to this club. It’s not laughable that you had such a high regard for your club, that’s laudable. But the laughable part is that this club has been so expert at fooling fans into believing that we are a top club.


We don’t need a manager with a better record than Arsene Wenger. We need a transition: someone to come in and set the club straight. My expectations for Arsene Wenger right now are a top 10 finish. I think nearly any manager could achieve that with this club. If they can make the club into a title contender, which I think we have the players to do and which I know that we have the money to do, then that’s a bonus.

But top 10 and stop the rot. That’s all I ask. Unless the board fires Wenger now, this chaos is going to continue. This will get worse, not better. They might as well start the transition now.



  1. Yesterday hurt badly. We are nowhere near being an elite premiership team.

    What truly sucks this morning is news that Liverpool is making a serious push for Thomas Lemar (and have sealed the deal on Naby Keita). Truth is, we essentially stopped trying to address the shortcomings after signing Lacazette.

    Where do we go from here indeed. I disagreed slightly with doc yesterday, in despite wanting Arsene to go years ago, in believing that things are simply too shambolic to leave NOW. But I’ve changed my mimd. Scaramucci lasted 10 days… there’s really no ideal time.

  2. As for exercising the power of the purse, I can’t help myself. As soon as i get to London next month, I’m picking up the black and pink third kit. But I have no issues with other fans taking such a stand.

    1. Have it both ways. Buy it on Aliexpress. I have no complaints about the three kits I’ve purchased, except that the sizing chart is a little different.

  3. Brilliant article. Agree on certain aspects, cannot agree on your wenger out call. But wiling to maintain radio silence to bring out a change in the club.

  4. On principle I’m not in favor of any # activism. It’s symbolism over substance.

    The substantive action is writing itself – Anger. Demonstrations. Booing and jeering the players and manager during games. Flying banners overhead. Every year it gets worse and this year I predict it will get worse week on week now. More and more embarrassing. The focus when it comes to Arsenal will be solely on fan discontent, not on anything on the field. That will ruin us for sponsorship money, it will hurt results on the field and it will start to bite into match-day revenues. Is this “disloyal” – I think the opposite, it’s the only expression of loyalty left to us.

    I am going to sound a “positive” note – I think this is coming to an end. I think we’re two home losses away from Wenger stepping down. He looked like he was 99 years old on Sunday. His board doesn’t want him, the fans don’t want him and now his players don’t. The only one who wants him is the owner sitting in his ranch the other side of the world. He’s got to feel so isolated now, no person can take that for too long.

    1. Problem is he wants to be at Arsenal and Kroenke wants him at Arsenal. Those are the only two people that matter.

  5. The only person with authority to fire the manager is Kroenke and he fully backs Wenger so that’s not happening any time soon. There is only one way to get Kroenke’s attention and that’s to hit him where it hurts – his wallet. It’s not enough to stop buying Arsenal merchandise. Gate receipts are one of the biggest sources of revenue for the club. Stop going to watch the games. That will hurt his wallet and grab his attention. If you have already paid up for the season, go to the games and have your voices heard if you have anything to say.

    There were rumors of a power struggle between Wenger and Gazidis last season. Maybe there was, but it seemed fine on the surface. Gazidis was more than happy to provide more lip service to the fans about how last season was a catalyst for change while simultaneously saying how good it was for Arsenal that Wenger and extended his contract for 2 years. In the end, he is just as spineless as the rest of the geezers on the board.

    At this point I don’t even care which players come in and go. Transfers are meaningless as long as Wenger is in charge. I read today that Liverpool were making progress with Lemar and had already signed Keita for next season. I was happy to read it. I don’t want Wenger to sign anybody at this point. It’s utterly pointless. We may as well keep building up our cash reserves and give them to someone who actually knows what he is doing.

  6. Where do we go from here?
    We continue on as if nothing happened. Two weeks go by and Arsenal will string a few positive results and “there’s only one Arsene Wenger” chant will resume at the Ems.

    Arsenal were in trouble last season and had Wenger retired, the large portion of Arsenal supporters would’ve felt he was forced out by the media, league, PGMO – take your pick.
    It’s better this way in the long run.
    Wenger will miss out on top four again.
    Top players will leave and no one ( sane) will have the temerity to say they left because Wenger wasn’t there any more.
    This saga will play itself out in a natural way and we will suffer to be sure, but at the end of the day everyone will see Wenger just stayed on for too long ,and this should go some way into uniting the supporters behind a new man, whoever he might be.

  7. The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones, so let it be with Arsene.

    One horrible humiliating loss is not the end of the world and is not a reason to give up on our manager for the past 20 years. Sadly it is not one loss but rather a series of big losses, interspersed with some big wins as well. Of course, human nature being what it is, (negativity and recency bias) we focus on the losses.

    Of course, practically, the past is irrelevant. It is the future we care about. If we somehow knew that we would win the league this year, no one would care what happened last year or for the past 13 years. So rather than focus on yesterday’s loss, we should focus on the future.

    Wenger isn’t going to be fired because of yesterday’s loss. He has way too much capital in the club. He isn’t going to be hounded out by classless displays like the Stoke train station or flying banners or even booing. A shirt buying strike or a twitter hashtag isn’t going inflict enough economic pain to push Kroenke. If Wenger is forced out midseason it will be because he loses a political war with Kroenke’s son (which as a NY Knicks fan terrifies me) or because he loses the dressing room and the losses mount up with no end in sight. Much like what happened to Mourinho, the specter of relegation focuses the mind of even the most grateful owner.

    So go ahead and buy that sweet black and pink third kit (or hold off because it will definitely go on sale later) and tell your GF or wife you’ll go to that wedding because you won’t be missing much. It’s out of our hands.

  8. I knew even before the Liverpool match happened, that we’re in for a rout from them. That’s why I refuse to watch the game. It’s just so sad that I’m not looking forward to anymore Arsenal match.

    Although, i don’t share the pessimism on the next manager though. Yes, we’re probably not an attractive destination for Simeone, but Tuchel, Sarri, or Hassenhutl should be attraxted enough. Look at Spalleti, he join Inter from Roma. The lure of money is still a strong pull. Plus, when the inevitable comes, it’s highly likely that a DoF will be put in place. So, we just have to wait until the big figure fall.

    1. Agree. I think the club is still a very attractive destination for any top class manager. Our lack of transfer activity is completely down to Wenger. The money is available to him should he want to spend it. That he hasn’t been able to come to terms with player values in this new money era is just another one of his drawbacks.

      Frankly, having an owner who doesn’t want to get too involved is probably very attractive for a top manager. We have the cash, we have the stadium, we are in one of the best cities in the world. All we need now is a new manager.

    2. Luis Enrique is sitting on a beach somewhere on sabbatical. I have no doubt he would jump at the chance to manage against Guardiola, Klopp, Conte, Mourinho et al in the Premier League. This is a guy who fought with the best player in the world and had the stones to bench Messi. He would not for a second put up with half of the s**t we see out there.

      1. Interesting suggestion. I would be in favor of that. Almost like a reverse Wenger. “I’m not gonna sign da ting till I play up front.” “Adios.”

      2. Luis Enrique failed at Barca even with the most potent attack in world football. He couldnt organise their defence and that was his biggest downfall. He would be a terrible appointment as we need a defensive organiser atm.

        1. Wait… he won 42 of his first 50 games, won the treble (La Liga, the Champions League, Copa) and then won the double, had to deal with retirement of Xavi and loss of Alves… he failed? Wow.

          I’d love to hear who you think we need then. Simeone is never coming to Arsenal in a million years.

  9. The situation is unlike anything I remember. And all stems from the selfishness of one man. I fell in love with Arsenal because of Wenger, I despise everything about the club now for the same reason.
    If he doesn’t offer us at least some hope in the form of a few arrivals (which are both unlikely and probably won’t change a thing) I will probably take a sabbatical from watching the games until something drastic happens.
    Otherwise, till Wenger is here, I’m most likely done with going through the same pathetic sh*t season after season.
    My daughter comes into this world in the next few weeks, so I’ll have something else to focus on so so long, Arsene Wenger.

  10. “Much like what happened to Mourinho, the specter of relegation focuses the mind of even the most grateful owner.”

    This is where I am; I want us to lose more games to bring this to an ugly head. I have no hope that we a) win the title, b) make top 4, c) win the Europa league. FA Cup, League Cup… been there done that.

    My worst fear is that we regain some form and sort of meander through the rest of the season finishing 5th or 6th, going a round or two deep in the Europa league and perhaps the FA Cup semi’s… that would just guarantee no change in the future.

    I’m all for the players downing tools i.e. Chelsea two years ago.

    1. I never thought I’d get to this point, but I’m here. I think one reason an improvement in form for a few matches causes so many of us to “doubt our doubts” about Wenger is that it is a painful and toxic feeling to want your team to lose. We want to believe that he can turn it around, but deep down we know, that in order for this to turn around, we need a change, and the only way that change will occur, is if we lose more. I’m sad and also optimistic that it looks like we’re headed that way.

    2. The unfortuante thing is our schedule after the international break is quite favorable – we have a number of home games against teams almost certain to finish in the bottom half of the table. I just think its going to be hard not to get 3 points from home matches agains Brighton, Bournemouth and Swansea, so we’ll muddle through until the next crisis.

  11. The club is beyond stale. Its the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. The players are not playing for the manager or each other, the team selections are non sensical, Wenger has completely lost the vast majority of the fan base and they aren’t coming back on side. The players look clueless on the pitch.

    Our transfer strategy appears non existent, and our ability to get deals done is woeful. Management of player contracts has been a shambles. Owner no where to be seen.

    Wenger should of left at the end of the season. How can he even be enjoying this? Its a dysfunctional relationship which is bad for both him and Arsenal. Its going to be a very sad end to his tenure as Arsenal manager.

    The worst thing of all now, is as a fan I feel like its hard to really care or invest emotionally. Its groundhog day, over and over. We need a new manager, with fresh ideas to come in a motivate and organise. We have a very talented squad which is massively underperforming. Wenger in the lean years managed to squeeze great results out of some very average sides, keeping us in the top four, building the stadium etc. But enough is enough!

  12. We have agreed to sell Ox to Chelsea for £35 mil. I believe that makes us net cash flow positive for the summer.

    1. More to come;

      Mustafi – loan, 120k/week salary comes off the books
      Lucas Perez
      Jack Wilshere
      Calum Chambers
      Kieren Gibbs

      We’re going to be well well into the black.

      1. I think Wilshere and Chambers will stay. Otherwise agree. Is Debuchy going to stay, and if so, will he ever was a professional footballer again?

      2. Arsenal are a club in need of a comprehensive rebuild, so there isn’t a huge issue with a them not making a huge transfer outlay. The problem is of course that those responsible for transfers are wholly incompetent and unable to see that the club needs a rebuild.

        While Lacazette might turn out to be a fine player, his signing is really nonsensical. Arsenal are clearly not competing for a title for a couple of seasons (at least). Spending record money signing a goal poacher in the middle of his prime is just a massive waste of resources when that player won’t be enough to deliver you trophies.

  13. I last bought Arsenal merch in 2011 myself. Thats when it became clear Wenger was no longer a fit for Arsenal. How he starts the season always under prepared at a club with resources just baffles me.

    I wish we had gone for Marco Silva. His teams are built to not concede first and attack methodically. His home record is pretty good and he seems like a manager on the up

    1. You would rather a guy who is coaching Watford than the ex-Barcelona manager per your above comment? That’s not going to help recruitment. But maybe Silva knows all the gems in Hull’s academy that we can scoop.

      1. @Jack Action

        Luis Enrique failed at Barca with better resources, he would have struggled with us because we have the problems that cost him his job ie defensive organisation.

        I dont know which top manager would come here with our issues and lack of spending.

        In my opinion we need to humble ourselves and go for a young manager with solid principles. Dont know about the academy but Maguire would have been a great addition to our defence

        1. In the end analysis who we would like to manage is a secondary question to who we would need to be our Director of Football. That should be hire #1 and whomever that person is should choose the next manager.

          And you know what – the board if they’re truly at odds with Wenger should go hire whoever they want right now. There’s a great argument that starting line-ups and tactics aside, Wenger has failed this transfer window to move players on and off the roster effectively and for the best prices. Bring in a DoF as soon as the window closes with argument that Wenger needs help for January.

          1. That would be a canning move. Unfortunately canning is not an Arsenal thing… (at least not since I became a fan).
            Feels like we’re stuck in an infinite loop

  14. I haven’t commented here for a while, which reflects the ennui I feel about the team and not about the blog or its community. (7amkickoff remains great, comfortably atop the Cann Table of Arsenal–or, for that matter, other football/soccer–blogs I’ve seen.) The team is hard to watch, and removing Wenger is the essential first of a number of steps that must be taken toward a turnaround. As for protesting, I’m not a real consumer of items from the Arsenal shop and, living in the States, I can’t vote with my feet on match tickets. I no longer watch every match and, like others here, am on the verge of not caring anymore.

    I do wonder whether someone can publish a relevant address (email or snailmail) for Ivan or the board where I can register my dissatisfaction, or there’s a way of generating a social media petition to these guys. They are like politicians who count votes, and they’ll have to be the ones who convince Stan to authorize a change. If we could get a big number of fans–tens of thousands, say–to write or sign a petition, that would be hard to ignore.

    I simply don’t get Wenger’s lack of ambition. The most frustrating thing is that he’s not attempting to win against today’s competition. Others are getting better, and we’re not. We’re not even trying very hard, and we haven’t for a long time. Chelsea, Man U and Man City (and maybe now Everton) have bottomless pockets but Liverpool and Tottenham don’t. Leicester didn’t. It’s not just our players downing their tools; it’s Wenger not addressing obvious problems and areas of weakness. Things will only begin to change when Wenger goes.

  15. I feel like there’s a whole book of essays to be written about where the club is right now and how we got here. I’ve sort of reached the point where I’m pretty numb to most of the stupidity around the club but the stuff that’s happened in the last couple months is pretty unbelievable when you think about it. We reupped a manager who lost his fastball years ago, who had the team pretty obviously quitting on him in the winter before a formation change and a cup triumph papered over the cracks in the spring. We let damn near an entire XI get to the last year of their contracts, the good players with no intention to re-sign, the mediocre ones with no intention to move on and take a pay cut.

    We made one Bosman and one cash transfer while continuing to sit on a bunch of want-aways. We sold a central defender the manager apparently doesn’t rate because he was recommended by a part of the club he is seemingly at war with. We’re getting ready to sell another, a club record signing at his position, one year on, for nothing but a loan upfront. We’re letting a highly talented young player sign for one of our presumed rivals because he doesn’t want to be here and nobody even bats an eye because nobody ever expects him to realize his potential at Arsenal. Our two highest-earning and highest-reputation players are almost certainly leaving at the end of the season, except that one of them might still leave this window – and again, one can’t really be sure that we wouldn’t rather that happen, since the team is going nowhere with him or without him.

    In 3-games the manager has started left backs at centre back, right backs at left back, centre forwards at attacking midfielder, benched both of the clubs summer signings, changed the formation midway through every game, subbed off the best striker at the club to bring on a mediocre winger to bang in crosses for the previous striker whom the club decided wasn’t good enough, it just goes on and on and it’s still August.

    As bad as this is, next season proposes to be even worse than this one, once all the expiring contracts leave and we have entire additional batch of expiring contracts who won’t re-sign. Nobody of the same calibre is coming to the club given the reticence of the manager to spend to the club’s potential not to mention that the club must look like even more of a joke from the outside than it does from within.

    This club is rotten right now and the only way anything is getting any better is for Wenger to be replaced. I fully expect the next manager to fail as well, since the current state of the club is so poor that its going to take years to rebuild Arsenal into an organization befitting its stature in world football. I have no faith in the board to make the right decision but I do think louder protest is appropriate given the current state of affairs and maybe, just maybe the Kroenke’s will recognize their mistake if the results stay poor. More likely Arsenal will amble along to something like an 8th place finish this season followed by more of the same next year.

    I don’t know what the point of this comment was, other than feeling a need to get it off my chest.

    1. Well summarized.

      I know some of us are far away from England, some are reluctant at the ideas of mass protests & some of us want things to take their natural course to conclusions. However, if this were any other club, with the record of heavy losses in the last 5 years, the manager wouldn’t have made it through a fortnight let alone the entire season.

      Protests are needed, on twitter, in the stadium and through the official channels. Public discontent needs to be translated to the board and the players. A club of this stature cannot lose the way we did on Sunday.

  16. Honestly, I don’t know how you and Arseblog write about this club every day, and somehow manage to make interesting and eloquent what has been, essentially, a single narrative for about a decade.

    I suppose at some level we’re doing the same thing here, as we write our comments: We’re processing. Some of us use writing as a way to process. But it is increasingly getting harder to care about the club when you know deep down that nothing will change, or that the only way real change will happen is in the extremely unlikely event that Kroenke sells up and/or Wenger calls it quits before his contract expires.

    Sorry to sound defeatist, but I don’t think any kind of activism, hashtag or otherwise, will result in change, only because it’s very, very hard to get sustained critical mass in ways that force the hands of corporations. The Wenger Out hashtag went viral worldwide last year and nobody blinked. Bums on seats and their revenue? Sure, but desperately low attendance, the kind that really turns the heads of owners, usually occurs by a process of slow attrition, occasioned by a series of relegations to lower leagues. I’d be surprised if many thousands of Arsenal fans stopped showing up to games for any length of time.

    Unfortunately, to echo a comment above, I don’t think we’ll be quite disastrous enough this season to force a change. Even a mid-table finish wouldn’t force Kroenke’s hand. But maybe. This team is shot.

    1. There was a West Brom game which many fans boycotted two seasons ago. Although, that was a mid week fixture and followed a bad run of games where the team were shambolic.

      I remember this game distinctly as the one game where I could find a PL fixture wherein general tickets were made available.

  17. Don’t know about the “we” part of the question but for me it me it means that I can no longer be as emotionally invested in the Arsenal. I’ll still follow the team because the club was my first foray into the world of top level club football and the memories of Ian Wright, Tony Adams, Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira, and of course Thierry Henry still resonate. But being a fan of the club is to be emotionally invested. Emotional investment means I harbor hope. Hope leads to expectations. And expectation leads to disappointment when those reasonable expectations are not met because Kroenke and Wenger are more concerned with the club’s bank balance than any sporting ambition. So I’ll watch the games but probably not live. And I’ll watch a lot of other games. What I find entertaining and fulfilling in a sporting sense is watching good footballers and well coached, competitive teams. Arsenal only provide half of that. And maybe not even half when this transfer window shuts.

    1. What does that mean? Are you season ticket holder? Will you be leaving the seat unoccupied? Are you a TV viewer? Will you watch CNN instead when Arsenal games are on? A season ticket holder looking to make a statement by staying away, or merchansise sitting unsold, make a lot of sense to me. Nothing tells a well-supported club that we hate the way it’s being run like the sight of acres of empty at the Emirates. To each his own, and there’s no one way to support the club. But some of talk about cooling on Arsenal does make me wonder. The club isn’t the problem. The custodians are. Club bonds are very deep things. Personnel come and go. I couldn’t watch anything else knowing that there was an Arsenal game on TV, but, with a season ticket, I’d be tempted to make a statement absence.

  18. In other news, Liverpool show some imaginative longterm planning by agreeing a deal with RB Leipzig to transfer Naby Keita next season. It reminds me when the Celtics drafted Larry Bird a year before he finished his collegiate career. And if they manage to prise Lemar from Monaco it will be an absolute slap in the face of every single Asenal fan in the world.

    1. Liverpool is correctly anticipating that the market will only get MORE stupid next year. The 60m for Keita wouldn’t change (it’s a release clause) but arguably the salaries offered would be higher. They’ve locked him in to a salary at 2017 levels.

    1. My thought is the second home loss will be rock bottom. We were lucky not to lose to Leicester. It could be the Cologne game…

    2. With Europa League still to come, I think we will see more upsetting results especially against the minnows

    3. This is rock bottom only in the sense that only those most optimistic of supporters possibly can expect things to improve without drastic change – we’ve reached the point where we all know what is going on at the club.

      In terms of results and sentiment though, it is almost certainly going to get much, much worse. Liverpool won’t be the last big side to tonk us at their ground in our current state, certainly. There will be losses at home, which always turn darker because the whole ground is fed up, not just the dedicated few. Its entirely plausible that the club qualifies for no European football next year, that will be a grim moment just in terms of status. When Alexis signs for City on a free, that will be a dark moment. Those are just the obvious markers.

  19. We are slowly but surely becoming a real Kroenke team: a money generating mediocre club.

    Look closely at Silent Stan. Who does he resemble? That’s right Star Trek fans, he is Borg and we have become assimilated. Resistance is futile. We have no Jean Luc Pickard or Whorf or Commander Data to bail us out. Just Wenger. He rocked in the original show but his reboots suck.

  20. Say it ain’t so Joe!
    I don’t think economic pressure would tell, not to an owner with such deep pockets nor in a league where TV and commercial income trounce matchday revenues. That said, I hope for the club’s sake, and for Arsene’s own, that he goes.
    I hadn’t heard about internecine fighting before the game but the performance itself was a damning enough indictment of his increasing managerial incompetence. And what is worse, it was predictably, abjectly incompetent.
    Why, when all the TV pundits, and Adrian Clarke and the whole blogosphere can pinpoint midfield imbalance as our achilles heal, one that almost cost us against Leicester and did so against Stoke, does AW take us to Anfield set up the way he did? The glaring stat, shown on MOTD, of 2 wins against top 6 opposition in 33 games, shows this to be a perennial tactical blind spot.
    Martin Keown described him as being ‘a glass always half full’ but optimism in the face of such a record is simply delusional. If he doesn’t even recognise the problem, he will remain incapable of turning it around, whether or not we manage to change personnel before the window closes.
    Very sad to say, but I can only foresee his departure coming about through rancorous fan discontent after the inevitable further humiliations by the other top 6 teams this season. In some ways I almost hope the next one, against Chelsea, is so bad that it might precipitate some action.

  21. That things have been allowed to get this bad tells me that Kroenke doesn’t really care if season ticket holdere5 actually come to the games as long as they keep renewing. His objective is money in the bank, remember?

    On the other hand, I am surprised many of you think Arsenal is no longer attractive to top notch managers. Arsene is the problem yes, but there are more than a few very good players, a stadium, money in the bank (which wenger refuses to spend) etc. In addition to all this, any decent manager will have the added advantage of not having to struggle to emerge from under Wenger’s shadow.

    I wrote 3 or so days ago that Monaco will still sell…I didn’t expect it to be to to the “Pool”. Shameful, all in all.

    1. I know the general sentiment is that the club want Arsene to spend the money and he won’t.
      Personally, I’m not completely convinced that once Arsene goes we’ll suddenly become a club that spends at the same rate as other clubs our size.
      I think it’s far more likely a new manager will be brought in who’s willing to work within a similar budget. If the club really has become all about the money and are happy with a risk averse strategy then why would that change with a new manager?

      1. You know what, I’d be fine with that. I’d rather have us be Borussia Dortmund or Atletico Madrid than City. I find it much easier and exciting getting behind the former than being a freespending superclub.

  22. You have to wonder if Wenger is going senile. His decisions are awful, starting the Ox when he has told you he wants to leave is diabolical decision making. Don’t even get me started on Sead and Lacazette. While being completely and entirely devastated at the current situation, I’m also sort of intrigued to see how he tries to fix this. It’s insane that after spending all of pre season working on a 3-4-3 formation, he will seemingly ditch it after 3 games. None of it matters in the end. Something is fundamentally broke and can’t be fixed without complete and utter change.

    So where do we go from here? Idk but I’ve tried to detach myself from the club. But I can’t. I’m stuck just like everyone else. It’s a gut wrenching feeling.

  23. Hello Tim. You are doing a great job on this website I must say. I have been following you since 2006 and read this Blog and Arseblog everyday just like Morning Coffee You’ve been very patient I must say. I lost my patience 5 years ago and wanted Wenger gone that far back.

    If every Arsenal fan in England can boycott games by refusing to attend matches, the board would sit up and sack Wenger.

  24. Observe that 7amkickoff is self-contradictory when he says above: “Player recruitment is a mess…. I think we have the players to… make the club into a title contender.”

    Wenger’s spending history in player recruitment is top notch, including the recent years, and including this summer’s acquisitions.

    For Arsenal’s last three games there’s been a problem in defensive organization. This problem is serious but solveable by ordinary professionals and ordinary common sense, and probably will be solved within the next month. There’s also been very weird player selection for those games, obviously suboptimal and imprudent, which outside observers cannot understand. This certainly will not continue.

    7amkickoff is a well-informed and excellent commentator. But in the three years I’ve been following him, I’ve seen he has a tendency to over-react to bad bad performances. He also over-reacts to good good performances.

    He says: “This will get worse, not better.” I predict the next few months of reality will show he’s mistaken about that. We shall be seeing who’s right.

    1. How is that statement self contradictory. He is stating the truth concerning 2 different sets of Facts.

      Player recruitment IS a mess: We haven’t brought in players at key positions to help lift our season when it REALLY mattered e.g DM and ST. Remember when Cech was the only player we bought in a particular window?

      We DO have the players to make Arsenal a title contender: Alexis sanchez, Ozil? We just have an abysmally incompetent Manager who doesn’t know how to set up a team properly. He ck, even Ranieri won the league with lesser players!

    2. No way brother. You can have the two simultaneously; the players the club has bought in the last three or four years (thanks to StatsDNA probably) are maybe not world beaters but definitely above average players; Gabriel, Holding, Elneny, Perez, Mustafi, Xhaka, Ospina, Kolasinac, Lacazette. Cech was a no-brainer. A decent coach (Pocchetino? Koeman?) could take this group and they would become more than the sum of their parts.
      The recruitment problem is that there is no strategy to the recruitment; you can buy good players but what good do they do if you aren’t filling holes in the roster? If you are buying players to fit a system, whether it be 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 or whatever. When you aren’t buying players who can help cover for the weaknesses of your star players.

      Selling Gabriel, loaning Mustafi and eliminating Chambers is not something done if you want to play with 3 at the back. Buying a left wing back and not providing back-up at right back when you think you may switch back to a four at the back is unwise. Failing to find that defensive horse to hold the middle of the park and instead chasing Thomas Lemar – an attacking midfielder – is a perversion of priorities. The recruitment is indeed a mess, all over the map.

      We HAD the players – it seems Wenger is shipping them out as I type this. Will we have 25 in the first team roster come Friday? I don’t know…

      1. Recruitment has indeed been a mess. Wenger to his credit has brought in some good talent but doesn’t seem capable of building out a full roster required to compete for league titles. Even worse is that he won’t give up the reins to anyone else.

        What’s even more worrying to me is the lack of young talent at the club. As far as I’m aware there are no “can’t miss” prospects in the youth side; regular first team football used to be given to 1-2 youth players a year. If Arsenal can neither produce quality youth talent nor compete in the transfer market then mediocrity is inevitable.

        1. I’m not disagreeing with the notion that there’s a lack of talent a youth level but apparently Arsenal led the league last year in minutes given to youth team players.

    3. Of course results will pick up, but it’s not been three games, it’s been five years. At least. And then what? where do we go from here? Back into the Top 4? That would take an extraordinary turnaround, City and United look well set. Liverpool is looking good, tottenham have a young and cohesive squad and Chelsea are a well-organised unit. we have been drifting for years and now the bottom well and truly fell out.

  25. I think Arseblog put it perfectly. It has now become about individual agendas, be it Wenger, Kroenke or Gazidis, everybody serving their own agendas. The club’s interest is long forgotten. Players have a carefree attitude and they don’t give a shit cause places are no longer based on merit and there are some players who have taken their places for granted and seems like there is no desire. The best XI is never fielded. It’s just chaos. Both Kroenke and Wenger have to go.

  26. Really time for an injection of objectivity. We have to see that people are trying to manipulate emotions into the melodrama we are witnessing, we always seem to take the bait. A few months ago we comfortably beat the champions to the FA cup. We then beat them again in the community shield. Missed out on top four last season because most other teams were not in Europe and playing one game a week, while were playing PSG, Bayern. Now to the contracts. Koscielny signed on. Now with the other guys, some of them may be asking what we cant afford. Remember what the Bayern Munich president said about signing one of our players. Listen guys other teams just lose matches for arsenal every loss is a crisis. Inject some objectivity please.

    1. Two things: The manner of the loss, and a pattern of fragility that has been escalating over the past several years. This is not reactionary at all. This is a completely legitimate response — given the expectations of the club, and the fact that it seems we have the resources and personnel to do so much better — to a much longer pattern than one loss.

    2. We didn’t “comfortably” beat the champions. Revisionist history. Sanchez scored an early goal that should have arguably been disallowed for handball. Chelsea’s game plan went out the window. They did manage to tie the game a man down. A good win, I’m not taking anything away, but let’s be similarly “objective”.

      1. Jack Action, isn’t it funny how some people accuse others of not being objective enough and immediately prove themselves to be just that ?

        Don’t forget the early goal City scored the lino disallowed in the semis.

        Arsenal did extremely well against both City and Chelsea but the breaks went our way and we took advantage. Had city gone up 2:0 Arsenal would’ve probably found it harder to come back into the game.

  27. In 2008 I wrote a column in Y.A.M.A. which stated unequivocally that Arsene would never win a major trophy with Arsenal again. Unfortunately, I was correct.

  28. Why is FA cup not a mjor trophy? We played and beat two of the top teams city and chelsea when both desperately wanted to win.

    Oddly in American sports it doesn’t matter where you finish in the regular season, it’s what you do in the playoffs that matters.

    1. No team with the chance to win the league, the CL and the FA cup will prioritize the FA cup over the other two. The domestic cup competitions simply aren’t as important as the league or the CL. I wouldn’t call it a major trophy.

      The comparison to American sports doesn’t make sense to me. Yes the playoffs are all that matters but there is only one trophy to play for. When you playing for 4, you can’t possibly say all of them equally important.

  29. wow! everyone seems to be in agreement that wenger needs to go. no one has belief in his ability to efficiently manage this team. he makes decisions that defy conventional wisdom. no one has a clue what he’s doing or what he’s trying to do. it’s okay as long as arsenal are winning. however, arsenal aren’t winning. in fact, they’re so bad that ox turned down a contract offer for £180k a week from the club (why didn’t they make that offer one year ago?).

    it’s sad to watch a once brilliant man lose his mind. the problem with him losing it is that he doesn’t recognize wha’t happened. breaks my heart, really.

  30. Thanks everyone,I will start an online campaign to get FANS to kick Wenger OUT.
    If sufficient traction is achieved, then fans who have signed on and are season ticket holders, can plan an effective boycott of games, alongside other meaningful suggestions to kick Wenger out.COYG

  31. I agree with Tim as I am sure most Gooners would at this stage. The club are a mess at different levels.

    It seems almost like there was a template while the debt for the stadium was being paid and it was working. Buy young players, give them a chance to shine and reap the benefits. Stick to the classic 4-2-3-1 formation and train these players in the way Wenger knew best.

    When the debt got paid, a new template was needed. Invest in upcoming young players as well as the odd big names, adapt to the necessary tactical shifts ensuring the club are competing with the top rivals and not being easy to fend off.

    Instead, we have a nowhere-near-complete template. A forced tactical change when results didn’t go our way. A change not accompanied by the necessary training required to ensure players understand what they need to do on the pitch. Inability to identify good players in the bunch and tie them to better contracts.

    Its a mess and I expect years before Arsenal can compete again.

  32. I want kronke out also
    there should be a way to force him out
    highest tickets price for what?
    real arsenal fans should walk out at half times and eventually boycotting matches
    I promise not to watch the next 3 arsenal matches which could even be longer

  33. Must we destroy before we build? There is always the chance that after destruction we might not be able to build again. Reconstruction should be the way forward.

  34. The Guardian is reporting that City is offering to swap Sterling and 20 million for for Sanchez. I had thought about this earlier and it makes a lot of sense. Avoiding what would surely be endless speculation about Sanchez’s future is inherently valuable, as is not needlessly letting him walk on a free next year.

    Sterling is not in Sanchez’s class but we certainly need a player of his type with Alexis and the Ox gone.

    1. If City give us £40 million and Sterling I would bite their hand off. Would also like to sell Ozil and bring in Seri and Draxler but I doubt Ozil has any buyers right now.

    2. Sterling’s agent is Ox’s agent and by all accounts really difficult.

      No thanks. Send us Leroy Sane. City also has a boat load of good youth prospects, we need to restock.

      1. Agreed (though I rate Sterling and in the past would have thought Wenger could be ideal to get the best out of him).
        Also, here’s another way of putting it: would you rather get Sterling in a player swap deal, or sell Sanchez outright and get Mahrez or (even) Draxler. Personally, the Aidy Ward factor tips things decisively away from Sterling. I’d prefer Mahrez and definitely prefer Draxler.
        For the most part I think us pulling off a big deal at the last minute in our current state is fanciful, but Mahrez has wanted to come to us all summer, Leicester are willing to sell for the right price, and he doesn’t have a lot of other suitors. Draxler seems much more likely and I’m inclined to say it won’t work because he won’t want to come, but there’s an outside chance that he’s being forced out and would be willing to come to us (for one, he’s buddies with Ozil).
        I’d still prefer to keep Sanchez, but I’m slightly wavering on that view based on (a) it makes sense to keep him if we are going all out for the title this season, but it’s increasingly looking like we’re resigned to a rebuilding year (or years), and (b) it’s impossible to tell based on Sunday, of course, but I think there’s a distinct possibility that Sanchez will phone it in all season if he stays.

        1. Draxler isn’t coming to Arsenal. I think the entire German national team has been alerted that Arsenal are a tactical joke.

          1. yeah, I assume so as well. very hypothetical. but Mahrez is a little more realistic, and the question is: Sterling or Mahrez (assuming it’s essentially a straight choice between them)? or keep Alexis?
            One thing we should absolutely not do is sell Alexis if we’re not going to immediately invest the money. that is, if we have any ambitions of maybe/kinda/sorta challenging for a CL place for next season.

          2. PFo – tell me where Mahrez fits in this set up. We have a right winger in Theo Walcott that can’t get on the field and yet sucks up 100k per week. To my Mahrez is Theo Walcott with a bit more skill and polish, but not more speed, not much more finish and not much more work ethic.

      2. Sane would be ideal but it doesn’t seem likely. I think our negotiating leverage is pretty minimal after everyone saw Sanchez’s body language on Sunday. City knows he is desperate to leave and that Arsenal don’t want him sulking around the locker room all season.

        Perhaps the question is, does it make more sense to take Sterling + 20 million or a lesser aggregate value entirely in cash (perhaps around 40 million)?

        1. Sterling and 20m, all day every day, but surely we can push for more than 20m from them, or we can just keep hold of what we got and deal with the consequences wrt Sanchez’s attitude after the window closes. Still think he’d be far more a positive than a negative for us this season if he stays.

    3. I think Sterling plus 20m is still too low (obviously not really, given that Sanchez is in the last year of his contract, but surely if City want him bad enough we can gauge them for more (Pep bought Ibra for Eto’o AND something like 40m, and that was way back in 2009!!!)).

  35. Agree completely. Nothing positive can happen at Arsenal until Wenger is gone. And until he is gone there is nothing worth talking about. I have stopped watching Arsenal for maybe a year now and won’t watch them again until he is no longer our manager.

  36. Not buying match tickets or renewing season tickets would have economic impact as it would just free up more seats for the football tourists
    They will always come as the Emirates will always be on the itinerary
    Ever go to Barcelona without going to the Nou Camp ?

  37. Probably all true. Yeah, we’ve been here before. Yeah, things might get a lot worse. True, this season is already promising despair.
    But I’m still going to turn that match on next time. Still going to buy my nephews new kits for the season. Still gonna hope that we turn things around and this season ends up being not half bad.
    Sorry, I get where everyone is coming from. But I can’t….

  38. Father time is undefeated. There is nothing out of the ordinary happening to Wenger’s abilities.

    All the top managers from the 90’s and 2000’s are not at elite clubs anymore. They are either at NT level, at executive level, China (or where the money is) or retired.

    I cant understand why our board cant see this.

  39. If everyone thinks this is comical just wait- stan the man’s son will drive AFC into the ground and balance the books.

  40. things are obviously a mess behind the scenes, not sure how much of it is down to Wenger though. Looks like it’s going to be a long couple of seasons

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