The Professor’s New Clothes

By on October 17, 2010

Written by Iain Swan.

It is back to the bread and butter of  league action this weekend , chaps after sampling international cuisine during the European Championship qualifiers and one Fabio Capello can return to the shadows after a few days of opprobrium and ridicule from fans and media alike.

How he must wish that he were Arsene Wenger! Feted by his followers in the media who hang on his every word as the Israelites did on Mount Sinai when God informed them of the Ten Commandments. Every pronouncement from the Frenchman is celebrated as a far sighted vision, every recommendation is seen as sound, every discovery of a new young talent compared to a scientist making a new medical breakthrough.

On Sky Television’s excellent “Sunday Supplement”  Brian Woolnough , not for the first time , quizzed the doyens of punditry  about whether Wenger could remain in the job for as long as he wanted, without pressure from the board or fans to actually win something and looked on incredulously as the three wise men: Holt, Dickinson and Hayward conferred on Wenger the wisdom of Solomon , Nostradmus’ gift of prophecy and proclaimed him a genius ! Holt revering the Arsenal manager for delivering a new stadium, I don’t recall Arsene in a hardhat pouring over architectural plans for the Emirates Stadium , or raising the finance! The Arsenal board delivered the stadium.

Richard Keys was at it again a few days later , during the last round of Champions League games, looking bewildered as he talked of Wenger’s critics as if they were dribbling idiots who should retire to a padded cell.

How ironic that the stout yeoman of the English press can lose their hearts to a prickly, pig headed Frenchman ! and how fortunate for Wenger that he does not have the pressure of winning that Roberto Mancini, Carlo Ancelotti , Roy Hodgson and Alex Ferguson do.

I don’t proclaim to know which teams these writers support, but I will wager it is not Arsenal. If it was might they have some sympathy for the denizens of North London who would like to see some silverware now and again and grow weary at hearing yet another neutral laud them for the attractive football their team plays.

Some of us were aware of him before he arrived at Higbury in 1996, unlike the majority  of football writers in England . He was successful in France with Monaco before departing to the obscurity of the J League. The Monaco title winning team of 1988 had artists like Hoddle but also robust physical types such as Mark Hateley and Manuel Amoros and Luc Sonor.

Likewise , during his glittering early successes at Highbury, his team had as many artisans as artists, but since the middle of the decade he has eschewed the tactics that made him successful, much like a pop star would dismiss  his early commercial successes when he wanted to become known as a serious artist.

But football is not art , it is competitive , it is about winning, Wenger is in danger of become football’s equivalent of the obscure and talented artist, adored by critics but ignored by the public. His problem is that he does not know how to win or finds the means distasteful. This pig headed belief that his way his correct despite any discernible evidence of success is bordering on negligence and yet his critics are rounded upon as unsophisticated barbarians.

Unfortunately, the abomination that is the Champions League has created a comfort zone for the top English clubs. As long as Arsenal can stay in that elite club their finances won’t suffer and they can continue every year to challenge for top honours without actually winning any. Slowly the competitive streak is being eroded from the English game.

One thing is for sure, if the tide of feeling in the Arsenal boardroom or in the stands ever changes it is a good job that Wenger would not consider Glasgow as a potential  new home . Here , if you manage the Old Firm you have to win and win regularly or you are out. Second is nowhere and while the Scottish Premier League is poor in quality the pressure is unique and would be too much for the sensitive Frenchman, just ask one of his proteges Paul Le Guen , whose disastrous reign at Rangers lasted six month before he fled in despair.

If he does take up semi retirement at Paris Saint Germain as their director of football when he leaves Arsenal , a certain Signor Capello should rush straight to the Emirates with his c.v. in his hands. Where better to redeem himself for past transgressions in the eyes of the English media  than at a club where winning is clearly not everything?? One hopes he gets there before a certain Mr. S.G. Eriksson.

Can Wenger continue at Arsenal until he wishees to leave or does he have to start winning trophies?

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32 Comments

  1. trugun

    October 17, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Another piece that fails to do its homework before having a pop at Arsene Wenger. AW was often seen in a hardhat at the Emirates during the building process, and, it is well documented that 1/ he changed a great deal of the building plans at the Emirates as well as designing the training ground complex. 2/ It is also well documented that before the board proceeded to go ahead with the building of the Emirates AW was asked if he could keep the team in the top flight with very reduced funding, hence the start of the youth policy. If your going to write about AW great but at very least research the basics before committing to print.

  2. jacob

    October 17, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Why don’t you do even the most basic research before writing this “stuff” Here are the facts

    1. Wenger has spent literally a tenth of what Chelsea and ManU have spent over the last 6 years on transfer fees. Has your boss ever given you a tenth of the resources of your colleagues and asked you for the same results?

    2. Arsenal have been SIGNIFICANTLY outspent by the likes of Totenham, Newcastle, Aston Villa and Liverpool in that same period. When I say significantly I mean by a factor of at least 5! Yet none of those teams have finished ahead of Arsenal in the six years since the stadium thing kicked in….

    3. In the last 6 years Arsenal have played in a Champions League final ( a first in their history) and a semi-final and have never been out of the the top four in the premier league. Arsenal have not stood still.

    4. In modern football only two trophies really matter. The premiership and the Champions’ league. Wenger hasn’t been able to win those in the last 6 years but the idea that winning the Carling cup or the Europa cup would be preferable to a quarter final against barcelona is a load of garbage. The idea that Arsenal would be better off winning a cup in final against fulham than testing our wits against Inter Milan or Real Madrid is not a credible proposition for anyone to take seriously.

    5. There’s no way that Stadium would have been success it has been nor the club have the finanacial stability if we had a manager who was demanding millions to spend. The stadium wouldn’t have happened with any other manager one can think of… Wenger was instrumental in pushing for the stadium and his willingness to work within the financial constraints without complaint make his contribution to the stadium unquestionable.

    So before you write a snidey and ill informed article about Arsenal and Wenger… calm down and try THINKING.

    • Iain Swan

      October 17, 2010 at 1:39 pm

      Jacob, none of your “facts” are relevant to the article I have written.
      The article is an criticism of the media’s uncritical beatification of Wenger , therefore “Facts1&2” are an irrelevance.
      “Fact 3&4”- You have failed to win either of the only trophies that matter in the last five years .
      “Fact 5” Wenger is to be commended for trying to build a team without resorting to the “financial doping ” of some of his debt laden rivals but it is neither snide nor ill informed to suggest that a) Wenger’s project of the last five years has failed or b) that the media have a blindspot when it comes to Wenger.

      • Adi

        October 19, 2010 at 10:48 am

        Absolute CRAP. It seems you dont know your mouth from your ass….

        How can you be so oblivious to everything pointed out by Jacob. You’re the prickly, pig headed person you’ve been trying to describe AW as.

  3. lted

    October 17, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Indeed very poor written article! AW was involved in EVERY aspect of the new stadium! From the pitch to the top of the stadium. Ofcourse he aint an engineer but this stadium was built according to him and his seeings. Once you state that you know Wenger before arsenal but you EPICLY fail to see everything he does! He has pressure upon him – everyone is criticising him for not wining , but noone says – Thank you Mr. Wenger for being the last man standing by his vision of great football and the way Football club should be run ! For once I thank you Mr. Wenger for bring such an amazing players and football to my football club! As for the writter of this waste of time article – find another door to be jelous at and spill your hatred at someone who deserves it!

  4. aniruddh

    October 17, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    He does actually have a degree in engineering, electrical i think

  5. Frankie

    October 17, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    This is the latest of the usual claptrap that passes for analysis by many a wannabe ‘pundit’!

    Quite infantile views on the whole, and yes, you’re yet another ‘unsophisticated barbarian’, or at least your views are unsophisticated, for they fail to undertand the whole picture, but instead concetrate on the narrow childish point of ‘winning things’.

    Had you had enough about you to appreciate the whole picture like some of thse journalists you’re castigating, you’d realise that what Wenger has done at Arsenal is much much greater than this narrow primitive of ‘winning things’. Not only has he completely transformed the whole ethos of the club – with the type football, training methods, diet, culture, etc – he has also delivered Arsenal to the elite of European (and world) clubs, financially. It might have passed you buy, given your whole energy is consumed by looking at ‘winning things’, but the last published figures of Madrid, Man United, Barcelona and Arsenal, put Arsenal at the top (yes, top) of the that elite list is annual revenue! Digest that and come back and tell me about ‘winning things’ again, when great clubs like Liverpool have lately been threated with administration and are languishing in the depths of the table!

    It’s precisely because of people like you, who place ‘winning things’ over and above everything else – “winning is everything” – that clubs like Leeds are where they are. Tell me something, Portsmouth ‘won things’ as recently as two years ago. Would you rather be Portsmouth or Arsenal? It’s quite ridiculous!!

    • Iain Swan

      October 17, 2010 at 1:21 pm

      Frankie,
      I am so happy for you that you are content with the fact that your players have the best training, diet etc. and that your annual revenue is the best in Europe , that will keep the fans rolling in to the Emirates !
      As for delivering Arsenal into the elite of world football , that has come about from the unfair and biased Champions League where big clubs in small countries like my own are discriminated against in favour of the clubs in the big European countries.
      You describe Liverpool as “great”. Why are teams like Liverpool , Real Madrid Brazil etc. revered and remembered? because they won more trophies than their rivals . The league table is not based on a balance sheet BUT ON POINTS WON , however “childish ” you think that is, that is reality.
      Football is a competitive sport , however distasteful and vulgar that appears to the Gunners , who seem to be in denial.Such snobbery is laughable.
      Let us hope that the great football, improved fitness of the players and healthy balance sheet are sufficient consolation when Chelsea and Manchester United hoover up the trophies

      • Adi

        October 19, 2010 at 10:59 am

        Another Stupid and PIG headed point. Don’t you bloody understand what every comment is trying to explain. The ONLYYY reason the other teams are winning right now is that they are spending WAYYY more money than arsenal. But the only manager (not even SAF; who DEMANDS money for transfers) would have been willing to undertake such a project.

        He came, He conquered, and then he took on a project of massive proportions. And besides that we’ve been close to winning the league and champions league twice.

        Our squad is very young and talented and i can assure you it is only a matter of time when we start dominating every tournament and then people like you will shift allegiances and start praising AW.

        • Iain Swan

          October 19, 2010 at 10:20 pm

          What a pyramid of piffle . Why would I change my allegiance and start supporting Arsenal?

  6. John

    October 17, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Terrible article!

  7. Iain Swan

    October 17, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    If you had read the article trugun you would have noticed that I was having a pop at Oliver Holt for saying that Wenger delivered the Emirates stadium.
    Did he raise the funding for it ? he did not, did he design and build it? he did not , he may well have been consulted but that is not the same thing as actually delivering it, but why let the facts get in the way of the creation of the cult of Wenger?
    Ited, why would I be jealous of a club that has failed to win anything in five years? Arsenal’s ” amazing” players can play great football from now until doomsday but unless they win something it is meaningless, as I say in my article football is a competitive sport not an art form.
    You have completely missed the point of the article.It was an attack on the media, not Arsenal Football Club, for their ludicrous, uncritical, doe eyed worship of Arsene Wenger.
    Perhaps a little more balanced criticism of him may have resulted in a few more trophies in the last few years or does that not matter any more at the Emirates?

  8. Frankie

    October 17, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    ——————————————————–
    Ited, why would I be jealous of a club that has failed to win anything in five years? Arsenal’s ” amazing” players can play great football from now until doomsday but unless they win something it is meaningless, as I say in my article football is a competitive sport not an art form.
    You have completely missed the point of the article.It was an attack on the media, not Arsenal Football Club, for their ludicrous, uncritical, doe eyed worship of Arsene Wenger.
    Perhaps a little more balanced criticism of him may have resulted in a few more trophies in the last few years or does that not matter any more at the Emirates?
    ——————————————————————–

    And that’s what I’ve called infantile. In your eyes, delivering a new stadium (whether he built with his own hands, is neither here or there really), being prepared to be cashstrapped in the short term and have to rely on good scouting and young players coming through, delivering record revenues, getting to the knockout rounds of the champions league for a record 13 times, all that is nothing if you’re not ‘winning things’?

    That’s the height of myopic childishness! A very very narrow view, and those you’re critising in the media – and I’m normally critical of the media – are at least appreciating the bigger picture!

  9. Frankie

    October 17, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    ——————————————————————
    You describe Liverpool as “great”. Why are teams like Liverpool , Real Madrid Brazil etc. revered and remembered? because they won more trophies than their rivals . The league table is not based on a balance sheet BUT ON POINTS WON , however “childish ” you think that is, that is reality.
    Football is a competitive sport , however distasteful and vulgar that appears to the Gunners , who seem to be in denial.Such snobbery is laughable.
    Let us hope that the great football, improved fitness of the players and healthy balance sheet are sufficient consolation when Chelsea and Manchester United hoover up the trophies
    ———————————————————–

    Iain, you’re a typical so-called football ‘pundit’, in that you reduce everything to base platitudes like “great football without winning a pot is meaningless”. Really?

    So, what’s the point of all the other clubs (18 out of 20) who won nothng last year? They might as well fold up and cease to exist. Do you see how base and simplistic (and therefore childish) your view is?

    What about all those people that have been entertained, have had a great evening’s entertainment, the people who have jobs because of the club (that includes the players and their families), the local community, the charities supported, etc? It all counts for nout unless you win a pot, right? This is what I called infantile, and lacking in perspective.

    Now I come to the myopia. Chasing a trophy at any cost, without regard to any sort of long-term view, or long-term strategy is short-sighted. Just ask Leeds, Portsmouth, or even by the skin of their teeth, Liverpool. Everyone wants to ‘live the greate times’ of Peter Ridsdale and his Leeds, but sensible people don’t want to have to suffer the consequencies that befell Leeds.

    In defending and appreciating what Wenger has done, no one is saying that great football, a wonderfull stadium and record revenues is an end in itself. We are just saying that great foundations have been laid – at a short-term cost of trophies – and going forward, Arsenal can then begin to compete with the Barca’s, Madrid’s and Man United’s of this world for players. It’s a long term strategic plan.

    If Wenger hadn’t done what he did, we’d have been in no position to resist the sale of Fabregas to Barca.

    So, don’t reduce everything to silly simplistic platitudes. Let’s try and engage in a more grown up debate, rather than ‘amazing footbal without winning a trophy is meaningless’.

    • Iain Swan

      October 17, 2010 at 4:24 pm

      Good God ! Where do I start ?
      Great football without trophies is meaningless, really ? Er yes for clubs like Arsenal it must be or you might as well withdraw from the League and tour the world playing exhibition matches like a footballing equivalent of the Harlem Gloobetrotters.
      Your second point : football is not a socialist utopia , all clubs are not equal. For teams like Blackpool survival in the Premiership is their objective , for teams like Aston Villa successful cup runs , European qualification and possibly challenging for Champions League qualification should be the target.
      But for teams like Arsenal the objective must surely be greater. It can’t be enough for your team just to play attractive football and have a healthy bank account . Or at least it wasn’t when I last visited Highbury , during the George Graham era when, if I recall, you Gunners gloried in your boring, boring Arsenal tag because you were winning things. Perhaps, as I suggested in the article, the Champions League has distorted things at the Emirates , which surely should be renamed Stade De Wenger given his input in its construction!!!
      I agree, the Leeds and Portsmouth business models were ludicrous but there is a happy medium, just as there is between playing fantasy football that does not win trophies and functional football that does, my point is that Wenger has yet to find that balance and therefore is worthy of criticism.
      Liverpool’s financial predicament is different , most of their debt came from the American takeover.
      I also take the point that this is a long term strategy and that it is better for Arsenal to avoid silly knee jerk reactions that Manchester City and Spurs may be guilty of and persevere with Wenger the way Manchester United did with Ferguson but such patience is rare in today’s game.
      As for Fabregas, the reason he is still at Arsenal is because he did not agitate for a transfer the way Mascherano did with Liverpool or infamously the shameful way the De Boer twins forced their transfer from Ajax to Barcelona. Yes Fabregas wanted to leave, but he did not force Arsenal’s hand.
      The article was about the media and the way they treat certain managers. It is my contention that Wenger gets an easier ride than most from the highbrow broadsheet writers who have created a” Wenger cult ” which is ill deserved and laud him as a genius when he is not . He is not the messiah , just a good manager who has had some success but has not dominated English football the way Liverpool did in the Eighties , albeit with three managers, or Ferguson’s Manchester United have done ever since.

      • Adi

        October 19, 2010 at 11:09 am

        Iain, you’re an absolute ASS. Seriously…. Don’t you get the point you blind moron. Uptill 2004 , Man U and Arsenal had 13 league titles each. Chealse had ZERO, and Lpool hadn’t won any in the new format of the league. Then, Man U became a prostitute and sold itself to American owners (who btw, will one day sell on and leave man u stranded unless someone else buys them and then again puts more debt onto the club. and the chain will continue), Chelsea meanwhile had their own sugar daddy, who lets just be honest will get bored one day and go. Arsenal meanwhile, took on a project and decided to be theeee only financially prudent, self sustaining club in EUROPE. Not because they did not want to win, but because we look at the bigger picture and understand that a few years without a trophy is not a disaster as you pig headed “pundit” try and make it out to be (actually i’m quite sure you are a loserpool supporter, and are pissed at the fact that you’re club not only almost went bust, but also hasn’t won any league title in 2 decades).

        • Iain Swan

          October 19, 2010 at 7:26 pm

          Sorry to disappoint you Adi, I support Rangers.
          If you had read the article properly you would see that I was criticising the media treatment of Wenger but that is clearly too much to ask.

  10. jacob

    October 17, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    I’m sorry but your response to trugun is even worse than the original article. When Oliver Holt says that Wenger “DELIVERED” the stadium there’s nothing grammatically wrong with what he said… as it could be taken to mean that he made the stadium possible which happens to be the unvarnished truth! What’s your beef? are you miffed when the winning of the 2nd world war is attributed to Churchill? Not that Wenger is Churchill but just show that there’s nothing wrong with Holt’s use of the word delivered given the context.

    I don’t much rate Oliver Holt but if you want to have a go at the media then at least have a go in a way that makes sense.

    Also Arsenal fans will wet themselves laughing if they read that the media is in Wenger’s pocket. What with the distortions, the misrepresentation and the often undisguised xenophobia in too much of the media… I really have no idea what parallel universe you occupy.

    • Iain Swan

      October 17, 2010 at 2:40 pm

      No this will not stand , Wenger did not deliver a stadium and it is nonsense to suggest it . Did Ferguson deliver the enhanced Old Trafford, will Hodgson deliver the new Anfield , utter rubbish.
      Secondly , I did not say that Wenger has the media in his pocket from what I can gather he has very little time for the media.
      The media however or the inhabitants of the broadsheets certainly have a blind spot when it comes to Wenger, to wit; the ridiculous hyperbolic comments that Wenger can stay at Arsenal for as long as he wants.
      The parallel universe which I inhabit is called the real world , an environment Arsenal fans seems to be straying further and further away from.
      But that is fine , if that is what makes the Gunners happy good luck to you, I bet the Chelsea and Manchester United fans are delighted for you too !

  11. jacob

    October 17, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Frankie we remember the Dutch teams of the 70’s despite them not winning the world cup. Everyone I know who watched them remembers Tele sanatan’s Brazil in ’82 and they remember Socrates, Eder, junior, falcao, etc. Rtaher gives a lie to Iain’s myopic point of view.

    I think that Iain has dug himself a deep hole but he is way too stubborn to drop the shovel.

    • Iain Swan

      October 17, 2010 at 2:25 pm

      The Dutch team of the seventies and the Brazil vintage of 1982 are remembered for what they are: glorious failures which is what this Arsenal team are also in danger of becoming .
      Brazil’s 1970 team is remembered as possibly the greatest team ever because they were fantastic to watch AND they won .

  12. Frankie

    October 17, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    ——————————————————–
    Also Arsenal fans will wet themselves laughing if they read that the media is in Wenger’s pocket. What with the distortions, the misrepresentation and the often undisguised xenophobia in too much of the media… I really have no idea what parallel universe you occupy.
    ——————————————————-

    Jacon, you took the words out of my mouth. For anyone to claim that Wenger has the media in his pocket is just beyond funny.

    The media love nothing more than to trash Wenger, and if some are praising him that should make everyone stop and think. For once the media might be on to something…

  13. Frankie

    October 17, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Apologies, Jacob. Didn’t mean to rechristen you 🙂

  14. jacob

    October 17, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Iain… you really, really … really… haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about vis-á-vis Wenger and Arsenal’s stadium. Wenger pushed for the building of the stadium and accepted the financial constraints that were inevitable. His passion for the new stadium was arguably the single most decisive element in its realisation. The board knew that taking out a loan to build a project with a budget of 360m in the heart of London required that the stadium be filled with spectators willing to pay top whack to watch a team that could compete … but they al;so knew that they couldn’t afford to spend the Chelsea and ManU kind of money…. bottom line; Wenger’s genius was absolutely instrumental in Arsenal building that stadium…. what people like you are unaware of is that some directors, including David Dein, saw the stadium as drain on resources and would have preferred for Arsenal to share Wembley! Wenger’s voice was decisive in pushing the board to take the leap and his wise financial management meant that the stadium had a competitive team in it…. Arsenal would have been in the most dire financial trouble if we’d spent what Liverpool had spent under Benitez and also tried to build the stadium and Liverpool weren’t even all that competitive… that is the size of Wenger’s achievement.

    The comparisons you make with Ferguson and Hodgson shows how ill informed you are… I’d honestly write about something else if I were you. And stop going on about no trophies in however many years. That stadium is worth as much as any trophy… Arsenal’s achievement is only under appreciated by those with no sense of history… Coventry, Southampton, Millwall, Leicester even Sunderland… every team that’s built a new stadium have taken MASSIVE steps backwards… except for Arsenal and Wenger. And Arsenal have done it in an era when unprecedented spending was the norm even amongst the likes of Tottenham and Villa not to mention Chelsea and United!

    These things are all well known facts… all you needed to do was do some research.

    • Iain Swan

      October 17, 2010 at 4:38 pm

      I am sorry but you are talking nonsense, Arsenal have gone backwards , they have not won anything in five years that is a fact !
      Why does that upset you so much ? It is incontestable.
      In the first half of the decade you were winning trophies, that is the unpallatable truth, they may return to the way they were , football tends to go in cycles but you cannot avoid the basic facts.
      Your claim that “the stadium is worth any trophy” is insanity, but as I say, if that is what turns you on, fine. As an unsophisticated old barbarian, I am happy that my team is the most successful team ever, if you are quite happy with your lot excellent. Perhaps Wenger is a genius after all.

      • jacob

        October 17, 2010 at 5:03 pm

        Iain…

        Arsenal have had to spend 1/10th of what their immediate rivals have spent on transfers mostly because they chose to invest in a stadium. Do you understand what that means? Arsenal have not gone backwards… the club is bigger than it ever was in terms of both its value and and its potential. Trophies are but one way of judging a club’s progress but it cannot in any sense be the ONLY way.

        Of course we want trophies as fans but I’m sorry to inform you once again that you are wrong about the club having gone backwards… our turnover as a club has leaped exponentially and it is that turnover that will drive our self sustaining model which is going to have to be the way of the future if football is not collapse in on itself.

        Even our playing staff is much improved in terms of depth and quality… Arsenal have been without 5 key players for most of this young season and yet we lie second in the table as we speak… not bad for a club going backwards.
        Frankie called your musings about Arsenal infantile… I have to agree with him. The last 5 or 6 years haven’t been ordinary years in any sense for Arsenal yet you write as if the real doesn’t exist… that’s OK for children but not at all alright for an adult. You may be happy with a crippling debt I’m happy with a financially sound club, exciting football, fabulous young players and the real potential dominate in right way… as you say each to their own.

  15. jacob

    October 17, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    No problem Frankie… I’ve been called worse. 🙂

  16. mike

    October 17, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    please Arsenal fans, stop responding to idiotic, failed journalists like this one, he won’t gain entrance to Brian woolnough and Oliver Holt’s shed. The more to respond to his garbage, the more you help pay his mortgage. Let him write whatever he wants about Journalist, AW, Arsenal and so on. Please just ignore him. His wife will tell him to get another job soon.

    • Sinbad

      October 18, 2010 at 5:01 pm

      You’re right Mike, the quality of writing on this site is abysmal. This is one of the better ones in terms of grammar, spelling etc though.

  17. kevin

    October 17, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Iain…
    of course Wenger is imperfect but give me any day of the week the thrill of football played idealistically, beautifully and progressively rather than the pragmatic dross served up by those like Mourinho, Capello, et al, who concur with your cherished view that to win is all. Without even going into the financial constraints that Wenger has accepted during the transition to the new stadium, he deserves credit for punching well above his financial weight during this transition. For you football is not art and to win is all. Seems an impoverished view but feel free to defend it if you wish.

  18. Sinbad

    October 18, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Sorry Iain but I agree with almost everyone else on here having a pop at you. It’s all very well saying we haven’t won this and that – we haven’t had the financial muscle to match Chelsea, United etc. Let’s not forget Ferdinand, Rooney, berbatov etc are all £25m plus players, Diaby, Nasri and Fabregas aren’t.

    Look at United now. They can’t spend because they’re skint but look at the quality of their youngsters – Gibson, Macheda etc – decent but nowhere near the quality of what Arsenal can boast. Arsene’s worked with his hands tied behind his back and given us a good team. If Fergie has to rely on the likes of Gibson, Rafael, Wellbeck then United won’t be far behind Liverpool in terms of mediocrity.

    Of course you make a valid point about the five years without a trophy etc and fans have the right to moan but who could have done a better job given the circumstances? And I take issue with those who say “even the Carling Cup/FA Cup will do” because it won’t (Not saying that you think this – it’s just a general point). If that happens, all people will say is “all Arsenal have won in the last five years is a stinking Carling Cup” so that wont make any difference.

    Sorry mate but I agree with everyone else, poorly written, poorly researched article. It just sounds like the moanings of a fan who’s had enough of glory-hunting Chelsea fans taking the piss out of him

  19. neelam niazi

    October 30, 2010 at 11:24 am

    iam your big fan

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