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  • Dave SE Dave SE Nov 3, 2008 19:22 Flag

    Wenger - the truth

    from a conversation with my brother in law sports journalist:

    Signing Players – a Wenger blindspot. He detests being involved in inflated fees, negotiations with agents etc, in many ways, the opposite to Redknapp who thrives on this (for a number of reasons allegedly). He has been burnt with his more expensive transfers, so these days, just avoids them wherever possible and relies on his youth policy. Nothing new here but in my view, this is a serious failing for an EPL manager and Wengers biggest flaw. He did try to make signings last summer but except with Ramsey,(Nasri was a longer term project) did not go the extra mile to make them feel wanted and some slipped through the net. A late bid for Alonso was not serious, just designed to keep Cesc quiet. He had Ken Friar helping on this, but another who detests the machinations of transfers, in sharp contrast to Dein. Wenger feels there are not many players out there suitable for his play, the ones that are expensive and not what he deems value signings. He is extremely thorough on signings, players have to meet selected criteria, he has lost good players who became impatient at this thorough approach. As for English players, he simply rates very few of them, the ones he does rate are tied to clubs and expensive, not value signings. He also detests kids that are arrogant, turn up in limos surrounded by agents, he dislikes this attitude and believes these kids will not have the hunger.

    Relations with the board – There IS money, Wenger has spent some on increasing contracts but has a lot left in the pot. . Basically, Wenger is fine as long as the team in the top 4, but 2 members of the board getting a bit nervous expect increased pressure and some help for him on transfers if this continues. If the board think a top 4 place will be lost, believe me they will act in some way. To them, top 4 more important than a trophy – they are more into long term sustainability than short term glory, and have had to fight off a hostile bid by Usmanov. They do want and expect long-term success, and believe the current financial situation plays into their hands. The board were by no means as united as reported on getting rid of Dein. Overall, they are fans , and sensible owners but are prone to the odd mistake

    Relations with players – As we know, very supportive of youngsters. He has become increasingly frustrated with Gallas, not sure he will be around for long, in any event is likely to be deposed as Captain the events of the Spurs game being the last straw. Wenger is however wary of losing him due to his experience. He is well aware of the teams weaknesses but is developing the team around continental lines rather than one for the EPL, he believes soon, new laws will all but halt the more physical teams, or when refs start applying these laws. Platini wants the likes of Stoke and Bolton consigned to history and will probably get his way. Wenger is desperate to win the CL and has structured the team around chasing this and staying top 4, he is aware we punched above our weight last season and despite what he says, knows the team are as yet not ready to win the EPL (The Cl a different matter). Expect some change after this seasons start though and one more thing – after the Spurs game, 2 senior players said they had had enough, one apologised the following day, the other – well his silence has been deafening. Gallas is very upset at the lack of protection the defence gets, Sylvestre cannot believe the way the team functions – it is not easy being an Arsenal CB. Wenger has got a few on much improved contracts, at what he believes risks denting hunger, he currently feels severly let down by at least 2 of these players. One in particular will go in the summer if he does not buck ideas up, no prizes here

    Relations with the media – one word –spin. Wenger is not a born liar but prefers to keep most things in house. Do not always believe what he says in interviews – nothing new there

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    • totally brillant in every way!

    • This is one of the better posts I have read. Arsenal worrisome defensive frailities has been a lingering long term problem.We simply don't have a towering CB, nor a real stopper in goal keeping. Our defensive midfielder is still a work-in-progress. I have seen Chelsea demolish teams we struggle to beat and it scares the sh...t out of me. I've seen the fluency of Man U which they match with steel in midfield and defence. I'll be living in a fool's paradise to believe Arsenal can win any trophy this season. No matter how beautiful one's game is, defence is what wins matches . Ask any follower of football, basketball, American styled football. Defense...defense...defense wins the game. And don't gift your opponents with turnovers. 12 years after, AW is yet to get it. I've been thinking lately we need a change of guard. And if AW dosen't win the CL with Arsenal, he is not going to win it either with any club. No other club in the world will grant him 12 years of patience. Ask the Premier League managers who are sacked after one season?

      • 1 Reply to emek b
      • I dont think the football financial bubble will have be so burst as to force our major competitors to become uncompetitive.

        The financial problems as we see it is not going to last for that long for us to all of a sudden be the only club that can afford good players. Even if we end up becoming the richest, we are not ready to spend - so whats the point?

        As long as there are long queues of people wanting to become season ticket holders in the top 4 clubs, we will probably be there or thereabout - nothing will change much as long as have Wenger.

        Top 4 club, whoopee!

    • Interesting but I can't really see anything new in here.

      Signing Players - Wenger has a great track record for finding good players on the cheap. They have to fit with the system system and be well behaved.

      The Board - So there is money, therefore people have been telling the truth. AW treats it like his own money, just like any good corporate citizen should. The club is clearly geared for long term success, we've said that all along. Top 4 is the minimum expectation because it keeps the money rolling in. How many years since we didn't qualify for CL?

      The players - Since when did CL football not require a defence? How many boring continental games have we had to watch in the past? The better players and some of the less good are bound to be pi55ed off with the recent results, who wouldn't be? Nothing has changed for the better since last season, when we did indeed exceed expectations.

      A defensive coach - the whole team have a responsibility to defend, not just the back 4 and a DMF! AW is truly obsessed with attacking football as I have pointed out in the last few days.

    • nice statement.I now don't believe wenger can save his job for another 2 season if the gunner always finish the top 3-5 spot.

    • That would be very good news on Karen Brady - just as long as she does not try and get her husband into the team for one last payday!

    • Dave - thanks for that, great post - puts into words what most of us suspected.

      Be prepared for some to come on here and call you either a liar or misguided in reading what you've heard.

      No prizes for guessing who they are either! ;)

    • I heard a rumour months ago that K.Brady was first in line for the DOF job and as soon as the legal stuff was cleared from her plate she would be in.

    • Excellent post here Dave. Any clues as to Cesc's attitude at the moment?

      • 2 Replies to Derek
      • Wenger is a Football Chairman's dream. He hardly spends any money and scrapes into the lucrative Champions League every year and for a brief spell of most seasons gives the naive fans belief there is a chance of winning the Premiership.

        I think the Directors are very happy with this 'arrangement' - after all I dont really think the money exists they are talking about. They are on a nice little earner and dont want change - if not they would invite an Oligvarch etc in.

      • Thanks Derek. Cesc is one keeping extremely quiet - but is not impressed with some things going on and does not get on with Gallas. Cesc has a problem in that when he does demostrate committment, nobody believes him, he may be keeping quiet for this reason, last season we would have had a barnstorming statement of committment, now, silence. He is also stalling on a contract, maybe wants more but more likely to see how this team pans out. From what we read he desperately wants a trophy this season after his explots last summer and may well go if there is nothing. He apparently feels a real debt of honour to Wenger but will not let that stand in the way of personal success. Making him Captain may help here
        In fairness, Wenger has long predicted this and will fast track Ramsay and Denilson this year.
        Should warn that my brother in law is a Chelsea fan so he may have an angle but he does get info because of his job, he thinks Cesc is less than 50/50 being here next season