OOPS! Arsenal reveal Wenger replacement plans on his 20th anniversary

I am not saying that the people behind the secnes at the club and the Arsenal board are wrong to be making plans to replace our long serving manager Arsene Wenger. It would be daft if they did not put some thought into it, even if they are expecting the Frenchman to stay after his current contract runs out at the end of the year.

The timing, however, of the revelation by Ivan Gazidis on an Arsenal supporter’s forum reported by the Daily Express could hardly have been worse, as this week and specifically today the 22nd of September, marks the 20th anniversary of the prof starting his career as the manager of our great football club.

Apart from the fact that it is a momentous day for Wenger and Arsenal today, the team are actually doing well at the moment so that makes the suggestion that a replacement is ready even worse and could even affect his working relationship with the players.

Seriously Ivan, what were you thinking?

The Arsenal WOBs are not going to be happy!

It looks like the minority of Arsenal fans who tried to organize protests against Arsene Wenger at the end of the season are going to be feeling disappointed now that Ivan Gazidis has announced that Wenger is fit and well and still making long term plans for the club.

The Gunners CEO also reiterated that Le Prof will be the one that decides when he cannot go on and he expects Wenger to give the Board plenty of notice before the event but he is not even considering the possibility at the present time.

Ivan said, “He [Wenger] is in his mid-sixties, it’s natural to think about when his time here might come to an end, but the truth is nobody knows.

“He is in fantastic shape. He is deeply engaged and excited. One of the biggest challenges we will face is the transition, whenever it happens, but that is not something we are going to be facing imminently.

“Obviously, he is going to be managing us next year and we are planning and making many decisions for the long term.

“The reality is we wouldn’t leave things until the last minute. I’m comfortable both that if Arsene is going to extend we will know that and if, whenever that is, he is going to come to an end, that he will give us the time that we need to prepare for that transition.

“The relationship with Arsene is very deep. It will be done behind closed doors and we will have our transition plans well worked out.

“He has always put the long-term health of the club first. He wants to hand over a football club, whenever that it is, that is in great shape. He views that as a massively important part of his legacy.

“But we are just not in that mode. I know Arsene wouldn’t stay on if he thought the club wasn’t heading in a good direction and thought he wouldn’t be able to deliver what the fans want.”

So the WOBshave been thwarted by the Boss,especially now that he has started this transfer window by bringing in a top DM and is aiming for Jamie Vardy, the two positions that the disgruntled fans have wanted filled for the last three summers.

It looks like it will be many years yet before we see Wenger step aside and allow someone else to fill his shoes.

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It looks like Arsenal could be set to complete our first, and arguably the most important, transfer deal of the summer window. The player in question is the Chelsea veteran Petr Cech and so we have to assume that the talks he was due to have with the Stamford Bridge club yesterday went well.

There had been some fears that Chelsea would go back on their agreement to allow their long serving star to choose his own destination, and Jose Mourinho declared he would have done it it was up to him. But after a report by Metro today revealed that the CEO of the Gunners Ivan Gazidis confirmed that he was in talks with Cech and Chelsea over the move, it looks like Arsenal will get our man.

The transfer is said to be costing us around £10 million and that will be an absolute bargain if Cech has the sort of impact on our Premier League title hopes as many in the football media have suggested it will.

Final proof that Arsenal are lying to fans?

It seems to happen every year to Arsenal fans and we keep falling for it. The club promises the earth and delivers a handful of dirt. Now although it was painful and frustrating to sell our best players and replace them with inferior ones, if at all, while paying off the Emirates stadium, I think we could at least understand that there was a plan for the future.

But now we are supposed to have money. We keep hearing Ivan Gazidis and Arsene Wenger talking about the Gunners being able to compete with the big boys in the transfer market. And now that the FFP rules that the Frenchman has been moaning on about are finally starting to bite, the gap has been closed, except for the fact that we are still not spending.

If Wenger proves me wrong during the next few hours, I will gladly apologise and eat humble pie, but it is not looking very likely. So that will make it three transfer windows in a row since we were told that the hard financial times were in the past. Arsenal have finished all three of those windows with a huge chunk of the supposed transfer budget unspent.

Ozil was around 40m when we had 70m, we spent a big fat nothing in January and less than half of the 100m this time. Do we really need any more proof that the club looks on the fans as cash cows to be milked?

Do Arsenal finances mean Wenger will Spend, Spend, Spend?

Arsenal Football Club has today confirmed that it has once again made a profit the season of 2012 / 2013, in some news that will surely be received with mixed responses. Firstly without getting into all the financial details, basically at the end of day, the main figure we need to focus on as fans is the ‘Group profit before tax’ which was £6.7 million. This isn’t the most spectacular figure in the club’s history, with the amount actually being £36.6 million in the 2011 / 2012 accounting.

The sheer drop in amount is largely down to the fact that we had so many ‘deadwood’ players on our wage bill, which with some simple calculation came to the excess of around an extra £400k per week because of these players. It’s a staggering amount and it is in fact very strange to hear from a club of Arsenal’s calibre who are normally so financially tight, however it should no longer be such an issue because as I’m sure you are all aware, Arsenal managed to ship out the majority of deadwood one way or another this summer.

For full details on the finances of Arsenal Football Club for the 2013 accounting, they can be found at Arsenal.com.
One man that was particularly happy, aside from Wenger and Gazidis of course was new chairman Sir Chips Keswick, who was extremely proud of the club’s stability.

Sir Chips stated: “It is my job to ensure we steer further along the course we have set. We must continue to grow commercially to provide the Club with the best opportunity to achieve success and we must do this in a way which remains true to our values and which ensures and protects the long-term sustainability of the Club. We face a competitive landscape across the top of the Premier League and across Europe’s elite clubs which is tougher than ever. Despite fair play initiatives the financial competition for top players remains intense and transfer prices and player wages continue to move ever higher. It is therefore positive that the strong financial platform we have created in recent years allows us to continue to be competitive at the highest level.”

It’s good to see someone on the Arsenal management being so open with the club’s progression, and although I suspect it’s all just talk, I have confidence that this club will now continue in this direction now that most of the expenses have been paid off. Of course we still have Silent Stan Kroenke and other such management still crucial to our success but hopefully this news will be the first of many less profitable seasons and more efficiently spent summers.

Have Arsenal turned the corner? Will we keep making big signings like Ozil? Who do you think they should be?

Arsenal and Wenger can’t blame modern football – Deal with it!

After what was a disastrous weekend for the Arsenal, many of those defending Wenger and the board have used the argument of “Football has gone mad and it’s not Wenger and Gazidis’ fault that we can’t keep up with the ludicrous spending”. However, I feel that argument is a poor one and can certainly be seen as hypocritical.

Football has exploded with ridiculous transfer fees and ridiculous wages. It has been extremely difficult for Arsenal to compete, partly because of the introduction of Oligarchs who have bought the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, PSG etc. I completely understand that it’s been difficult for Arsenal in this period of time but we’ve exacerbated the problem certainly.

We have one of the highest ticket prices in world football and this is something definitely associated with the inflation of modern football. Even though we have one of the highest, we hardly have a squad that could compete on a domestic level, let alone a European level. It would be fine if this money was breaking us even but it’s not – we have around £180m cash balance.

We have also exploited the commercial side of the game and now have some of the biggest sponsorship deals in world football. We have used the increase in Premier league interest and the increased competition at the top to get massive sponsorship deals.

Finally, Wenger admitted to Al Jazeera that he suggested the current owners of PSG (apparently good friends of his) buy the club. He has directly helped the inflation of football with that recommendation. It’s hypocritical of him to sit on his high horse when he’s happy to help and suggest take overs by Oligarchs.

I deeply respect Wenger and what he’s done for the club but it is wrong to defend him by referring to the apparent madness of football especially when the man himself has assisted some of it as well as the club happily exploiting it.

Villa game highlights the need for BIG changes at Arsenal

Before the game yesterday vs. Aston Villa, people were already beginning to slate Wenger off and question his ability to manage Arsenal anymore, considering some of his statements, decisions and policies. And then after the game the stance was just the same, except the aggressiveness and arguments were heightened by about one-thousand percent! And to be honest, rightly so. It was a shambolic game that humiliated all those associated with Arsenal and Wenger deserves to have questions raised over him.

Firstly I must point out, I don’t think it is all Wenger fault, I believe the negativity as well as the fact that the board is controlling the progress of the club rather than the management team is another reason behind the decline of this football club. However it cannot go without saying that Wenger too has something to do with it and he is possibly as equally responsible as the players are for the failure.

For too long now, Arsenal fans have been lied to. It’s been several seasons where we have been promised progress, yet every year we believe them and fall into the trap. Again this year after securing the much needed champions league spot, Ivan Gazidis was adamant we were going to go out of our way to spend all the money that was available and improve our team to a much higher standard. Yet we were lied to and as of this moment we haven’t spent a single penny.

His transfer policy must be questioned and this is arguably his biggest downfall, however there are other aspects of this manager many of us used to label ‘Le Prof’ that have led to questions being raised over his head. Where is his plan B? Does he have a form of action to take if things are not going the way we want them to in a game? Why does Wenger only observe from the team dugout, rather than step up to the side-lines like his counterparts and push the team on or give out some instructions. The man that speaks several languages, has unbelievable knowledge in footballing tactics and overall a fantastic reputation, is going into decline, just like the club is, however like I said it’s not all his fault.

The thing that made me question him most yesterday was his decisions during the game. With 30 minutes to go, I believe we were 2-1 down. There was still hope for a draw and even a win but we weren’t playing particularly well. Having already used 2 of our subs, we had 1 more remaining and every single person in that stadium knew it had to be Podolski, but everyone was also realistically thinking he is going to bring the inexperienced Sanogo on for his debut.

Luckily he didn’t, but he also didn’t bring Podolski on! I noticed on 20 minutes that Podolski was told to stop warming up and put his shirt on, understanding that he was ready to come on, however it wasn’t until the final minutes of the game that the substitution was made, in which time Podolski had no chance to make an impact on the game! I don’t have a clue what is going wrong with Arsenal or Arsene Wenger for that matter but one thing is clear if we don’t make some changes, this is going to be a very uncomfortable season that finally sees the nail in the coffin.

Arsenal now reduced to hoping and waiting on Suarez!!

It is well known that Luis Suarez is battling with the Liverpool hierarchy to try and force through a move to Arsenal so he can play Champions League football with us in the coming season. The question is whether Liverpool will remain firm and stubbornly refuse to sell, or whether Suarez will abandon his wrangling, and it seems there is nothing for the Gunners to do but wait and hope.

We have had two failed bids and Suarez has stepped up his efforts to leave this week by going public with the whole situation. He is having to train alone now and the owner, the manager and everybody linked with the club has told him that he is going nowhere.

Arsene Wenger has responded to Liverpool’s stubbornness to let him go and said that he respects their decision and he will leave the player alone. This to all Arsenal fans is an absolute joke. I understand why Wenger is saying this and taking this stance as he doesn’t want to sour relations with the club but he has said it in a way which makes everybody think that the summer transfer window is over.

I am probably over-reacting here but I can just imagine us having no other targets of Suarez’s ability. I can even imagine having absolutely no other targets at all, let alone ones as good as Suarez. I am used to Wenger admitting defeat in pursuit of his “targets” which is why we have seen very few massive transfers for many, many years.

This summer was supposed to be different though and we were supposed to be pumped up for some serious title challenges next season. The manager and Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis even came out and said that we would have over £70 million to spend. The club must surely realise that the fans will feel desperately let down with yet another summer of penny pinching.

Arsenal face striker crisis if Suarez bid fails- Who else could we get?

We face a serious problem at Arsenal if we can’t sign Luis Suarez which is looking like a big possibility at the moment. The problem is that there are no more world class players left for us to sign and no current targets for Arsenal.

I am calling on Arsenal fans reading this to at least try and start rumours to get things rolling in people’s minds. If the Arsenal fans continue the summer believing that a player like Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be joining the club, Mr Wenger will have to take notice and do something because if we end the transfer window with a player like Bobby Zamora leading the line, there will be a lynch mob at every game.

It may be a desperate measure but it’s called a desperate measure for a reason. All the summer optimism is going to end as there literally are no more targets. I think Wenger and Ivan Gazidis must have sat down at the end of the season to discuss summer transfer targets and said `okay let’s just find a young guy in France who is out of contract so it doesn’t cost us anything and then make some bids for let’s say…. Luis Suarez but stop just before anything gets accepted. Then we’ll panic buy at the end of the window, on the cheap of course`.

This really is another poor window filled with poor decisions as we won’t go to to the limits we need to get Suarez and there is nobody else to fill his shoes. I would expect an experienced man like Arsene Wenger to have lists full of players that he is willing to buy if something goes wrong with his top targets.

I am getting really paranoid about this now but who can blame me. Bradford City have more chance of reaching finals than us…. oh wait.

Rooney would like Arsenal transfer but we should forget him

There have been several articles in newspapers in Britain that claim that Wayne Rooney would like a move to Arsenal – but only if his move to Chelsea falls through.

If this is true (which is unlikely) then we shouldn’t want Rooney, but focus on Suarez or somebody else. Arsene Wenger has said earlier in the summer that he would find it hard to turn Rooney down if the opportunity to sign him presented itself. Ivan Gazidis then added to the speculation a week or two later and said just about the same things and as the man who deals with transfers usually, that meant that Arsenal must have been preparing bids for him.

We have already seen that Manchester United are adamant on keeping Rooney after they turned down Chelsea’s bids for him last week. Jose Mourinho said that Rooney is Chelsea’s only target this summer after previously wrapping up deals for Andre Schurrle and Marco Van Ginkel. Chelsea are going to pursue Rooney for the rest of the summer and if they can’t get him then I don’t see why Arsenal could.

As much as I hate to admit it, Chelsea have much more power in the transfer market and it’s a very unlikely scenario that we could beat them to the signing of Wayne Rooney.

If Rooney really does see us as a second choice option then we don’t want him anyway. Arsenal shirts need to be filled with people who love the club and believe in what the club is not players who are looking to round off their career with a bit of extra cash.

Wayne Rooney is a good player and there’s no denying that but it is the wrong move for us to ever be formally interested in him. Luis Suarez should be keeping everybody occupied for the time being and after that, who knows….