The end of the Wenger era, and Arsenal's future

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The end of the Wenger era, and Arsenal's future

Post by Hapless_Hans on Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:38 pm

I'm not sure whether it once before in the past felt quite as palpable as it does right now, that Arsene Wenger's time as manager of Arsenal will be coming to an end. I don't remember, Arsenal fans would know.

He's been written off many times before, he's been with his back to the wall many times before, and he's been wanted out by the majority of Arsenal fans for years now.
He's always pulled off a comeback of some sorts, to at least be able to keep hanging on. The top 4 trophy, the FA cup, a suprisingly great 2nd leg after a fatal 1st.

Before, Arsenal could be expected to bounce back in some fashion after terrible blows, showing just how absurd those claims of a weak mentality or lack of character in the team were.
They showed mentality and character in the worst moments, exactly when they had strongly seemed to lack the two.

When other managers are fired, it's mostly preceded by a phase in which the team seems to go out of control, the dressing room lost, a string of terrible results that seems to get only worse, etc.

With Wenger, this never happened in that way. The team has seemed in freefall before, had a string of bad results before, the dressing room lost, but then somehow the team performed again to a certain degree, and the results have never bottomed out.
Wenger never had a spell as bad as Mourinho at Chelsea in 15/16, for example. No matter perpetual momentuous turbulences, he delivered consistently on a certain level, and the board kept employing him for that.

Has this now changed?

Out of top 4 and CL last season, this season already impossible to get back in. Meanwhile, the team has been heavily invested in and there's even less excuse for certain showings.
That the pressure now builds after two consecutive losses vs Pep's City is a bit cruel, as that could happen to everyone. Still, the situation seems really bad.

Wenger still has another year of contract.
I think we can be sure he will at least not extend this time (or can we), even if he 'honours' his contract as he claims.
We cannot be sure that he leaves this summer, one year early, by his own decision. It is possible.
Is it possible the board force him internally to resign in summer? I don't know, though it would be absolutely necessary.

Looking back, all the current, understandable negativity among supporters, and also all the constant malice poured over Wenger and Arsenal by half-wits and haters all over the world, cannot cloud the fact that Wenger is one of the greatest people in the sport of football, over recent decades.
He should be honoured as such. He should be celebrated going out, if that's what he does at last.

I'll link again to the Daniel TAylor piece in the Guardian that I quoted in length here http://www.goallegacy.net/t11580p75-wenger-appreciation-thread#1830325:

the priority now has to be to get the goodbye right if this really is the end for Arsène Wenger and it would feel terribly disappointing if it couldn’t be turned into a celebration of the man.


https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/mar/03/arsene-wenger-royal-arsenal-send-off

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As for the future of Arsenal, who should, might, or will be Wenger's successor?

Here are some recent quotes from a hot candidate

Rodgers said:
"Arsenal are a great club, they have a great manager and they are going through a tough time of course.

"People will look at it and see that I went to Liverpool, they were struggling for five seasons for Champions League football and I was able to get them back.

"And when I came to Celtic, they hadn't been in the Champions League for two seasons and I got them back.


"So maybe people are thinking okay, Arsenal have been out of the Champions League and is that maybe the equation for someone like myself.

"The other stuff you can't control so I can't worry about it."

http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11095/11274063/brendan-rodgers-plays-down-arsenal-speculation-and-says-life-at-celtic-is-a-dream

@RealGunner

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Re: The end of the Wenger era, and Arsenal's future

Post by Doc on Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:51 pm

Really and truly should have left after the FA Cup win last year. Would have left on a nice little high and it may have helped cover up some of the mediocrity that has taken place under his watch. But, like many men before him, stayed way beyond his usefulness and now, we got this. I disagree with the title, the end of the Wenger era happened years ago, he just kept stretching it out as long as he can possibly could.

That being said, if Rodgers is the calibre of managers that is being touted, best they stick with Wenger.

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Re: The end of the Wenger era, and Arsenal's future

Post by CBarca on Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:52 pm

Idk what to say that hasn't been said already. He's awful now and needs to go. He'll be gone in the summer.

Shocking fall for a man like Wenger though. This Arsenal team is the worst I've ever seen, but with far superior players to some of his past teams.

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Re: The end of the Wenger era, and Arsenal's future

Post by vanDEEZ on Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:06 am

I have insider information that Zidane will be available, top manager, and French too. Should pick him up.

But in all honesty, I’ve heard Arsenal are looking at Henry to take over, is that serious? That’s a recipe for finishing mid table.
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Re: The end of the Wenger era, and Arsenal's future

Post by BarrileteCosmico on Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:09 am

Realistically Arsenal are where they are because the owner prefers profits over trophies. I doubt very much that if Wenger were handed a 300m budget he would say things like "no player is worth 50m". So unless this changes and Arsenal are given a budget capable of addressing their shortcomings I don't see how they will compete with the top 5 for the top 4 spots, regardless of who is the coach.

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Re: The end of the Wenger era, and Arsenal's future

Post by Twoism on Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:01 am

That's when u're wrong though, Arsenal has spent A LOTS of money last few transfer seasons, his priority is what screwed us over. You can say shit about Stan and the board about how passive they are but they did spend money whenever called upon.  Laca, Xhaka & Mustafi have been horror show and they're NT players with prestige and cost a lots. One year ago, most of Euro were drooling over Abau.

We have achieved much better result, competing regularly and even went far in CL with shoe string budget. The like of Denilson, Bendtner, Almunia or Eboue who often criticized to be mental midgets, looks more like Duke Nukem to this current collection of sissy players. It's simple, the game has passed him, it's just that and the more he's trying to fix it, the worse it's got. Last few seasons, he might lost it in tactical game but he got respect from the players. It doesn't look that way this year.

He deserve honorable discharge not sack ( that means the end of season and not now, prom up to some honorable position like some sort of directors, big ass statue, a *bleep* museum. What he has to stay away from is anything football related after new coach hired.
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Re: The end of the Wenger era, and Arsenal's future

Post by BarrileteCosmico on Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:23 am

2017/18

Arrivals: 118,85 Mill. €
Departures: 122,20 Mill. €
Net: +4

16-17

Arrivals: 107,04 Mill.
Departures: 10,35
Net: -97

15-16

Arrivals: 26,50 Mill. €
Departures: 2,50 Mill. €
Net: -24

14-15

Arrivals: 118,98 Mill. €
Departures: 27,80 Mill. €
Net: -91

13-14

Arrivals: 49,25 Mill. €
Departures: 12,15 Mill. €
Net: -37

OK I stand somewhat corrected. They are roughly spending 50m a season more than they sell, which is more than I thought, but is not exactly City/Chelsea/United money, and I wouldn't call it "LOTS" either (in relative football terms of course). But it's more than Spurs and Liverpool so they should have a shot at top 4 financially.

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Re: The end of the Wenger era, and Arsenal's future

Post by CBarca on Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:59 am

To the defense of Arsenal slightly, Liverpool and Spurs have profited from some very large transfer fees that have kept their net spend down.

Spurs and Pool have had a fair amount of their current players funded by Bale/Suarez/Sterling/Coutinho alone.

That's not to say that it's less legitimate from those teams as far as their building process or finances, but Arsenal has not profited from being able to move on a player for 80 million.

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Re: The end of the Wenger era, and Arsenal's future

Post by urbaNRoots on Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:10 am

He will not go for sure if we somehow manage to win the Europa League, in fact winning a European trophy will only motivate him further and our cowardly board won't hesitate to offer him a new contract.

Which is why I'm rooting for Milan to really destroy us in the two games we play, the old man will not leave on his own but a trophyless season and a 6th place finish might make the board think... and only because they will lose money without that CL extra revenue.
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Re: The end of the Wenger era, and Arsenal's future

Post by Jay29 on Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:24 am

I'll also point out that our wage bill is greater than Liverpool's and Tottenham's. The idea that the owner is withholding funds is understandable but incorrect. Wenger has had substantial amount of money available to him but a) that amount is still finite, unlike the Manchester clubs, b) we haven't sold a player for major profit in several years (while Pool, Spurs and Chelsea have) and c) we've been handicapped by the Premier League Short Term Cost Controls, which caps wage bill increases at £7m per year if there's no other income besides matchday revenue and TV money (strong commericals, CL money, etc) to prop it up.

The reason our net spend is positive is because we had to sell off more players than usual due to having a bloated squad and needing to free up wages. Without selling Coquelin, Walcott and Sanchez in January we wouldn't have been able to sign Mkhitaryan or Aubameyang. We could only sign Kolasinac and Lacazette in the summer before needing to sell to bring in. I stress that in these instances, it's not a lack of funds nor an unwillingness to spend - Wenger wanted to drop £92m on Thomas Lemar at one point - that prevented further signings.

This is an accumulation of years of squad mismanagement. Players have been kept longer than they should have so their value decreased, and then ended up not playing, so they were just taking up space (prime examples: Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Debuchy). Wenger typically doesn't like losing players, and prefers to add to what he has. That's why our current squad is surprisingly old. It was a miracle that guys like Coquelin and Walcott were sold recently.

On the political side of things, new staff arriving (Mislintat, Sanllehi, etc.) has diminished Wenger's power, especially in recruitment. Those guys arrived as part of a recruitment drive headed by CEO Ivan Gazidis, and most sources I've read say that he's being backed by Stan Kroenke to make those changes. You can look up Wenger's reaction to all this and see that he doesn't like it, but it's happened anyway. The only problem is that neither Gazidis nor Kroenke want to sack Wenger, though I suspect Gazidis is leaning towards a new manager and is ensuring there's a good structure in place before then. Time will tell.

As for Wenger himself, the game passed him by a long time ago. His coaching style has always been to leave it to the players. In most interviews with the Invincibles team, they all admit that they were self-managed. Wenger just gave them the physical prep and the freedom to express themselves on the pitch. That worked a treat back then because the majority of the league was not on Arsenal's level physically or technically, and tactics were very poor. But that team's failure to do anything worthwhile in Europe shows it wasn't a great tactical side.

His approach hasn't changed but everyone else has since caught up and surpassed him. The technical/physical level between teams now is small, so tactical preparation has become so much more important. This current squad is more talented than sixth place, but they don't have the guidance or prep that everyone else has. That's why they look so bad against any worthwhile opposition. That Wenger leaves it to them to work things out means that when games go wrong, the players don't know what to do. They literally have no plans to fall back on. Whereas a well-coached team has been guided on how to react in several scenarios.

The coaching at the club can't make up for that shortfall, either. Just look at Cech right now to see what working with Gerry Peyton (our GK coach) does to a player. Similarly, look at the remarkable improvements of Fabianski and Szczesny after they left the club. Our head coach Boro Primorac has been Wenger's right-hand man for nearly three decades. Him and Steve Bould basically set the cones out and handle the warm-ups. They don't work with players individually (meanwhile, Mikel Arteta has worked with Raheem Sterling individually to improve his positioning and end product). Players don't get better. We've got an exciting batch of young players coming up yet I want Wenger and his team nowhere near them. That's how bad the situation has become.

So yeah, this guy needs to go. I don't care about the indignity of him being sacked, because as far as I'm concerned, he's not doing his job well enough. Not to mention he's passed up opportunities to leave on a high to drag the team down even more. His early years revolutionised the club but his current years are doing untold damage that could take who knows how long to fix.
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Re: The end of the Wenger era, and Arsenal's future

Post by El Gunner on Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:00 pm

Well said Jay.
And I think with the murmurs that Koscielny (and some of the players) having said that they need more help, speaks loads to that assessment that Wenger and his coaching team are not doing their job well enough at all.

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Re: The end of the Wenger era, and Arsenal's future

Post by Luca on Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:25 pm

[The Times] Arsène Wenger tells Arsenal coaches that he will not step down this summer

queue Arsenal Fan TV, blud
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Re: The end of the Wenger era, and Arsenal's future

Post by CBarca on Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:14 pm

No way

This guy has become banter

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Re: The end of the Wenger era, and Arsenal's future

Post by Luca on Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:16 pm

Insulted Robert Mugabe rejects comparison with "tyrant" Arsene Wenger
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Re: The end of the Wenger era, and Arsenal's future

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