Concierge: Mr. Wenger, how are you?
Wenger: Well, thank you. A little tired. (sighs) Ok, if I am completely honest I need a little bit your help.
Concierge: Say no more sir! I have exactly what you need over here, a midfielder. Let’s see.. you missed out on Camacho, I sold him to Wolfsburg. Keita would be perfect but he’s on layaway for Liverpool as of yesterday.. you still don’t want Carvalho?
Wenger: No. I’m not here to buy a midfielder. I have plenty. My team has too many midfielders.
Concierge: How about Rubén Perez or Seri?
Wenger: I am here to make an exchange.
Con: Oh? What would you like to return?
Con: Whoa. That’s.. that’s a big ask Arsene. I mean. Are you sure? Why don’t you just keep him? You made him into a superstar. I remember when people laughed at how much you paid for him from Barcelona. They said he was the “chaff” from the Suarez deal. Man, you really picked a top player there and you did the thing that you used to brag about: you didn’t BUY a superstar, you MADE him! You keep him.
AW: I can not. He has stopped working.
Con: WHAT? Did you drop him? How did you break Alexis?
AW: I do not know. He has simply maybe stopped working. I would like to exchange him, please.
Con: (raises eyebrows dramatically). I see. Let’s see what we have here.
AW: How about Aguero?
Con: Don’t be ridiculous. Kun would never join Arsenal. I mean, no offense but you do know that you have a reputation now? You are literally trying to exchange your broken reputation as we speak. Let’s try something a little less outlandish. (checks the shelves behind him) Ah yes, here, Sterling.
AW: (a pained grimace) hmm.. possibly. We could sell him to the fans as the “New British Corpse.”
Con: Core or c.o.r.p.s., not corpse.
AW: Yes. As I said. Ok, but we will need cash as well. To cover expenses. £20m.
Con: I think this can be arranged. Anything else?
AW: yes. I would also like to exchange this Gibbs.
Con: You still have Gibbs? That’s incredible. He’s in good shape. Barely used. What would you like for him?
AW: Johnny Evans.
Con: (laughing.. Wenger stares at him, cold eyed) Oh, uh, sure. I think we can do that. Uhh. Well this is odd. I will need to talk to Pulis. I will try to get you £7m for Gibbs and see what can be done about Evans. Call back tomorrow, ok? Whew. That’s a lot you’re asking Arsene! I pray there’s nothing else you need? I mean, I’d get a midfielder in there personally. OHHH I know! How about… Rolando MANDRAGORA? Juventus kid, on loan to Crotone. He’s got that dragon thing that’s super popular right now. Or Leon Goretzka!
AW: No midfielders. We have plenty. And no more Germans, they have not worked out very well for us. Actually, I have a few more items I need moved.
Con: Are you having an estate sale? Did someone die?
AW: (stares at him cold again) I need to move Mustafi, Ox, Debuchy, Chambers, Wilshere, Lucas Perez, and Joel Campbell.
Con: there are two days left in the transfer window, sir. I would need to be a miracle worker to make all that happen. Also, are you really trying to tell me that you are going to sell ten players (if I include Jenkinson) and bring in just three or four? And no midfielders?
AW: No midfielders.
LOL, I had forgotten about Joel Campbell.
how could you forget about Joel Campbell?! Wenger is selling Ox and Sanchez to make room in the starting 11 for Joel because he is one of the players this team has to be built around in the future. He wants want him to commit to the club and be one of the carriers of the values of our team.
He wants to keep his best players. He only has one target – to keep everybody on board. I think he invested a lot of time, confidence and money on players like Joel Campbell, who he bought at a young age. For him, they have a responsibility for the future of this club because Joel Campbell will be one of the big English players in the coming years. He is personally highly determined to keep him here at the club and I hopes he will commit.
I’m behind Wenger on this Joel Campbell project! Great that he was able to make him English and that as well!
Wenger the mad king: “SELL THEM ALL, SELL THEM ALL!”
At least this madness has made the transfer window a bit more exciting. Sky must be very happy.
Much needed satirical laugh today. Well done!
He’s such a great man. A good man too. At his core, I’m sure a very decent person despite the faults we all complain about.
The problem is that he’ll NEVER leave his life’s work unless he’s told in no uncertain terms, i.e. the sack. I hate the idea of Wenger actually being sacked but I can’t see him going voluntarily. Many of us called time on him 3 years ago and yet…here we are.
Oh wow Jonny Evans. What a massive coup. Always dreamt of him in an Arsenal shirt.
He will follow right along the footsteps of Sylvestre and Welbeck.
Is Arsene trolling us? I have no other answer. It’s incomprehensible what’s happening.
It really is incomprehensible. I loved the satire. Needed it even. Especially the “New British Corpse.” Dark comedy for dark times. Also loved the “no midfielders” bit. I have an easy time imagining Wenger saying this: “I do not know. He has simply maybe stopped working. I would like to exchange him, please.” I guess the reason the satire is so funny is because it seems so close to reality.
Jack, I think maybe the universe is trolling us. I imagine it’s a bit how Americans not inclined to vote for Trump felt on Wed. the 9th of November 2016.
“Hi arsene…OK so reviewed the draft you sent over….the last several chapters are a bit….well…its all doom and gloom…anything you can get in there to, you know…liven it up a bit? At this rate you’re bio will not come close to matching Fergusons sales”.
“well I am still writing this each day…lets see if I can do anything interesting to put in there”
i tried to laugh but i’m afraid i may break down in tears.
valencia must love doing business with arsenal. two and a half years ago, they sold arsenal gabriel for 12 million and bought him back this summer, closer to his prime, for 10 million. the strange thing about that was he was the one player that seemed to benefit most from the formation change last season but arsenal sold him. huh? last summer, valencia asked £20 million for mustafi and arsenal paid them £35 million for him. huh? wenger kept dallying so they kept raising the price. that’s amazing; nearly double what they originally asked for.
the management of this team is baffling. it seems they had the perfect balance for the back three; 2 senior central defenders, 2 entering their prime defenders, and 2 young defenders. but wenger has moved on the two cbs entering their prime and refuses to play one of the senior guys. if there’s no one there to mentor the young bucks, how are they supposed to learn? wenger sure isn’t going to teach them.
can you see anyone at arsenal signing a contract extension besides aaron ramsey or theo walcott? as much as we love the club, if you were an arsenal player, would you sign a contract extension? chamberlain just turned down £180k a week, saying “f–k this place”. do you guys know that i still have the 8-2 game on my dvr but was out of town when it happened and i’ve never watched it? for some strange reason, i’ve never deleted it either. i’ve never seen arsenal lose that bad. i don’t think i can watch arsenal this season. liverpool could have beaten arsenal 8-0 on sunday. it’s just a matter of time before another 8-2 happens and it will probably be against man united again. i think i’m going to go cry in the dark with nina simone playing.
seriously, i see wenger resigning this season, probably just before christmas. it will be dramatic. he’ll probably be in tears as he admits he has no clue how to move the team forward and will feel as if he’s dishonoring his contract. standby for this.
I don’t think there will be tears. There will be no press conference either. There will be a press release that blames the lack of support from the fans and the board. I don’t believe his ego will ever let him admit shortcomings until after several months of quiet reflection. Then Phillipe Auclair finds him in some villa in Monaco and he gives his side of the story.
I mean, what has he been doing all summer? Besides signing all his cronies in the backroom team onto new contracts.
Whatever is going on ‘behind the scenes’, the appearance is one of wanton self-destruction.
Wenger has becomed the football Donald Trump. Saying stuff so illogical every normal person would be ashamed to think, and slowly destroying the organization of which he is an integral part. Sad!
On a side note, I just remembered the BRITISH CORE, with their own PR launch event, a synchronized signing and other cringeworthy moments that make me laugh at myself for feeling excited when that happened. None of those turned out a success, and I’m including Ramsey as well.
I’m as sad as anyone about the state of the club at the moment.
But what I don’t agree with are the accusations being thrown around suggesting Arsene Wenger is senile or mad or losing his mind. Frankly I think it’s kind of gross and demeaning to him as a human being.
I’d hope it’s the kind of language none of us would use to his face (or anybody’s face) but on the internet gross insults about the man’s mental faculties seem fine and safe and consequence free. It’s easy.
I’m not saying the man can’t be criticized. Criticize his transfers and his tactics. Criticize his excuses and his record. But throwing out insults like mad or senile are, in my opinion, pretty $hitty.
I agree with that, Jeremy.
Wenger sat on a panel with Les Ferdinand, Gary Lineker, Henry Winter and others recently, a few weeks ago. I was proud of him — he’s a clear and original thinker about the game.
I just think he’s actually, now, a poor manager of the on and off-field activities of Arsenal Football Club. He has overstayed his welcome by about 4 years, and the club is suffering for it.
I don’t think it’s disrespectful to suggest he’s senile. Quite the opposite in fact. I think most of us have so much respect for AW, that after racking our brains trying to figure out how some of his recent decisions regarding transfers, team selection and player positions could possibly benefit the club or the team and failing at this thought experiment, that we are left with cognitive malaise. Most of us recognize his genius and recognize that our own thoughts about football don’t come close to approximating it, but when we all recognize a series of terrible decisions as such, simultaneously, we are left with few answers.
I have a conspiracy theory that Wenger’s intent behind his recent team selections and team setup was that this team setup would be feeding more of the ball to the players he’d like to sell, thereby making them look better to the buyers. In other words, to dickey-up a player for a sale during the transfer window.
This theory fits the case for Oxlade in the first two games. Oxlade had 7 shots on goal in those two games, far more than he usually has. Did you see Stoke’s goal against Arsenal, and did you see Oxlade’s role in that scene — http://arsenalist.com/f/2017-18/stoke-vs-arsenal/stoke-goal-1-0-jese.html ? For that goal, Arsenal lose possession, two Stoke players break at pace, Oxlade is in midfield nearby and sees it happening, and he doesn’t run back to defend (he walks and saunters back). I infer he had been instructed to generally keep himself available in midfield and don’t worry too much about defense.
The weird team setup for those games also ought to have fed more ball to Welbeck. If I wanted to sell Welbeck to a rich buyer in this transfer window (and yes I want to, because he’s too inefficient and Perez delivered better end product numbers), then the first thing I’d do is give Welbeck more visibility on the field, meaning more playing time and more of the team’s ball. Buyer assessment of Welbeck must be based on actually seeing him play in the time period since his return this year from his last longterm injury.
Sadly, this is probably the only appropriate type of article needed to be written about Arsenal from now on till Wenger leaves.
Statistical analysis? Please,what’s the point?
You know it’s getting bad when his staunchest backers question his team selections.
It used to be Arsenal squad picked itself, then as Wenger acquired more and more players it became a bit harder to predict the starting line ups but more than a few still managed to get it right.
At the moment not a single pundit, fan, blogger comes even close to naming the starting 11. That’s how crazy Wenger’s reasoning has gotten.
But hey, what do we know?
Unless you managed at the very top for as long as Wenger has , who are we to question the great visionary?
I agree with you Tom. Why bother with all the hard work involving statistical analysis?
Tim, more of the same please. Laughter is the best medicine, as they say.
Yes, I would describe the mood at Arsenal very much as esprit de corpse.
Massive thumbs up.
The Arsenal reddit today is out of control. Its like a soap Opera, links to players everywhere. Does appear like Arsene has decided to burn the house down. Ox, Mustafi, Alexis all gone. Ozil probably stays by mercy of the fact no one wants him.
Why wait until now to do all of this? Clearly there is a lot of internal politiking going on at Arsenal, do we have money to spend? Do we not? Who’s really controlling transfers? Whats with all the crazy team selections? Its all questions and no answers.
Well done. We are truly living in a theater of the absurd. As for change, the only people other than Kroenke who can do anything are the players themselves. They’d have to pull a mass rebellion a la Chelsea of two seasons ago and tank the season towards relegation territory. Unlike Chelsea, these players, other than Sanchez, Mustafi, and Cech, seem perfectly happy to mail in performances and collect their Arsene sanctioned, bloated paychecks. Fan boycotts, online petitions, half empty stadium seats won’t do anything. I really can’t see Silent Stan changing anything unless the massive BPL check is put in jeopardy.
Good grief, Liverpool are showing seriousness of purpose in pursuing Lemar. Like, you know, bids they’d find hard to refuse?
Arsene chose to (1) declare the deal dead, saying Monaco aren’t selling him (2) plant a story in the media that we’re confident of landing him and Van Dijk next summer. Not if they’re at Liverpool by Thursday, Sparky.
That little skit is hilarious, Tim, but so on the money. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
I think Liverpool waited to see if they were going to make the Champions League before finishing up their transfer business.
Naby Keita was great business (on lay-away, I like that), Lemar is probably on the understanding that Coutinho could be sold then in January to offset. Van Dijk is a given for Pool – why would he trade Southampton for us when that might mean only climbing two or three spots in the standings.
Like I commented previously, if Liverpool do sign Lemar, it’ll be a slap in the face to Arsenal fandom. The very clear implication is that our attempts to sign him were nothing but a well managed campaign of disinformation and false news designed to keep fans on board with Wenger. It seems the only Arsenal employees who are truly earning their pay is that part of the PR department that deals with transfer rumors. The contrast between FSG and Kroenke is disheartening. Holding managers accountable and actually firing them if performance standards are unmet. Calling our bluff on Suarez and getting a super productive last season out of him before moving him on to Barca. Locking up Naby Keita. Signing Lemar would be the ultimate gut punch.
It certainly seems like nothing’s changed when it comes to transfer strategy despite all the pre summer talk.
The only thing I’m not sure of is how much of this is down to the manager, how much is down to the board, and how much is down to the owner.
Ultimately, the buck stops with Kroenke. FSG, regardless of Liverpool’s success or lack thereof, are showing what ownership does when they actually care about maximizing on field performance with the monies available to them. FFS, their revenue is less than ours.. But Wenger is surely complicit with being risk averse when it comes to the balance sheet vs squad improvement.
I agree with that.
I want a new manager at the club (even if I’m not convinced that’s going to change much in regards to our transfer spend or overall attitude). But I’m a big fan of Arsene Wenger the man (as most people are here) and it’s going to break my heart to see him hounded out of the club as the main villain when the players, the board and the owner are probably going to avoid any similar indignity.
He’s done more for the club than any of them.
I know people will say that’s how it goes and he’s well paid etc but it doesn’t make it any easier to know that it’s more and more likely his departure from Arsenal is going to be ugly and unpleasant.
If it was the board and owner withholding budget why doesn’t Wenger protect his legacy and go out and publicly bitch about it. Conte just did it. Mourinho moans all the time about money. Tuchel walked from Dortmund over budget and direction of the team.
Agree completely about Lemar to Liverpool, except I’d add that an even less positive interpretation of events is that Arsenal did genuinely “try” to get him, but we’re just TERRIBLE at making transfers happen. By all accounts he wanted to come, but Monaco didn’t want to sell, and we were too naive/stupid/cheap/cowardly to stick our necks out and make them an offer they couldn’t refuse. That and (even more depressingly) Liverpool might actually be his preferred choice, i.e. once we heard they were going in maybe we’ve had contact with Monaco and Lemar again too, only to be told he’d prefer to go there (though this is complete conjecture, obviously).
I don’t care if Lemar’s the next big thing who would’ve solved all our troubles or not. From what I’ve seen of him I like him, but I think we have greater needs elsewhere. But pursuing him all summer (seems he was pretty much the only player we were after once Lacazette happened) and failing to get close to tempting Monaco to sell, only for Liverpool to steal in at the last minute, would be incredibly symbolic of what an embarrassing shambles our once great club is becoming.
And citeh have officially bid for Sanchez? 50mil pounds… I’m conflicted
We will sell. Trying to negotiate player swap but cannot see us turning down an offer of that size.
I can’t see any reason not to take that offer. Whether he stays or goes, we’re going to struggle this season, may as well take the dosh and look to rebuild next season under a new manager (har har har.)
Well done Tim, one of your best. Really resonated with me. Satire aside however, this all sucks. It sucks hard. I have never felt so down on my club after not even 10% of the Premier League season.
Usually I hate the inter-lulls but this time it’s welcome relief despite coming so early in the season. We used to be like Man U fans once. Lamenting the international weekends because they interrupted our momentum, our flow.
But right now I’m grateful for something pulling the plug however momentarily, on The Old Man and his complete loss of the plot. Of course that means we are not in a good place.
And all this so soon after establishing Arsenal as the most successful FA Cup club in history. A half-dozen wins in a cup competition however, is not compensation for our abject European record and consistent failure to mount real challenges in the Premier League.
Where do we go from here? I think we need to blow up the squad. Everything and everyone is dispensable in my mind right now. CRTL-ALT-DEL.
S**t just got real. Ox rejects a 40m move to Chelsea. Puts Liverpool in the drivers seat. At the same time we reject a 50m bid for Sanchez… Because we want Sterling thrown in the deal. He’s going to give us some fire and fury. The new Samir Nasri. OMG I couldn’t write anything funnier
Seems like there is a new twist- offer all your players for sale without actually selling them! Apparently Ox doesn’t want a switch to Chelsea due to the likelihood he will played at wingback there (lol!). Also, the club has apparently turned down a 50 million offer for Sanchez.
Both these guys need to be sold as foregoing the 85 million in transfer fees just to finish 5th/6th instead of 6th/7th is insane. I really hope the club will come to its senses but the window closes in less than 48 hours and not a single sale has been closed.
Nightmare scenario is that Alexis and Ox both end up staying. Then we have 2 players who do not want to be here and have little fan good will. And we have lost the potential cash. On top of dross like Joel Campbell we have a squad if unwanted players who either do not wish to perform or not good enough to perform.
I am expecting widespread fan discontent in Emirates within a month and it will get worse and worse. Sooner if he tries to play Ox or Alexis if they stay. And generally speaking this is the one place where Arsene usually gets a reasonable ride with the occasional “one Arsene Wenger” chant even if not deserved.
What would be the worst scenario imaginable?
… that every player who wants to leave the club cannot be sold.
Perez – apparently we don’t like Deportivo’s offer and want Perez to take Levante’s… he doesn’t want to play for Levant
Wilshere – no English clubs have come for him. We are offering him on loan to Real Betis, they don’t really need him and Wilshere doesn’t want to move abroad
Sanchez – City offer us 50 million cash and we want cash plus Sterling (exactly the opposite type of player that we need)
Ox – Chelsea offer us an absurd 40m for him and he turns it down! He wants to play in the middle for Liverpool. Klopp is laughing now knowing he can get Ox for 15-20m. We probably can’t abide the insult and will hold onto him.
Debuchey – still with us.
Chambers – still with us.
Ozil – still with us, will never resign now
Mustafi – still with us, how would you feel if your club was willing to cast you off after one year?
I can’t believe this s**t show.
Agree Jack. Also Joel Campbell still with us to add to the list.
How does that saying go? It takes two to tango right? I agree, to a certain extent with TeeSong, that the buck stops with Kroenke. However, Kroenke has given Wenger the keys to the castle. I think because of Wenger’s history and his own lack of knowledge of the sport, he actually believes Wenger is the best man to carry the club forward. By all accounts, its Wenger who decides how much players are worth and how much he wants to spend on them. Take Lemar for example. It’s obvious that we wanted the player and the player wanted to come to Arsenal. There is no way we made multiple bids for a player without having been given clear indication from the player’s agent that he wants to come to Arsenal. However, Monaco values the player at €80 mil and I believe the max bid we put in was around €50 mil. Why the hell would Monaco sell him to us at that price when they are selling their fullback at a higher price? Is this Kroenke’s valuation of the player or Wenger’s? I think we all know the answer. Liverpool, on the other hand, offered exactly the amount that Monaco wanted. There is a very good chance that Monaco is going to sell. The only way he doesn’t go to Liverpool is if Monaco has decided that they have sold too many players and can’t replace him this late in the game but given the way they have been cashing out, I wouldn’t rest my hopes on that.
Kroenke, as an owner, is very slow to change things. He persisted with Jeff Fisher as the Rams head coach for years. Only after last year when their record became atrocious and they couldn’t get more than 3.2 YPC out of their star running back Todd Gurley did they finally decide to cut him loose. The good news is that they have gone and bought a very young coach with a lot of new ideas who is already making their number one draft pick from last year, Jared Goff, look a lot better. They have also bought a good wide receiver in Sammy Watkins and improved their O-line. The bad news for them is that they play in a very tough division but at least, they have made most of the moves they badly needed to make.
I understand people’s frustration with Kroenke and it’s a legitimate one but I think first and foremost our issues are on the field, not off the field. We should be competing for the league with the players we have. We can have a whole new group of players and a new owner but as long as Wenger is charge, nothing will change. He is the one who needs to go.
The Lemar thing is an embarrassment and makes me sad and angry every time I think about it. Anyone think there’s ANY chance we at least try to steal in with a last minute bigger offer to get him????
Maybe the best possible scenario is selling Ox to Pool means they can’t afford Lemar as well.
Unfortunately I think it’s the other way around: Lemar is option one, Ox their backup. Either that or the embarrassing amount of money Barca are paying them for Coutinho means they easily have the cash for both (but with Can, Winaljdum, Henderson, Lallana and Keira coming next summer, and decently stocked in the front three too, it’s not clear why they’d want both).
I’m not even that sure Lemar wanted to come. The stories mostly came from access merchants like John Cross, there was little coming from french sources, so I’m a little dubious on this considering how active our PR department is spinning stories.
My memory is fuzzy but I’m *pretty* sure the reports that he was interested were a bit more reputable than that, e.g. Get French football news, etc
Plus, I don’t think we put in multiple bids for a player unless we have at least some assurances from player’s agent that they’re interested.
I’m also referring to Get French Football. They, or rather L’Equipe reported news were mainly coming from England, not much from France.
Its going to be a long two years!
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