Has Arsène Wenger Finally Been Exposed?

When you ask Arsenal fans what has been the biggest problem this season, they will point to the horrendous injury list we’ve had this year, including the likes of Robin Van Persie, William Gallas, Cesc Fabregas and Thomas Vermaelen who have been out for a decent number of games.

But other things high up on the list, especially recently, would be the lack of fight, lack of unity and the basic desire and determination to win.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a squad player or a first team starter, you should have pride wearing the Arsenal shirt. And the fact that you’re paid handsomely is just one of the other reasons why you should never lack balls when it comes to playing for Arsenal.

Just take a look at Manchester United. They lost Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez in the summer and are effectively a one man team now, heavily relying on Wayne Rooney. But look at them, despite the weakest squad they’ve had for years, they are only a single point off the top of the Premier League.

And why is that?

Their squad might not be full of world class players but they are winners. They have the f*cking balls for a fight.

Veterans such as Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes have been integral players for Manchester United this season, despite being in the twilight of their careers. Despite the fact they are almost on their last legs they want to win, whatever the cost. You might take the p*ss out of players like Darren Fletcher, Michael Carrick, Nani and Gary Neville but they want to f*cking win. You see it in their performances, and you see it when they score.

The ethos at Manchester United is win at any cost. Their squad is full of winners, who are hungry, determined and have experienced winning countless times before.

And what about Arsenal?

From our entire squad, I would only consider Robin Van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Thomas Vermaelen and Sol Campbell as winners. They are hugely loved by the Arsenal fans because they want to win as much as we do. They have the balls for a fight and know what it means to win.

Unfortunately, the rest of the squad are over-paid, pampered losers who are amazingly rewarded for consistently losing.

What other “top club” in European football would repeatedly give pay rises and improved contracts for not winning?!

Who should be hungrier for success? Players like Ryan Giggs who have literally won it all, or players like Abou Diaby who have yet to win anything?

Unfortunately, this sad state of affairs has badly exposed Arsene Wenger.

Arsenal’s biggest problem ever since their last trophy in 2005 is not the quality of player brought it, or the lack of transfer funds available. It hasn’t even been the injury problems. The biggest problem is that winning mentality.

When Arsene Wenger took over the reigns in 1997, he inherited a squad full of winners.

David Seaman, Tony Adams, Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn, Martin Keown, Steve Bould, Paul Merson and Ian Wright had won things with Arsenal before. We even had David Platt and Dennis Bergkamp who had won things in Italy and Holland respectively.

As the season’s progressed, we had players come in and replace the old guard but they had a chance to play alongside the original winners. Patrick Vieira, Emmanuel Petit and Marc Overmars played with the famous back five, Sol Campbell played alongside Tony Adams and Martin Keown when he arrived and later on Lauren, Ashley Cole, Gilberto, Fabregas and countless others came in a played alongside winners week in a week out.

Robert Pires, Thierry Henry, Jose Antonio Reyes and Freddie Ljungberg were all winners. Just look how they celebrated when they scored. Arrogant, determined and full of passion – scoring meant everything to them. Scoring and winning was a big f*ck you to the opposition.

Players coming in since 1997 had a chance to live, breath and work alongside born winners. It clearly rubbed off since they Arsenal won trophies for the next 8 years.

And it’s these relationships that have been integral to Arsenal’s success.

But after the 2006 Champions League Final, the last of the latest breed of “winners” was too weak. Only Gilberto, Thierry Henry, Jens Lehmann, Kolo Toure and Freddie were left from the Invincibles team of 2004, and even those players were seeing out their careers at Arsenal. Dennis Bergkamp retired, Bobby went to Villareal, Ashley Cole went to Chelsea, Sol Campbell went abroad to Portsmouth, Jose Antonio Reyes left for Madrid and Edu went to Valencia.

The whole winning mentality and “mental strength” Arsene Wenger keeps talking about pretty much disappeared in one summer.

And the sad fact is, Arsene Wenger hasn’t been able to instil this winning mentality into an Arsenal squad ever since.

And you don’t have to look further than the football pitch for the proof.

Abou Diaby strolls through games with an alarmingly lazy approach. He doesn’t just stroll around the pitch like it’s a training session but he is mentally off the pace. Poor decision making, the inability to track back or basic things like mark opposing players at set-pieces are just some of things he is guilty of.

We all remember the ridiculous headed own-goal he scored at Old Trafford at the start of the season. Would you ever see Vieira or Gilberto do something like that? Of course not, they’re focused winners who are switched on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they made mistakes now and then but for the life of me remember any as ridiculous as this current squad make.

Look at Manual Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski. They’re not winners, at best they are backup goalkeepers. The amount of mistakes they make is staggering. But you can’t blame them – Arsene Wenger is a manager that rewards mistakes. He is the man that is selecting these kinds of players so the blame has to laid at the managers doorstep.

What did Alex Ferguson do when Fabien Barthez made a few mistakes? He shipped him off to Marseille. Manchester United also had error prone goalkeepers Mark Bosnich and Massimo Taibi at the club but showed them the door once they showed they weren’t up to the task.

So the big question is can Arsene Wenger build a team of winners in the future?

A team of players that will fight until the end, never give up and not think performances against Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers are good enough?

It’s all well and good performing when things going well but the real character of a squad is shown when you’re not playing well and need to grind out a result.

The solution

As I have mentioned before, Arsene Wenger can help himself by taking the FA and Carling Cups seriously.

To win a cup competition you need that siege mentality, and that determination to win is severely lacking in most of the players at Arsenal. You play one off 90 minute games and the focus is getting through the match with the win. What better than trying in these competitions to get the squad that mental strength? You need character to win any cup competition and you’re tested all the time – there are many highs and lows in the cups and the players could do with being put in this high-pressure environment – where all that matters is winning.

Well you don’t need me to tell you this – look who were finalists/winners for this years Carling and FA Cup. Manchester United and Chelsea.

And would Arsenal fans mind a trip to Wembley and a trophy to celebrate?

Would they hell.

But is Wenger too stubborn to change his ideals? If so, he could be in for a very uncomfortable 12 months next season because the patience of the Arsenal fans is becoming to wear a little thin.

37 thoughts on “Has Arsène Wenger Finally Been Exposed?

  1. the solution is obvious, we need a new manager full stop, wenger is done and i believe most fans are starting to see that. we need someone who is hungry to win everything not just hand selected trophies that we have no realistic chance of anyway. we need a manager that realizes the importance of defending, a manager that can motivate his players a manager that needs to prove himself and not living on past glories, a manager that can be flexible in his team selections and tactics, a manager that will finally get rid of the dross we have at hour club and bring in experienced fighters who want to prove themselves rather than be handed out new contracts for doing nothing .

    it is time for a change, simple as that. sadly the board are so clueless and spineless that instead of lighting a fire up his arse, they are falling over backward to give him a new contract irrespective of how second rate we have become.

    the whole thing is a sad sad story, maybe spurs finishing ahead of this weekend may wake the board up as to how low we fallen.

    i doubt it though!!!

  2. good article, you forgot too mention wenger is rewarded for failure also £4million per year, us supporters need whipping for putting up with it,how many french freeloaders do we need at the emirates

  3. are u lot mad we were winning things b4 moving to emirates now we won nothin since then any correlation there. arsene would buy players and get rid of the players who didnt pull thier weight b4 the move to the emirates.

    it clear to see that the move to the emirates has hurt us badly finanically we cant buy the player needed and arsene knows that. he has a degree in econmics so he knows his finances and is trying to avoid us turning into pompey or leeds both have suffered but spending money they dont have. cuz we dont have the money arsene has to use what he has and if he starts getting rid of fabainski and denilson we have no one left to play so he has to motivate average players in think that they are better then they are and has been quite sucessful at finishing 4th or above so arsene should be praised not condemed

  4. Need a new manager, we have the best set-up for bringing in talent and now Wenger finally has the money to look at real quality you want to take that away. Top players want to play at Arsenal because of him you would be taking away a key part of our success in future transfer windows. Looking at what he can get on a budget imagine what he can do without that constraint. Secondly, of course he has had to prioritise the more financial competitions because of the stadium and a small squad, why would he put our strong team out in a Carling Cup game knowing the league is more important. Thats no longer an issue and I expect him to be able to put a strong team out for all competitions from now on so don’t expect that we won’t be lifting FA Cup or Carling next season.

    Most definitely our biggest loss was Van Persie, to compare the team performances before and after his injury are worlds apart. That said if you want ‘winning mentality’ you need look no further than the run we had of scoring goals in the last 15 mins of matches. That shows more to me about the attitude of this team than some bloggers comment. I’ll admit we have died off of late and this is not what we expect to see but will it keep happening? As the man who took a team through a whole season unbeaten I think Arsene knows what he needs to do and what he’s looking for.

  5. dan or what is your nam sack wenger and all our boys will follow him d board keep saying there is money nd he needed to plead with them 4 imill for ashavin they were just saving face nd he covered there ass now if he does not sign crucify him

  6. money has NOTHING to do with, his tactical crapness, complete disinterest in defence, lack of being able to spot we have the worst two goalies in the league, lack of fight and desire in the squad, lack of interest in the two trophies we actually have a chance of winning.

    if we have no money why the hell did vela, rosicky, eduardo, denislon, fabianski amongst other others get new and improved contracts when they have all done nothing to warrant them? why is walcott being paid 60k a week? why do we have such a high wage bill for players who have achieved NOTHING?

    if players leave b/c of him then so be it. how long is cesc going to hang around for this rubbish anyway.

  7. Really good post.
    This is one main reason we are not winning.
    But still i can’t blame players for winning mentality.
    We have to blame the club.

    Our club Arsenal doesn’t want to win. That’s the fact. I think we can’t blame Wenger fully. If the club doesn’t want to win anything what a manager can do ??

    So the main problem is the club management. Then just want only one thing. Its CL birth to make more business. The AW still capable for this. The club knows this very well.

    This is fact.

    This fact Arshawin knows very well, that’s why he wants to leave club to win something.

    If AW goes and new manager comes, we are not going to win anything until our club needs it. As a true fans still club needs only CL birth.

  8. a manager that can’t motivate or get the best out of his players should not be praised and deserves to be criticized, if they accept the acclaim when they win they should accept the blame when they fail

  9. It always amazes me when people say things like “all the top players come to Arsenal because of Arsene Wenger”.

    And why is that? Probably because they won’t get tested, they’ll be mollycoddled and don’t have to try most of the time!

    Players coming to Arsenal are having a laugh. We’ve got jokers like Diaby, Almunia, Denilson and Vela who couldn’t care less. The laziness in the squad is SO BAD that a world class player like Arshavin doesn’t even try anymore!

    Wenger has created a crèche where no-one can do wrong!

    And people talk about the money – we have the second highest wage bill in the Premier League! How the hell is that the case when we have a squad that consistently don’t win anything!

    And it doesn’t cost anything to bloody teach defence. Wenger could have help coaching defence from the best in the business (Keown, Adams and even Dixon and Winterburn if he really wanted) but is so egotistical that he doesn’t like people taking his thunder.

    He only kept Keown in the coaching staff for one year (where we got to the Champions League Final) and then kicked him out because he didn’t like people praising him for the great defensive record in Europe!

  10. look at the comments he has made this week already. we don’t need a midfielder!!! rubbish, with no song we have no defensive midfielder, only need a centre back if gallas leaves!!! rubbish, we can’t rely on campbell as one of the 4 as he can’t play two games in week and we can’t rely on gallas and djorou not spending half the season injured as they do every year. if gallas leaves we need two centre backs if he satys we need one. wenger said he wasn’t interested in getting a new goalie. Rubbish, WTF does that mean.

    he isn’t even saying the right things let alone do the right things.

  11. ultimately it is the board’s fault for allowing wenger to have become too powerful and basically letting him run the club single handedly.

    why give him a new contract if he keeps failing? i actually think he is too honest and won’t sign it as he even he can surely see that his project has failed and he won’t change his philosophies.

  12. I’m afraid lack of money is a feeble excuse. The players at Arsenal are far more talented than most other clubs, but they don’t match that talent with effort and so lose to inferior teams. Not to mention Arsene Wenger’s idiotic tactics, trying to match Barcelona in a football match shows he’s completely and utterly off his rocker. 12-2 would have been a fairer aggregate scoreline. Even if Wenger spent big on some big names, I STILL doubt he has the tactical ability to ever win the Champions League. The Premiership, however, is winnable, if only he’d own up to his mistakes and offload some of the garbage he bought. Walcott, Diaby, Vela and Denilson are a complete and utter waste of space – and Eduardo is rendered useless in this formation. Any moron can see that, but not Wenger. Why not? Because he’s stubborn and wants to be proved right. Basically, he’s putting himself ahead of the club.

  13. you do wonder what the board are thinking, is it really all about the money? they are fans just like us and must feel as sick as we do as wenger throws away the cups every year and makes us watch these spineless, overpaid, useless cretins play crap every week with no heart or passion for our beloved club they pays them so well..

  14. I am wondering why Wenger persists with garbage like Diaby, Walcott, Vela, Denilson, Almunia and Fabianski. Everyone can see these players are utter shite, and even the Walrus can see it – hence why he targeted Fabianski at the weekend and beat us!

    It’s staggering really. The only reason why I can see Wenger keeping faith with these players is because he has completely lost the plot.

    He’s frozen out players like Reyes, Edu and Van Bronckhorst in the past who were miles better than some of the crap we have at the club at the moment!

  15. Guranteed if Sir Alex was in charge of Diaby, Walcott, Vela, Denilson, Almunia (Would never get signed!!) he would make sure they tried or they be benched like Anderson, nani (at arsenal they would play every week regardless) and nani is far better than nasri, rosicky, walcott, diaby!!

    I CANT BELIEVE HE COMES OUT ANDS BASICALLY SAYS HE CANT MOTIVATE THE TEAM NOW!!!! What a joke!!! EVEN RELGATED PORTSMOTH FIGHT EVERY WEEK!! and even win games!!

    Im sorry wenger, i respect what you’ve done and i appreciate it and thank u for it!! But it seems as though this is how far you can take us!!

    We MUST remember we support arsenal and want the BEST for arsenal!! Right now Wenger aint whats best for arsenal!! As like dan said after all weve seen this season:

    “he isn’t even saying the right things let alone doing the right things”

    Wenger said judge me at the end of the season!!!!!

  16. I cannot believe I am reading this shit. There are absolutely no arguments to back up the statements spouted as ‘facts’. Without this man Wenger, Arsenal would be a medium sized club without any recent success. Without this man Wenger, they would still be playing in a 38000 seater stadium struggling to keep up with the Villas and Evertons of this world. Crap goalkeepers? No. Aluminia is a good keeper – the best? No but if any of you children knew anything of football you’d also know that some of the best make bad mistakes but then I doubt that any of you are old enough to remember Ray Clemence (a top England keeper of his day) let a shot slip through his legs (worse than Fabianski at Wigan) for the opposition to score. As for Robert’s comment at 8.43, Reyes wasn’t frozen out he was kicked out by the Manc Bastards, Edu and Van Bronckhorst wanted to leave as did so many others. And what did they go on to achieve after leaving Arsenal?

    It’s as if the majority of you simply expect Arsenal to win everything each year. Time to wake up guys, there is only one championship and Chelsea have and Man U have been making a habit of buying it each year. Next year it’s likely that Citeh will join them. The fact is that Arsenal (with all these shit players who can’t be arsed to try) are still favourites to finish 3rd. Grow up.

  17. kind of a circular argument: “the reason we haven’t won anything yet is because we have players who haven’t won anything yet”

  18. kas, firstly no one doubts what wenger has brought to the club and the amazing job he has done. but that is not relevant going forward. George Graham was amazing for the club and then became stale, it was clearly time for him to leave and was not based on his past achievements.

    secondly i don’t expect us to win the league or the champions league which is why wengers policy of chucking the domestic cups is to me the most arrogant and annoying thing of all, as we will never win anything with him again as manager.

    the problem with wenger now is that he does not get the best out his team, the tactics are all wrong, the defending is all wrong, there seems little motivation in the players. looking at the squad outside of three players RVP, Cesc and TV what have you really got, great potential in song, ramsey and wilshire and the rest are just so bloody average, he has put together a squad of utter averageness.

    we probably will finish 3rd as a result of liverpool being so bad, but clearly villa, city and spurs are right there. if the season had 4 games instead of 1 do you think we would be finishing in the top 4?

  19. Wenger has the plot not for the first time this season but other seasons before ! our team without fabregas,rvp and song are pathetic we have no real talanted players that can edge on to win a game. You talked about real winners before in wenger other reigns in charge. To be honest wenger was real lucky to have those winning squads mayority of those players werent even his for example when he won the double in 97/98 and in 01/02 he had the best back four in england and some of englands finest strikers of ian wright and berkamp, henry all at his disposole,

    Wenger shud go i think 6 years is enough how long can this burden of trophies go on im a true arsenal and im not a plastic we sorry wenger has lost the plot!. ger rijakard or hiddink in!

  20. there were some games were the team showed real bollocks!!!! like stoke! there were a few games, but i understand what ur trying to say. although i honestly believe that when the team win there first trouphy, they will become real force to deal with!!!!!

  21. they will never win the 1st trophy because wenger throws the domestic cups and we simply aren’t good enuf to win PL and CL.

  22. kas57, you talk utter nonsense!

    What have those players won since leaving Arsenal? Reyes won La Liga with Real Madrid (scoring the goal that won them the league on the last day) and is on the brink of winning the Europa League with Athletico. Van Bronckhorst won La Liga twice with Barcelona, and then the Champions League, playing against us in the 2006 final! And even Edu has won the Copa Del Rey with Valenca.

    And all those honours were since they left Arsenal. So if you didn’t know that then clearly you spout complete shite!

  23. You obviously only watch Arsenal if you didn’t know any of those basic stats. You’re like Wenger with his rosy coloured spectacles – nothing outside what you think matters.

  24. He cant drop these players he signed them all and polished their egos on the way to mediocrity,the man is incapable of doing anything right,even if he were given the lotto numbers for saturday he would still find a way of fucking it up,he has completely imploded as a manager,sadly.He cnat motivate them,he cant put a decent tactic together to outwit the fat bastard,he gets completely outthought by Ancelotti and Fergie etc,etc,We will never ever again win a trophy with Arsene in charge,it really saddens me to see a once great manager having turned into this second rater but stubbornness is good if you fight cancer or Aids but not when you are managing a crap football outfit with as little talent put together as a pub team.

  25. Wenger will make a couple ,of signings nothing fancy and see out his contract until then we won’t win anything unless some thing is done at management level time for a change sooner rather then later.

  26. Diaby will never be a great marauding midfielder like Vieira,Denilson the same,Rosicky will always fall over like a clown and pass the ball out of play and be injured most of the time,Nasri will always look disinterested,Fabianski will never be a world class keeper the same goes for Almunia,Silvestre the less said the better,
    Did George Graham look at Gus Ceasar and say,let us give him five seasons to improve ,no he shipped him out as soon as he saw how dreadfull he was.

  27. Is this guy for real??

    Wenger told reporters that : “When you think of the players we have had out, we do not need too many,”.

    “However, we do need somebody in one or two departments.”

    He should wake the hell up!! We need a whole new team!! Diaby is better off playing basketball, when Denilson plays it feels like we are playing with 10 men as he is lost on the field, rosicky, eboue, eduardo, vela, bendtner, almunia, fabianski all have got to go!! good that we can get rid of silvestre (man utd reject), gallas and campbell on a free!!!!

    AW also has to go instead of hiding behind his excuses!! If we got in Hiddink, Mourinho, Rikaard along those lines, top players would still want to play for the gunners!!!!!!!! AW took over a squad of winners from Bruce Rioch. None were replaced and we have ended up with players who don’t have the fighting spirit and lazy! They are being paid so much and they don’t deserve it!

    Time for the squad to be re-built with winners!

  28. Don’t blame the player, all fault was Wenger himself.
    1st he is not the world class coach, he is just a regular coach, lucky he won few trophy thanks for GG contribution.
    He can’t find the solution to treat the bully team, so everyone try to bulliy our player with physical tactical.
    In the past, when we were in hard time and down, we always can won the game becasue we had A6, P7, V4 etc to fight the game back, but AW sold L8 to WH, he at least could lead the team to fight for champions.
    As good coach, you need to use right player to against different team.
    A good coach use what do you have and make its happened. See big SA has been bully AW for years (bolton), and only took him one season to bully us again with blackburn.
    Even Grant can lead the relegated team into the FA final, and what can AW to say about this.

    2nd the french stuburns kill our heart.
    stuburn not took practise on penalty kick, cause us lost three cups included the uefa cup.
    refused to practise to defending the free kick/corner kick, caused us to loss the league games and CL.

    3rd, purchase more players from france, and can’t keep english player in the club.
    Everyone knows the french can’t ever to win anything, loss the war easily and never won the real world cup. What do you expect from these french player to be a fighter?

    Clearly, it is the time to call AW out the club, he has finished his duties, we need someone has the guts to guild the current team to won the confendence back.

    Long live Arsenal.

  29. This article is spot on. A reason why we no longer have ‘natural winners’ in the squad, may be down to Wenger’s penchant for players who will agree and not confront him. he didn’t sign yaya toure, because he didn’t like his attitude. we lost lassa diarra because he dared to voice his unhappiness, the life seems to have been sucked out of Arshavin, only Sol, fabregas and van persie seem to have the guts and passion of the invincibles, and I wonder how long fabregas will stay, now… Wenger loves ‘Yes men’ – you can see that from the lame squad, and his lame assistants…

  30. Dan said: “they will never win the 1st trophy because wenger throws the domestic cups and we simply aren’t good enuf to win PL and CL. ”

    Spot on Dan.!

  31. thats soooo true!!what i have been complaining all season about. i think the board should fire wenger. his time is up!!! get us a new coach with a winning mentality and not that of signing 12 & 13 year old kids. fuck untested talents we need experience otherwise face the same predicament as Liverpool not playing in the champions league. he has got money and not making any good signing! i am tired and frustrated of the fucking prof!!!!!!!!

  32. “Look at Manual Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski. They’re not winners, at best they are backup goalkeepers. The amount of mistakes they make is staggering. But you can’t blame them – Arsene Wenger is a manager that rewards mistakes. He is the man that is selecting these kinds of players so the blame has to laid at the managers doorstep.”-quote

    Sorry mate. you got it wrong! Who is paying the manager? If a manager is choosing the wrong players, why is he still around? Don’t you see it?

  33. I dont understand why a famous giant English club like Arsenal would not see the FA Cup as important – until I realise that the manager isnt British.

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