Has Arsene reached his sell by date?

Discussion in 'Arsenal' started by martymarts, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. martymarts

    martymarts Member

    Mar 11, 2003
    We're all in shock and of course this is probably not the time to start this, but, there will never be a right time. So... I watched the worst performance under Arsene Wenger's stewardship today, and the question I 'm asking myself is, are we now too predictable and his Arsene tactically nieve on the bigger stage?

    Today was a benchmark of where the team is at and this is what I think about it all;

    1. Sol Campbell is a supporting role centre half. When he needed to step up to the plate and marshall the defence he failed, in the first half he left all the hard work to the inexperienced Toure; god bless him he will be crying all the way home tonight. In this respect Patrick failed as well. As captain he should have be leading from the front and he was as invisible as everyone else.

    2. Last year we had a long debate about the lack of grit in the team. Inter didn't need to do any more homework than watch the Pompey match. We showed little or no aggression and Inter just pushed us off the ball as and when it suited them.

    The gloves are off and anyone who wants to step up to the plate (Mr Dwinkler) I'm ready for you! This team lacks balls. To all of you who have talked about Doubles and trebles this year crawl back into your holes and think again. After last year's collapse this team needed an injection of new blood to shake things up - it didn't get it. Don't hope toooo hard!

    Look at Chelsea Mr Dwinkler, with all there spending they've kept the spine of the team. Not only have they retained faith in their English grit, they've enhanced it with more Brits and Irish. John Terry, Frank Lampard , Joe Cole, Wayne Bridge, Damien Duff and Glen Johson. We lacked that grit tonight, we lacked it in bucketfuls!

    We should have started with Ray Parlour and we need 2 or 3 more players in the team who have the same kind of aqggression! And for your information, MR DWINKLER, when DB10 came on, he had the class to look like like he wasn't over awed by the occassion, unlike your French wonder boys. Let's ignore the pathetic penalty miss and just say that Henry and Pires were ineffective and invisible and Wiltord worse than invisible, I wish he had been!

    Everything we did tonight was predictable. Even after trying the same thing for the 20th time, and Inter once again reading it, we didn't have the invention to come up with anything different???

    So finally, my question is this... He's had plenty of tries and the players plenty of experience... is Arsene just not tactically good enough for Europe? Worse, is he our "Captain Ahab", will he lead us into the belly of the whale, as we follow him into bankruptcy chasing this new stadium?

    Do we need radical change, new coach and new players, to keep us at the top, or was tonight an aberration. I ready to talk about replacements for Lauren, Freddie, RP7, DB10 (because of age), but not SW14 cos he's a useful utility squad back up and we would lose too much money!

    I no know I'm depressed, in withdrawal, but, I'm flying into England on Sunday morning, to try and get a ticket for the OT game, and after tonight I shudder to think what ManUre are going to do to us? I'm not sure I can bare to go!!!


    COME ON YOU GUNNERS!!!!!!!!!!
  2. bkn0528

    bkn0528 Member

    Aug 2, 2003
    whoa, maybe it's not my place to post here. as I see anyone who posts on another team's board is usually branded a troll. but I don't think it's time to start blaming Wenger. He knew he needed to buy some players during the summer but he wasn't allowed to because of the stadium project. Now he's got half a makeshift defense. Arsenal actually started the game well, in my opinion, but after the 2nd goal, and especially after the missed penalty, they just looked shell shocked. They weren't going to recover. In the first half Arsenal had 8 or 9 shots to Inters 3 - unfortunately for Arse fans those 3 went into the back of the net. Needless to say, your guys did not play their best game today, including unquestionable stars like Henry and Pires. I'm not sure what Wenger could be doing differently. After all, a week ago he was EPL manager of the month.
  3. martymarts

    martymarts Member

    Mar 11, 2003
    None of the shots we had seriously troubled their defence/keeper. Plus the 1st 20 mins of a game counts for nothing. Typically a good team will be using this time to weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition.

    # of shots3 #of goals 3, was not bad luck ; it was bad organisation and woeful defending!!! We were boys against men and should offer no excuses! Remember, this kind of performance, when it really counts, is not new to this squad! You of all people?

    Maybe you're right about the lack of transfer funds, but remember, Arsene is pushing as hard as anyone for the new stadium?

    Come on you Gunners!!!
  4. Coach_McGuirk

    Coach_McGuirk New Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    Between the Pipes
    One loss in the CL group phase and you're ready to consider blowing up the team???

    Look at it this way: they got beat. Whether it was 10-0 or 1-0 doesn't matter, but have you all forgotten where we stand in the league right now? 4 wins, 1 draw, top of the table. Inter came in, got 2 (fairly) early goals, and was able to get 9 men behind the ball after that. Blowing up the team and hiring a new coach is not the best way in the world to scale new heights. Arsenal need continuity, not radical surgery. Toure will prove to be a quality defender, but he is young and unfortunately he is being baptized by fire.

    What might need to be examined is the fact that for the last year we have had no one to consistently pair with Henry up front. DB10 can't do it everyday, Wiltord is not about serving up chances to his strike partner, and Kanu is, well, Kanu. What Arsenal really needs is a central midfielder capable of creating some offense. Both Gilberto and PV4 are holding midfielders. Granted, Viera is probably the best holding midfielder on the planet, but he is paired with Gilberto who is the same mold. Pires and Ljungberg are looking to make runs to get into scoring position, not serve. Basically we need DB10 of 4 years ago.

    Trust me, if Arsenal gets the early pair of goals today then Inter would have played right into their hands. Arsenal always plays better against a side that attacks them because they are so deadly on the counter-attack. Italian clubs are not going to give Arsenal that opportunity unless it's their only hope.
  5. martymarts

    martymarts Member

    Mar 11, 2003
    Don't disagree with most of what you say. Still after watching 5 years of under achievement in the CL it seems to me that bad tactics is the most serious and plausible problem. Look how you finished your post; typical Arsenal! Your basically saying that if they'd played the way we wanted them to play we would've won! Does that mean were not flexible and failed to prepare properly?

    More worryingly we failed to compete in every/any department. I feel really sorry for Toure, Sol has left him hanging out in the wind in the last couple of games. Was Sol even on the pitch in the first half - oh yeah he passed the ball to Inter a couple of times!

    Inter flooded the middle of the park and yet we kept trying to get through there, why? In the 1st 45, I don't remember a single cross field ball, attempting to open things up.

    What the bloody hell was Lauren doing on there first goal? The last was our worst kind of complacency - casual passing across the front of defence. It reminded me of the wonder goal that Giggs scored against us in the FA Cup semi. Remember, the year we gifted them the treble?

    I have 2 points of concern. i) are we as tactically as astute as our rivals? ii) Is our unwillingness to compete back to haunt us from last year?
  6. Martin Daoust

    Martin Daoust New Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    Hartford, CT
    First off, safe jounrney and enjoy yourself in England. Hope you can bag a ticket for Sunday and enjoy watching us handle ManUre and stun the experts there and confuse us a bit in the bargain. I shouldn't worry. Old Trafford won't scare THIS Arsenal at all and ManUre lack the team to exploit us at the back and the pitch will suit us going forward nicely. We'll win by 2-0(Stop snickering!) or 2-1, maybe 3-1. Hope you get in to enjoy it.
    I won't let in to you here as you are honest enough to admit your thoughts are just a bit colored by your disappointment tonight, and I can't fault you there. Still by Sunday you'll realize how your emotional reaction just makes no sense on Wenger.
    Keep one thing in mind with Wenger. The first 11 when we Won the Double in 1997 was Seaman, Dixon, Bould, Adams, Winterburn, Parlour, Petit Vieira, Overmars, Bergkamp, Wright with Anelka, Keown, Wreh, Grimandi, Hughes, Garde, Platt, BoaMorte and Manninger making major contributions. The First 11 when we Won the Double in 2002 was Seaman, Lauren, Keown, Campbell, Cole, Ljungberg, Edu, Vieira, Pires, Bergkamp, Henry with Adams, Dixon Wiltord, Kanu, Upson, Grimandi, VanBronckhorst, Luzhny, and Wright and Taylor playing key roles. This Year its Lehmann, Lauren, Toure, Campbell, Cole, Ljungberg, Gilberto, Vieira, Pires, Henry, Wiltord with support so far from Keown, Parlour, Bergkamp, Kanu, Edu-and contributions expected from Aliadere, Pennant, Senderos, Clichy, Bentley and Taylor before the season is all done This is not the same team for a decade together running out of steam. Wenger is far from done. But you know that as well as I and after tonight its understandable to let the frustration get the best of you.
    BUT you are dead wrong in singling out the French players and lauding Chelsea's "English(or is it English and Irish)Spine". Between the players you list there is one Championship Medal-for the League Cup, the least significant English Competition. He isn't French but Gilberto has more as many in ONE year than this lot ALTOGETHER in their CAREERS. Even Anelka and Petit who no longer here but are French have more medals each at Arsenal than this lot. Never mind Henry, Pires, or Wiltord, or especially Vieira. That's ridiculous. Don't confuse our English Spine with AN English Spine. EACH of our current French Internationals have won more International Medals than this group above PUT TOGETHER
  7. Hecho en Mexico

    Hecho en Mexico Member+

    Mar 22, 2002
    Nat'l Team:
    i think you are exaggerating this a bit...wenger is a good coach but cuper is far better. this just comfirms that Serie A is the top league in the world.
  8. Senor Askew

    Senor Askew Member

    Jan 19, 2001
    San Francisco, CA.
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Did I miss something. Did Dan sleep with martymarts wife or something?

    Dan, you hound.


    As for the football, *#*#*#*# it. I've learned to expect about as much from Arsenal in Europe as I have for my other team, Rangers. Namely, absolutely nothing. When and if one happy year either of those teams happens to successfully navigate the road to continental glory then I will be as happy as the next follow follower/gunner, but until such time as that I remain guardedly pessimistic and choose to place most of my attention on domestic affairs.

    If you don't get your hopes up you won't be disapointed.
  9. Coach_McGuirk

    Coach_McGuirk New Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    Between the Pipes
    Look, I'm not trying to be an Arsenal apologist, but I think people are over-reacting here.

    Sorry you misunderstood my comment on how Inter had 9 men behind the ball. The point I was trying to make is that Arsenal MUST figure out a way to attack early in the match and force their opponents to chase the game. That is when the opposition is the most vulnerable and the game comes to Arsenal. When we get behind early and start pressing is when these defensive lapses show up in spades.

    Who was it that said the best defense is a good offense? AW is going to have to figure out a line-up that allows Arsenal the opportunity to find that early goal. As I pointed out, Wiltord and Henry are not capable of playing together in the style that will benefit Arsenal the most, ESPECIALLY when our midfield has no one in the center who can get them the ball in space to give them the best shot at scoring. DB10 has been that guy for a long time, but unfortunately he's getting older and can no longer be quite as brilliant as he once was. That's not a knock on Dennis, just the facts of life. DB10 has never been a striker in the truest sense of the word, as he has always preferred to lay just outside the box and set up goals with his passing.

    A few points to remember: Toure is young, and he's playing out of position. He will improve, and perhaps in a year or so Senderos will be ready for a spot in the first XI, allowing Toure to play wide in the midfield where his speed is a bigger asset. Right now his speed is being used to recover from his inevitable mistakes. Campbell is going through a rough patch caused, no doubt, by this spate of red cards he's been getting lately. He absolutely has to work through this and play his game, which is a physical one. Keown is a warrior, but his wheels have long since let him, and he just doesn't have the iron will that TA had to impose himself on his opponents, no matter what the problems he was having, physically and otherwise.

    Arsenal will get this thing turned around quickly, and they must as they've got quite a big match on Sunday. Beat manUre and the rest will take care of itself. If they go out, play poorly, and lose, however, and the mental damage might be more than they can overcome.
  10. Desigol

    Desigol New Member

    Jan 17, 2003
    County Tyrone, NI
    You might castigate me for this, but these are the times when I realise we miss Grimandi. He has always done well both in defence and midfield. Toure's no defender, whilst Edu and Gilberto couldn't tackle to save their lives.
  11. yossarian

    yossarian Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jun 16, 1999
    Big City Blinking
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just following up on some of the thoughts already expressed...yesterday was truly awful but I side with those who say it's not quite time to panic. Perhaps this has already been mentioned in the match thread but an article in www.soccernet.com today says that Sol's father had a stroke at some point prior to the match and Sol was playing with that knowledge. Not making excuses for him but such an occurence would not exactly help one's concentration. Perhaps Wenger (if he knew) should not have played him.
  12. Canada Gooner Grl

    Canada Gooner Grl New Member

    Sep 18, 2003
    East Coast Canada
    I know that what I'm about to say is probably heresy and depending on your theological bent, just thinking it might be cause for me to burn in hell forever or be reincarnated as a Spuds season ticket holder...but what the heck...here goes...

    I think that the faster we get dumped out of the CL, the better off we'll be overall. I don't think the team has the depth or the strength to handle 3 simultaneous competitons: the League, the FA Cup and CL. We need to pick and choose.

    I know there's a lot of glory with the CL and yes, I'd love to see us win there but not at the expense of the League or the Cup. I think that a lot of the reason behind our success in the Double Year 02/03 was because we got dumped out of the CL fairly early (Feb? March? -- sorry too lazy to look it up). Last year, we stayed in the CL later but look at the cost...we lost the League and we shouldn't have. Every CL game brings on an increased chance of injuries to our vital players and we lack the depth to cover those positions. Players we need in every game (like Henry) are pushed to the limit of human endurance.

    I think you'd be hard pressed to make the argument that this year's squad is tougher than the 02/03 crew. DB10 ain't what he used to be. Martin Keown is injured as much as he's not -- still love him and he's Arsenal through and through, but he's fighting with his birth certificate. PV4 is not Tony Adams -- not saying that he won't grow to that position. Freddie and Super Bob haven't completely recovered their form following injury and may never. Defensively, we're weak, weak, weak. Wiltord still runs hot and cold. Don't get me started on Cygan.

    I don't know what we've got coming up through the reserves since I've never seen their games but I don't hear a lot that holds hope there for this season.

    I think pushing in the CL is asking to lose the works this year. Sure, I'd love it but I'd love another double more over looking at cobwebs in the silverware cupboard come next May.
  13. GunnerJacket

    GunnerJacket Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 18, 2003
    Gainesville, GA
    Arsenal FC
    Well spoken, Coach. I'll admit I don't get to see as many matches as I hear and read about, but this captures a lot of my feelings and frustrations.

    Arsenal are caught in a financial trap right now as the excess funds that would normally go into the team have been reserved for (hopefully) a new home ground. And count me among the many that will sacrifice some year's worth of performance if in the long run Ashburton Grove allows Arsenal to join the truly elite. But without the full funds available Arsenal are suddenly thin compared to ManU (hated styping that!), Inter, etc. Heaven help us if any two of our regulars have a bad game on the same day!

    And while given this condition our lady from Canada may be correct in realizing the benefits in thinning the team's schedule, I would have to imagine that financially Arsenal would rather drop out of the FA Cup and League cup tournaments.

    There will have to be some shoring of the defence, and Arsene must determine if he can do that with the players he has (doubtful) or if he must go elsewhere. (Anyone else here miss Mr. Upson?) While the team did not give up many shots yesterday, it speaks volumes that the ones they did give up were quality shots capable of burying the home side. If Lauren and Toure need time to adjust to their roles, ideally that what the training squads are for and a bonafide defender should be in place for a CL match.

    I'm also curious about our stable of midfielders and their ability to transition from defence to offense and back again. Something is missing, and it has to do with their ability to both a) control the midfield against stern competition and b) properly compliment Henry who needs more open space and a true partner to be most effective. Seems to me that the right combination of players to make this happen consistently remains out of reach.
  14. Martin Daoust

    Martin Daoust New Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    Hartford, CT
    Enough with Upson already! He was never that good(Because of injuries to be fair and honest)but does anyone honestly believe Upson is better in central defence than Sol? And right now Sol is going through a genuine crisis(CRISES-on and OFF the pitch). When Sol gets through this and he will-the only question is "how soon?" the defence will be fine. We need to be patient now and calm. There is NOTHING we can do to change the team until January really anyway, so we should just relax now and trust Arsene to get everything he can on every front out of this team. And remember this is only one match, and losing to Inter is unlikely to be the difference between advancing in this group or not, as Inter were sure to advance as group winner or runners-up. So as bitterly disappointing and distasteful as last night was, it is not the end of anything by a long shot...
  15. Grateful Gooner

    Grateful Gooner New Member

    May 3, 2001
    Charm City
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree 100%. The CL is a "nice to have." The League and FA Cup are absolute musts.
  16. Motterman

    Motterman Member

    Jul 8, 2002
    Orlando, FL
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Wenger is probably 3rd in the order of importance to Arsenal's current squad:

    1. Henry
    2. Vieira
    3. Wenger

    Lose him, and it will be Chelsea as the only other challenger for the title this year.

    You'd have to be pretty daft to show him the door now. You really think Wenger didn't realize he needed to buy a defender or three? I'm not Wenger's biggest fan, but he's not stupid.

    You should be more worried about Barca sniffing around a cash-strapped Highbury for Henry anwyays....
  17. sinner78

    sinner78 BigSoccer Supporter

    Nov 7, 2001
    Maybe arsene aint so hot without big financial backing .It'll be interesting to see how arsenal perform this year now that they are in abit of financial difficulty.
    Some key squad players got loaned out....van bronkhorts ,jeffers ,pennant...
    The squad looks abit thin.Even a single absent player forces wenger to put toure in central defence.
    Wenger will never give youth a chance so who is he gonna select if they get some injuries??
    since he has been in charge he has never given a game to any youth player apart from ashley cole..

    maybe people are over-reacting...
    this defeat might be a wake up call..
    man U hammered Juve 3-0 last year and they went onto the final.
  18. KevTheGooner

    KevTheGooner Help that poor man!

    Dec 10, 1999
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    We are definitely ill suited for CL play, both in terms of tactics and personnel. We need to play a cagier style to compete against Continental sides. We need to be able to go out, play 9 man defense and win 1-0 with only a shot or two on net (Gawd, how many times have we lost to teams who use that formula?)

    Remember how the Imperial Lord Ferg retooled the Mancs (to a 4-5-1 I believe) for CL? It didn't win them the Championship but they manage to make it to the quarter/semi-finals on a regular basis.

    Our all-attack-all-the-time style may work over the course of 38 Premiership matches, but against Italian and Spanish sides it can be suicidal.
  19. jwaldman11

    jwaldman11 New Member

    Jun 14, 2002
    The OC
    Deep breaths, guys. This is one loss. Yes, it was a horrid performance at home, but we're not out of it yet. I know that this combined with what happened at the end of last year has a lot of people cringing and ready jump off the nearest tall building, but remember: we're currently in first in the EPL and there are still five games left in the group stage. Like sinner said, Juve got drilled last year and made the final. I'd rather lose our first game in CL rather than our last. It's a long season. Let's not panic now.
  20. michaec

    michaec Member

    May 24, 2001
    Arsenal FC
    Nat'l Team:
    I don't think there's any reason to call for Wenger to go. There are a couple of things that I would like to see from him though:

    1. Stop talking about tiredness. Does anyone else think he makes the players believe they're tired by constantly going on about it?

    2. Lose his cool. At half-time in both the Portsmouth game and the Inter game the players needed a right bollocking. No calm words, they needed to be told in no uncertain terms that they weren't playing well enough and it wouldn't be tolerated. From the insipid performances it didn't look to me like the players heard some home truths at the break in either game.
  21. Coach_McGuirk

    Coach_McGuirk New Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    Between the Pipes
    The Champions League isn't "nice to have", it is imperative to have if Arsenal wish to become a bigger club. The $$$ from the CL is something that Arsenal and other clubs in their situation (right on the cusp of being really big) budget for. Arsenal's budget for this year already took a hit when UEFA went to only one group stage instead of the customary 2. Had there still been 2 group phases, Arsenal certainly planned to be involved in both of them, but as it stands now they are only guaranteed 3 home dates rather than the 6 they were counting on. To get those extra 3 dates, Arsenal must go three rounds into the knockout phase.

    With all the problems getting Ashburton Grove financed an early CL exit could mean tougher times ahead for the club.
  22. Coach_McGuirk

    Coach_McGuirk New Member

    Apr 30, 2002
    Between the Pipes
    Actually you couldn't be further off on this. Wenger has NEVER had the transfer funds that his competition has had, yet he has produced two Doubles during his tenure. He has always bought judiciously and sold players for more than he spent to acquire them. I don't think there's a better manager in the world for a club like Arsenal that has limited funds because their revenue stream is hampered by their small home ground.
  23. MNGooner

    MNGooner New Member

    Jan 27, 2003
    I agree with Coach, the CL money is essential to the club and their ability to move forward on Ashburton Grove while maintaining a quality squad.
  24. TheFallen29

    TheFallen29 New Member

    Nov 25, 2001
    New York City
    - Wenger is as important to Arsenal as Darth Ferguson is to Money United. Seriously. Few managers on the planet are as skilled as finding gems from the bargain transfer bin.

    - The madmoiselle from Canada may have a point, but the Champs League = $$$, which can only help us in the long run.

    - Speaking of the long run, if we want to compete with Money United and Chelski, we NEED Ashburton Grove to work out. On top of that, when us Yanks come over the pond, maybe a bigger capacity will let us get into a game that isn't a 0-5 Worthlesston Cup loss to Chelsea. :)

    - We HAVE to play all-out attack, even against the Spanish and Italian sides...that's our game, and that's who we have the personnel for. Look at the PBP thread, and this one, and all you see is people bitching about Sol and Kolo and Lauren, etc etc etc (why the HELL did we loan out Gio again? That was a real head-scratcher)...this is the same crew that you want to put into a bunker for 80 minutes?
  25. Liverpool_SC

    Liverpool_SC Member

    Jun 28, 2002
    Upstate, SC
    There are two sides to this coin. Even if Wenger doesn't spend tons on transfers, the wage bill at Arsenal is very high. If he wasn't carrying so many peripheral players at high wages (or even good players at excessive wages) maybe he could afford to buy solid young talent when he has an obvious hole.

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