Rodgers and infighting: this is not a hot take

It has been exactly one day since Arsene Wenger announced that he was stepping down from Arsenal football club and in the 24 hours since there have been so many hot takes that I fear for the global ice caps this summer*. However, unlike climate change and the imminent melting of the global ice caps, these Arsene Wenger hot takes aren’t actually hot.

This is not a hot take: Brendan Rodgers should be considered for the position.

I’ve looked in the four blank envelopes that I’m holding and they each read: No. He. Should. Not.  No top club in world football would seriously consider Brendan Rodgers for manager. Real Madrid wouldn’t fire Zidane and hire Rodgers. PSG isn’t going to drop Emery and hire Rodgers. He’s not going to get Conte’s job at Chelsea. He won’t be considered for Mourinho’s job at Man U. Arsenal aren’t going to interview Rodgers.

The thing people (Oliver Kay from the Times) mostly bang on about is how he “developed” young players. No, not true. Sterling was considered a failure by most until this season under Pep Guardiola. Emre Can was taken by Klopp and moved from error-prone CB to world class CM. What Rodgers did do, was get Luis Suarez and almost win the League because he had the best striker in the world on his team and his team only had to play once a week at most.

Even if I’m generous and say he “developed” Suarez*, the problem with Rodgers wasn’t the fact that he never really developed talent. Rodgers’ problem was that he was exposed in his last two seasons at Liverpool for tactical ineptitude.

First, he struggled in matches against big teams. Against Man U, Man City, Arsenal, and Chelsea he has just 7 wins in 41 matches. If we include Everton, it’s just 8 wins in 50. That’s a 16% win rate.

Wenger is often criticized for “not having a plan B” but Rodgers had that problem in spades. He insisted on the back three after it was clear that it wasn’t working. After matchday 29 in the 2014/15 season, Rodgers lost 2-1 to United, 4-1 to Arsenal, 2-1 to Aston Villa, 1-0 to Hull, 3-1 to Crystal Palace, and 6-1 to Stoke City. That summer, he didn’t go back to the drawing board and reinvent his team, he simply went back in with the same approach. Before Liverpool finally cut him, his team conceded 15 goals in their first 11 matches.

He also has a weird record in the transfer market. Benteke cost Liverpool a £15m loss, Lazar Markovich £25m, Balotelli £20m, and there have been some other very strange purchases. He did buy Coutinho from Inter (who was eventually sold for 10x his purchase) but I can’t help see names like Benteke, Balotelli, Lazar, and Rickie Lambert and wonder what Rodgers was thinking.

And most importantly, Rodgers was fired in 2015 and Jurgen Klopp was brought in. Klopp has struggled his first two seasons but came in with a vision and has executed that plan to stunning effect. I haven’t revealed my predictions for next season yet but I will say now that I have Liverpool challenging for the League title.

When Rodgers was fired (after a 1-1 draw with Everton) they were in 10th place, they had a struggling defense, they were playing a back three, and they had a poorly constructed football team in need of an overhaul both on the practice field and in the transfer market. Arsenal are in nearly that exact same situation right now and they have to do something similar to what Liverpool did in 2015.

It would be an insult to Wenger’s career at Arsenal to replace him with Brendan Rodgers.

This is not a hot take: will the fan base change once Wenger is gone?

One thing I look forward to is having a rational discussion with reasonable humans about Arsenal football club and I think Wenger’s departure is going to help that.. a bit.

What drives me nuts about Arsenal supporters is that if I say “Ramsey was out of position here for this defensive play and often leaves a hole in midfield because Wenger wants him to play forward in order add to Arsenal’s attack” people respond with “well your agenda against Wenger is clear”.

I can’t wait for that to stop. Not only is it a logical fallacy, it’s annoying. Maybe they will say “I see your agenda against (insert next manager)” or “I see your agenda against (insert player)” but at least I won’t have to hear this factually ridiculous statement again for a long time.

The other thing I can’t wait to see are the people who are supporters of Arsene FC, the people who have told me that “real” supporters never criticize anything, start criticizing the next manager. I wonder how they will react if Ramsey isn’t allowed to play center forward next season? Or if Bellerin is dropped because he’s not up to par.

I think we are in for a change in the way that a lot of people talk about Arsenal.

This is not a hot take: you can both love Wenger and want a change

When I have an agenda against someone (Brendan Rodgers), I think I make it pretty clear (Brendan Out). I’ve never said that I WANT Wenger fired. I wanted him to retire years ago, that’s different. I never said I WANTED Wenger fired this Spring, but I did predict the board doing just that.

I’ve always said that I want Arsenal to succeed and that I like Arsene Wenger as a human. I’ve also said that our marriage, here, at Arsenal, wasn’t working anymore. We went to counseling, we tried some expensive gifts, but in the end we couldn’t make it work.

Even Wenger himself once said, “I always say that a manager has a love story with a club and he has to behave like it will be a love story forever but not be stupid enough to believe that it will never end. It could end at any minute, but you have to behave like it will last forever.”

The marriage between Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal is over. That doesn’t mean I hate him or wish him ill. I hope he goes to Real Madrid and manages them to four consecutive Champions League titles.


*He didn’t. I’ve written about Suarez many times over the years and Suarez was fundamentally unchanged as a player and human from his time at Ajax until he signed for Barcelona. His stats are remarkably consistent across his career.




  1. I think I can agree with you on Brendon Rodgers, he is not the one for Arsenal. Not now not ever!

    Nor, as far as I’m concerned, should we be considering either Viera or Arteta, between them they do not have the necessary level of experience.

  2. Brendan Rodgers, no thanks.

    I wouldn’t say Emre Can is anywhere near WC, but if Juve truly want him then that is a testament to his ability.

    I don’t know who I want that is currently available to replace Arsene. I know Simeone is unrealistic but I want him, if only because he is so radically different. Zidane might work even though he’s more of a motivator than a tactician rom- who knows? – but it can only go badly for him at Arsenal. It’s not a risk he’d want to take.

    Enrique? Same problem as Zidane. How do you judge their ability?

    Nagelsmann? His greatest appeal is his youth, but that is also his biggest liability.

    Tuchel? Not happening apparently (unless PSG decide they want Wenger), and anyway the Mislintat thing. Wonder if we got the wrong person.

    Vieira? Henry? No thanks.

    Ancelotti? Possibly to stabilize the ship and take the flak for not immediately winning the league, but not sure he’s the ideal stopgap manager.

    Eusebio di Francesco? Judging by how Roma are doing, this would be a good move. But could we pry him away?

    1. Arteta and Mertesackler are not ready yet.

      Allegri? I mean, how do you lose Serie A with Juve. More impressive is the progress he’s made in the CL, but it is the Zidane/Enrique problem to some degree.

      Who else? Honestly if this had happened a few years ago we would have been able to have Klopp, Pochettino, Conte or Pep. Probably not the latter, realisticially, but I’m saying we would’ve been in with a shot.

      1. Enrique has basically had 2 good seasons in his managerial career, both with Barcelona. I like a guy with the balls to bench Messi, and he has been a winner his whole life, but let someone else see if he can hack the Premier League. He’s not an innovator though by any stretch.

        Gazidis has boxed himself in with his “bold” statement about the choice. This rules out in my mind Benitez, Ancelotti and possibly Low and Rodgers as well.

        Nagelsmann would be interesting although the word is he’s an irritating personality and it looks like prolonged exposure to him sours players.

        The Schalke guy, Domenico Tedesco is my dark horse bet. 32 with a great record so far and from the German coaching academy which, given that we are trying to build a German model club would fit. It would be bold and definitely a move for the long term future. Plus, as Arseblog is speculating is another criteria for Gazidis and co. – he’d be very controllable.

        1. I watched the the Tifo football video on Tedesco and some other stuff around Meyer. I liked how he changed the system to deal with opposition sitting deeper. Haven’t watched any of Schalke really so don’t have an informed opinion. But I agree, Tedesco does have a good feel about him.

          The more I think about it, the more I feel we’ll go for a younger coach. I just hope it isn’t Henry who was earlier reported to be Josh Kroenke’s choice.

          Also, why is no one talking about Unai Emery?

          1. Criteria for a the new manager:

            1) Controllable by Gazidis & co.
            2) Young(er) – “a new way forward” – but with some top flight experience
            3) Speaks at least passable English
            4) Early Adopter of New Technology, Training Methods and Psychology
            5) Tactically flexible
            6) Knows how to develop young players
            7) Will aid in recruitment, has good reputation and/or insider knowledge of talent pipelines
            8) Will have the gravitas/personality to deal with Ozil, Aubameyang et al., especially in a rough patch

            If you made a matrix with these criteria, and the candidates being discussed, there’s too many strikes against Tuchel, Conte, Benitez, Ancelotti, Enrique, Simeone and Rodgers, Arteta, Vieira and Henry.

            Nagelsmann, Tedesco, Emery and Low would be the front runners and check off the most boxes. Low has been out of club management too long. Emery may be scarred by underachieving at PSG.

            Nagelsmann or Tedesco then. Both would be bold choices, both would be cutting edge. Tedesco would bring Max Meyer with him to London vs. some of the players at Hoffenheim are grumpy about Nagelsmann’s intensity.

            Tedesco is my out of the box prediction.

          2. I don’t quite see why Tuchel would be out? His problems with the Dortmund board were very specific to their situaqtion and what has happened with the bomb attack at their team bus.

          3. It was Tuchel’s fighting with the Dortmund brass and Mislintat that made me think he’d be viewed as too much of a potential challenge to the new authority. David Ornstein has basically said he’s going to PSG – barring now, Wenger taking that job. Although I think Wenger should retire, he’s not the man to take PSG to the Champions League title.

          4. Yeah, talk in Germany is he’s nailed on for the PSG job. There was a short-lived story in kicker that he was going to Arsenal, but that was quickly shot down. He let Bayern know, that he’s ot available anymore and that set the speculation in motion.
            He is a bit of a prick, but his problems with the Dortmund brass should be taken too seriously. Dortmund is a bit special and it was always hard for him to follow up Kloppo, also in terms of the relationship of the club and coach. But it deteriorated considerably after the Monaco game after the assault before the Monaco game. He was of the opinion that the game should have never gone ahead and that the club didn’t do enough to protest. That left the CEO as the villain and he didn’t like that too much. Dortmund fans are very mixed themselves on the way it has gone down, the role of the brass in all of this and the current mediocrity.

        2. I wouldn’t go overboard with tedesco, it’s his first season with in the top flight and the step up to a top club comes way too soon. He’s doing a good job with Schalke but that’s still a long way to go to taking over Arsenal.
          There’s a good potrait of Nagelsmann in the Guardian Buli column ( but he’s probably also going for a smaller step by going to Dortmund e.g. or maybe even staying.

  3. Contemplating Brendan Rodgers as Arsenal manager is like wishing Shkrodan Mustafi was an Arsenal CB!
    Oh, wait…

    There is a rumor about that Pep Guardiola will consider his future at Man City at the end of the season.

    Why not? A young legend replacing an old legend. Anything is possible and London is still one of the greatest cities in the world.

  4. I have a lotto time for Ancelotti. Pure class. But ideally I would want some 10 years younger with more of a career ahead than behind. This is a new era now and we need fresh ideas to navigate 21st century football.

    1. A friend of mine who is fluent German tells me what has been written about Ancelotti of his days at Bayern should make us all uber-cautious. I also thought he would have been a very good choice for succession, but I’ve kind of changed my mind when hearing about the lazy training sessions, the poor man-management and other things that soured the Bayern players to him.

      1. Most people here have Ancelotti’s time at Chelsea on their minds but he was really, really awful and uninterested at Bayern. He looked completely uninterested on doing or developing anything beynd the bare minimum. and that was a squad and club that was looking forward to someone with a more relaxed approach after the demanding Guardiola. They completely lost their attacking structure and got by by pure talent alone. Compare that to the turnaround under Heynckes.

  5. But Rodgers has got himself a brand new set of teeth. Big sparkling ones too 🙂

    Ok , maybe it’s harsh to brand someone a failure based on a single game but for me, Rodgers’ biggest failure up to date was the Chelsea game when his tactics and not Gerard’s slip cost Liverpool the title.

    Up 5 points on Chelsea and 6 on City all he really needed that day was one point with three games left in the season and Liverpool superior goal difference.

    Mourinho was ready to oblige, with his return leg of CL semis at the Bridge against Atleti just a few days away, he rested key players and proceeded to park the blue bus.

    All Rodgers had to do was instruct his players to keep the ball and pass it safely around Demba Ba – Chelsea’s only attacker eager to even cross the halfway line.

    We all know what happened next.

    I don’t care who the new manager is.
    Whoever he is, he will have the back room structure to support him the likes other top clubs have these days.
    Something, apparently, Wenger was strictly against btw.

    I’m glad he is being let go , which is precisely that btw.
    Anyone who thinks he’s made this decision by himself for the good of the club is living in a fantasy world.

    1. Wenger loves the club. Of this there is no doubt.

      Wenger also has a huge self belief. Also no doubt.

      He said himself that it was based on discussions with the board. So there must be an amount of ‘pushing’. But how hard was he pushed?

      There have been persistent rumours since the year before that Wenger had to be persuaded to stay on for the new contract. David Ornstein says the same now, that he was ready to walk away but felt it was his responsibility to not leave before the club was ready for the transition. Seeing as the club feel it was ready now, I see no reason to nitpick over the mutual component of the decision.

      I don’t think Arsenal would have sacked Wenger if he dug his heels in, Josh Kroenke or not. Also, given the discussions, maybe Wenger thought this announcement could light a spark under an underperforming team and lift them to the EL trophy.

      1. So Arsene had to be talked into staying on last season until the new structure was put in place , and he didn’t feel comfortable leaving the club until said structure had been enacted?

        How does Wenger objecting to a director of football position fit in this neat theory of yours then?

        1. He said he wouldn’t be able to change to work under it. Not that it is inherently wrong for a club to have a DoF.

          Besides, he was reacting to a question insinuating he was past it. Of course he’d react strongly to that.

    2. I rather live in a fantasy world, than being sceptical and viewing Wenger in cynicism even in his last Arsenal dying breath. Football world in itself, is a fantasy anyway.

  6. There will of course be an element of people turning on the next manager because he’s not Wenger. Though I think it will mostly be borne out of anger at those that made it their mission to hound Wenger out. Something like..See, this is what you wanted.. However, I think most that supported Wenger will also support the new guy. Because their support was built on the foundations of letting the club do their thing.

    Looking at the extremes of a counter view is always going to lead to an unending cycle of negativity. However, it is hard to let it go because more than ever before, it is the extreme views that get more coverage.

    Brendan Rodgers? No way is he going to be Arsenal manager. Not good enough, and doesn’t have the ‘aura’ either.

    Based on the criteria Gazidis listed it will be an attack minded coach, and someone who will also play the kids. Read that as someone who doesn’t demand a huge budget to compete. I think Luis Enrique is possible. He’s got history with Sanhelli, he plays attacking football, and Barcelona were still bringing through kids when he was there. Importantly, he is used to working as a coach with the team that is given to him, which will be the case with any manager (head coach) Arsenal now employ. Plus, he’s available.

    Of course also the intangible of values. Needs to be a guy who represents the club well. No idea what Enrique is like, but haven’t heard much controversy so I guess he fits.

    I also wonder what it means for the backroom staff. Primorac will undoubtedly leave. Peyton too I guess. Would the club want to get rid of Bould and Lehmann? Somehow I doubt it. They are now the link to the past, and I think both have something to offer.

    There’s also been some rumours that an ex-player will get a board seat. If so, I think it might be Pires.

      1. Nah, the board are going younger. Pires has expressed a desire to play the role of a sporting director. He’s been involved with the club for some time now. (Wilson hasn’t)

    1. I could see this argument being made had Wenger retired on a high a few seasons ago but not now.

      Half the posters on here could coach this Arsenal squad to 54 points and a top 6 with four games remaining.

  7. On Luis Enrique, when he was appointed to Barca, I just remember one article saying how they played a more direct style compared to the Tiki Taka of Pep. I’m not sure of the details of it all, but a more direct style does suit Arsenal and the English League I think.

    Conversely, Gazidis also said they have to be bold. So maybe we will see someone like Nagelsmann or Tedesco being brought in and given time to build a new Arsenal. Especially because they might be more willing to work under certain limiting conditions that more established coaches might not.

    1. Well, he had to, since the attack and the rest of the team were virtually disconnected. It was about giving the ball to Suarez, Neymar and Messi and not worry about the rest. Which, fair play, when you have a trident like that you might as well use it, but there was always the sense that there was little control beyond it. He was very distant to the players though and loathed in the dressing room. Sid Loewe told a story that in his last season the players were debating if they could go on winning or if that would help Enrique survive.

      1. Are you sure this was in his last season and not the first? Apparently he was on his way out in January of his first season were it not for Xavi’s intervention. They won the treble that year.

        He’s reported to be distant from his players, and from the rest of the sideshow. But single minded in his determination to win. I can actually now see why Sanhelli might feel he’s what Arsenal need right now. But I can’t say anything about his football tactics and how they might suit. I guess we’ll find out soon enough, but my money would still be on a young coach from Germany.

        1. Yes, his start was difficult and he was never popular, but the dressing room was firmly against him in the end. He’s said to be very determined and a fitness fanatic, so that kind of intensity is probably something they’re looking at. But tactically his teams casted on the talent of their attacking trident.

  8. Is it weird that i wish for Wenger to go for a while, but when the news drop,I’m absolutely gutted? I was in tears and probably will again if we won Europa Cup.

    About the successor, judging by Gazidia comment, it seems we’re going for hipster manager. There’s a view that we would hire a somewhat caretaker manager, like Ancelotti, but I think we already have it in Wenger this season. Also, looking at our past manager appointment, I wouldn’t be surprised if we hired an inexperienced manager. I was sceptical that Arteta will be realistically considered before he manage a football club, but looking at our past manager profile, he might be. Arsenal actually never shy on taking risk on manager appointment. If our youth manager (u-23 or u-19) promote to replace Wenger, i wouldn’t be very surprised. The fear that the new manager will have big problems navigating through the turbulence of preparing the new season amidst the world cup year will be offset by Mislintat and Sanlehhi. That is why even if the manager is inexperienced, the board will not fear it because they have faith in the new backroom staff to handle it well.

    1. I think this is how a lot of people feel – genuine affection for the old geezer alongside equally real frustrations

  9. By the by, I had a thought today that Wenger must surely be interesting some clubs. PSG, but I think is unlikely. It would go against the stance that Wenger took of clubs paying their own way. Plus their personal relationship might limit it from becoming a professional relationship. As long as PSG are even a bit interested, it must be tempting though. To take over a club with a great squad, with Neymar and Mbappe, two players he’s coveted. And a club that shares his desperate ambition to win the CL.

    Any club that hires him would also basically get a second fan base of the most active online community in the football world. This must have some allure beyond his managerial skills.

    1. I don’t think it’s very serious, but there were reports of Dortmund looking at him.

  10. I have this funny feeling we will not go for a brand name (Allegri, Ancelotti), but instead appoint Benitez, or someone out of the blue, like Julen Lopetegui for example, who has a history of developing all the most talented Spanish players at the moment, coaching them first at the under 23s and now the seniors as well. Just a hunch.

    Of course, this is all based on the way Arsenal did their business the last 22 years. Judging on the last 6 months, it could very well be Enrique.

  11. Was he pushed or did he jump? I think with the arrival of the three amigos, Sanllehi, Mislintat and Fahmi Wenger could clearly see the writing on the wall.

    No way was he going to be allowed to carry on in his total control of all things football at the club. Half a season or so working with the new men was sufficient to convince him that it was time to go. No doubt there was a measure of ” this is how it is and how it’s going to stay”, enough to convince him that his time was up.

  12. So funny Tom n Orson just wants to hear dat wenger was muuch for arsenal FC n not arsene FC

    1. I don’t need to hear certain things to know them for what they are.

      If Alan Pardew and West Bromwich can part ways “mutually “ after eight straight defeats, then why can’t Arsene and Arsenal?

      1. Did you just compare Alan Pardew at WBA to Arsene Wenger at Arsenal?

        Arsene is still managing Arsenal by the way.

        1. Of course not.
          If a failure like Pardew can be spared the ignominy of “ you are fired” , then surely the legend like Arsene can too.

  13. If the Arsenal hire rodGers then they are out of their collective minds!

    Been a fan for over 4 decades, and the trajectory that the Arsenal are on will not allow a backwards move like that.

    I would stop watching and supporting the Arsenal, and turn in my card, as I am sure the Russians had spiked the drinks.

    To quote someone on another blog blog, whom I respect from his writings, and over a half century of support and judgement, GN5 said “frankly I find the whole debate on “did he or didn’t he get pushed” to be very unsavoury.

    Arsenal made a statement so what is wrong with accepting that and letting a great manager leave with his head held proudly high?

    I find it all to be in very poor taste.”

    Everyone should remember the the kroenke’s own the Arsenal and their idea of increasing the value of the brand still remains, so for me a coach who can balance youth, cost and ambition it will be for me.

  14. Oliver Kay’s idiotic comments about Rodgers just remind me how much I loathe mainstream British football journalists. John Cross wrote an article for the Mirror about how Arsene went on his own terms but the backpage headline was DRIVEN OUT. The Telegraph chose that exact same headline and picture of Arsene in a car wearing a blue shirt. The Daily Mail’s Oliver Holt predicted that Arsenal’s fans would now pretend there’d never been protests against Wenger and that he’d always been well supported and that we’d attack the media for forcing him out.

    Incredibly sad bunch of immature simple-minded fuckers but these guys are well-paid because tabloid sports journalism, more than any other part of the media, understood trolling and clickbait before the internet was even a thing. They don’t see the problem with Rodgers succeeding Wenger because Wenger’s philosophy, principles and intelligence never meant much to them.

    No good reason why dialogue between fans shouldn’t get better. Those who wanted change are getting it and the Wenger die-hards should be happy they got 22 years of him.

    1. Excellent comment which was sent to the spam filter for using the word “fuckers”.

  15. Some people really live a very saaad life. Whats wrong with Arsene having to leave with his head held up high. No, some will rather have him completely disrobed. He jumped, no he didn’t, he was pushed, no he wasn’t, he was sacked, and so what? Why not get behind the team and prepare to get behind the new manager whoever that might be. What pleasure is there to be had to see Arsene disgraced out of the club?

    1. That’s kind of the same view I have myself.

      It does give me pause when a board that been consistently accused of failing to take action and of always taking the easy way out, is now suddenly the kind of board that ‘definitely’ sacked Wenger or gave him a ‘leave or be pushed’ ultimatum. How can people be so suddenly convinced of that turn around? Pretty much nothing the board have done in the last 10 years has suggested they’re that ruthless….they’ve almost always been the ‘opposite’ of that.

      I guess I don’t know, but when I see people already really invested in the ‘he was definitely sacked’ narrative, a part of me thinks some of them, on some level, just want to get one more kick in before the guy goes out the door.

      Him just leaving just doesn’t provide the same kind of catharsis as the idea that he was pushed out against his will.

  16. I can only speak for myself but I consider Wenger a great man. I changed my gravatar image to salute him in these final weeks.

    Doesn’t mean his failures and foibles have suddenly evaporated and he needed to go 2-3 years ago. But harping on that now seems beyond churlish. I will celebrate all the great things about him and his undeniable accomplishments until the final goodbye.

  17. Both-siderism doesn’t really reflect reality though. I remember people howling for Wenger Out in 2002 because we finished second to United three years in a row. I remember the toys going out of the pram every summer for at least a decade when we didn’t buy ALL the players (that were good on FIFA). I remember all the times that comments and decisions by the manager were deliberately interpreted in the worst possible light, his motives were always assumed to be greedy, his personality (and even his mental state) assumed to be defective. “Shut up and support the club” was always and only – for me anyway – a response to all this nonsense.

    Meanwhile plenty of people who are reasonable critics have seen that message as directed to them, which if it has been, it has been done in error. It should not be read as a blanket accusation of disloyalty, an attempt to shut down dissent. I can see why it sometimes is read that way, for example I have sometimes expressed myself very clumsily.

    For the record, of course you can be critical, and that’s part of the fun of the whole thing. But you also (in my book) have to be reasonable – which Tim is a great example of and advocate for – and there is also a personal calculation involved, which I try to point out from time to time. The more critical you are, the more you distance yourself from the club’s success. For example, you want to boycott matches? Sure, of course. But then if that team you are boycotting goes on to win something, they did it without you. You lose something. It’s a balancing act and there is no right or wrong to it. For different people the balance will be found in different places, and I personally have always enjoyed watching football more when I am more invested. Like a kid, I guess.

    Without supporters a club dies (I’ve seen it), and I see supporting a club as an act of faith, and so I try to keep the faith going. Paul McCartney had a talent for turning real emotions into Hallmark Card sentiment: the love you take is equal to the love you make. But that’s basically where I’m coming from.

    This is the internet where people talk past each other and make overstate their case about the weather, let alone football managers or even – heaven help us – anything actually serious. We will continue to argue, but I will be very happy to draw a line under it, and hope that I have not been misunderstood.

  18. Don’t get why anyone mentions real Madrid and Wenger in the same sentence. They have won consecutive CL titles and he hasn’t been past the second round since what, 2011? He is going to help them overhaul Barcelona and atletico in the league? Please. He hasn’t been an elite manager since about 2009. His level now is the likes of Everton or Burnley, not Real or PSG.

    1. I think Wenger would be great for a team which is loaded with elite talent but not quite achieving their full potential.

  19. 4 – 1 is undoubtedly a good result, hopes that the emotion generated by Wenger’s imminent departure might inspire the team to throw off the shackles were largely unfounded.

    Many passes went astray as did chances for both Iwobi and Welbeck to score. Eventually Monreal broke the deadlock only for some Keystone Cop defending to award The Hammers an equalizer.

    Finally Arsenal started to play with some urgency and three goals in seven minutes sealed the three points.

  20. By the way, yesterday’s Guardian piece by David Hytner had me absolutely steaming:

    “Wenger’s relationship with the press has cooled to the point of freezing and most journalists feel the decline began when he stopped holding his newspaper briefing in a separate room … Wenger has consciously maintained a distance between himself and the 21st-century British press, whom he views not as individuals but as an amorphous mass. He never addresses journalists by name and he never goes off the record. The us-and-them feeling has become pronounced.”

    Apparently a respected journalist is happy to publicly admit that he and his colleagues want to have their tummies tickled before they will write nice things. The lack of self-awareness is astounding. And I would say that if it were written about any manager.

  21. “….maybe Wenger thought this announcement could light a spark under an underperforming team and lift them to the EL trophy.”

    Sorry Shard. I laughed out loud. Unlikely, and that’s being charitable. If walking away from a job you chained yourself to like an OWS protestor is a motivational strategy, then the managerial churn is about to pick up speed.

    Arsene’s comments today suggest that he didn’t want to go. Reports that he feared the sack — from the more reputable journos at the reputable Guardian — have credibility.

    I also read from his comments that Arsene believes that he has more club management left in him. I think he’ll go to a financial project club like Paris SG.

    As for Brendan Rodgers… sleep easy gooners. That is not consistent with the hires that Arsenal has made recently, and certainly since hiring Wenger. Hillary has a better of being hired to the board of Trump Inc.

    1. Ehh..Laugh away. That was hardly an argument. More an afterthought, and hope.

      I did say that there was an element of being ‘pushed’.(Because he has self belief) I don’t really care about nitpicking the mutual component of the decision. I also don’t think that in any case it changes the possibility of Wenger thinking of walking away before this season and being persuaded to stay on while the club got the personnel on board. Wenger didn’t offer himself that contract.

      I hope you’re right about PSG. I think the personnel, and the system they already play, would suit him. And maybe, just maybe, he’ll get that CL title he has always wanted (and basically sacrificed to stay with us)

      But maybe a club in Germany, like Dortmund would appeal more to the purist in him (Whether he would appeal to Dortmund is a different matter)

      It’s going to be an interesting summer. Hopefully we’re looking at it after winning the Europa League.

  22. So Napoli beat Juventus to get to within a point of them with 4 games remaining.

    If Juventus lose the title, does Allegri still have a job? Does it matter for Arsenal?

  23. And oh, btw, the great man makes no sense here.

    It’s simple. Fans expressed unhappiness and many turned on him, because his management of the club looked an absolute shambles. On field, off, tactically, transfers-wise.

    Some of it was unacceptable… I’ve never liked fans in the stadium booing the players and manager. And yes, many didn’t appreciate what they had — a classy, thoughtful and unique manager. So perhaps, he’s entitled to vent. It’s a been a tough few years for him.

    1. It does make sense. To me at least. But it’s late and I’m not going to get in an argument about it.

      But I think the important part was where he said if his personality is causing the club to be reflected poorly, as he felt was happening, then he places the club as higher than himself.

      1. It’s not really about his personality though.

        You just questioned whether Allegri would still have a job if Napoli were to overtake Juve and win the title. Allegri has won the last 3 titles in a row, and won another with Milan in 2010.

        But the reflex on hearing he may lose this one lead you to question his job. And it’s a perfectly natural reflex. It should be no different for Arsene Wenger. Judging by his comments Wenger knows that’s where the empty seats and the divide in the fanbase stems from.

        You can make an exception for a great man, but you can’t do it forever.

        1. Juventus are the richest club in Serie A, and I question his future not because I think it should happen. Just that it does. My main interest was would he be available for Arsenal to pick up, because I like him (and still think he isn’t this wonder genius tactician that he’s made out to be because he manages Juventus)

          1. What does Juve being rich have to with anything?

            I’m team Jardim because of his work developing young players but Allegri knocked out Barca last season and was a goal away from knocking out Madrid this year. If he’s not a tactical genius, no-one is.

      1. This. We need someone who can make players better. Academy players, the first team players we have now and future recruits.

  24. We have a squad stuffed full of good players, many of them seasoned internationals. What we need is someone to turn those individuals into a coherent team, particularly the defenders.

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