Wenger sends out mixed signals about Adebayor

I’m taking a break from the Season Review posts today because some pretty serious stuff involving Arsene Wenger and Emmanuel Adebayor has gone down. For those that are unaware, Wenger was requested to appear for a Q&A session with the Arsenal shareholders yesterday and the meeting enticed some very interesting statements from the manager relating to Adebayor.

According to The Daily Mail, during the meeting Wenger was asked about the prospect of Adebayor leaving the club in the summer to which he replied:

“Adebayor has done fantastically well for the club. All the big clubs wanted him last summer and it will be the same again this summer. Some players have bad periods. If they don’t do well it is because they have lost confidence. But the only way to help a guy who has lost confidence is to support him. Slaughtering him it does not help him.”

It’s not surprising to hear the manager back up Adebayor the way he has but what is confusing is the contrast between that statement and the comments he made in an earlier interview. Wenger was asked about the prospect of selling any of our players to another ‘big four’ club and responded with the following statements:

“If I feel that a player should go, or could go, why not sell him to one of the other top four? I don’t want to go especially into any individual assessment of who we want to keep and who not, at the moment, and normally Adebayor is part of our plans for the future.”

“In this path, you are always in a very delicate position for two reasons. First, I cannot tell you all the truth, what happened behind the scenes and secondly, when you want to keep the players, you keep the players. You do not really look at how much money you get. On the other hand, people say you do not want to spend and when you have the good player, you sell him. When I look in training today, the quality of our offensive sector is very strong.”

It’s really hard to know what to make of out of Wenger’s comments. On one hand he seems to be backing up Adebayor and on the other hand he seems to be opening the door to sell him. The tabloids and headlines have immediately jumped on the ‘Adebayor to Chelsea’ train and with Carlo Ancelotti – the man who wanted to bring Adebayor to Milan – supposedly on the way and Didier Drogba likely to go I have to say it’s a distinct possibility.

I have to stress that at this stage it’s all largely hearsay and conjecture. There are likely to be a heck of a lot to come out of Wenger’s Q&A session with the shareholders but unfortunately I don’t have access to them just yet and cannot comment. It’s likely that Arseblogger will get hold of a transcript of the meeting so I’d strongly suggest you check out his blog at some point today.

Quickly before I go I want to include the really nice piece of positive news that Tomas Rosicky has resumed full training. He will be aiming to get fit for next season and when you add the Czech player to an attacking unit of Robin van Persie, Eduardo, Nicklas Bendtner, Andrey Arshavin, Theo Walcott and Carlos Vela you can certainly see why Wenger might be considering the option to let Adebayor go.

Anyway, that’s it for me today as I’m off to Byron Bay for a relaxed weekend. I’ll be crossing my fingers that our boys can put in one final effort to do everything they can to prevent Manchester United from lifting the Premier League trophy at our expense.

In the meantime, I’d be interested to hear what you think of Wenger’s comments and the Adebayor situation.

Have your say on Wenger or Adebayor by leaving a comment.



  1. Well,it might be hearsay right now to comment objectively; however, let no one be used as a scapegoat for mistakes or things that affect the whole club. responsibilty for a season gone awry cannot be shouldered by just one individual player. it is all the players who contribute to either winning or losing. nevertheless, the manger has more to answer as it is him who has the final word on who plays, pattern of play and so forth. if it is selling, let him sell without masking the real intention.

  2. Hey Fry,

    In that long list of attackers you mentioned, none other than Arshavin have shown any level of consistent class. RVP, brilliant on his day, but only on his day , thats when he is fit. Walcott, doubtful in the final flourish, Vela and Eduardo, physically nil, Bendtner, lot of talent, but just that. And now youexpect Rosicky after a year in sabbatical to come out and go all guns blazing !!. Come on, be serious. We know our real weaknesses by now dont we. We all know, we dont have th squad to really go anything beyond that glorified 4th place, dont we ?. We have gone through one of the most frustrating seasons for the club and still we can sit back and look at Names ?. Look at what one goo deal has done for the club last year. We have to do at least 2 more good deals to be anywhere near contention.

  3. @SF
    I was looking forward to your midfield section but can understand why you have chosen to stray from the path. Wenger as we know plays his cards very close to his chest. He has shown that if he wants to keep a player then that player stays, he said that he didn’t think Flamini would go but I think he was just too stuburn to realise what Flamini wanted. I think you are right in your assessment, he (Wenger) is telling the world that Adebayor is available and also available to our rivals if they want him. Lets hope that if this is the case that Wenger has a replacement in mind and is not going to rely on Bendtner to come through next season. As when Flamini left the players already in the club i.e. Song, Denilson and Diaby have not filled the void, well maybe Song has now but certainly not at the begining of the season. Absolutely brilliant news that Rosicky is back in full training. That is definetly like having a new signing, it is a shame that he isn’t a ready made Centre Back rather than an attacking midfielder, we seem to have quite a few of them. When I was a kid we had a Saturday morning show called Swap Shop, maybe we could offer an attacking midfielder for a centre back with another EPL team say Liverpool, just an idea.

  4. As we Twittered (Tweeted?) about earlier, these are some odd comments from AW regarding Ade.

    I understand Le Boss’ preference to stand in the path & protect the players. It’s admirable, and in a sense he’s correct in that everyone has ups & downs. But with some of the players it’s not one or two bad games. It’s down to a serious lack of effort in some distinct instances, and that is what has fans upset, I think. Not to single out Ade personally, but we are talking about him here…the two matches against United weren’t “down” games. He was completely invisible and utterly useless. That’s an effort and motivation issue, not a talent or off match thing.

    Personally, I like the guys on the team. We have some tremendous football talent, and by and large I think all the lads are decent guys. Yes, even Gallas, who’s a bit of a nutter on occasion. So not only do I bleed for the Gunners in general, but I like the team personally from what I know of them. In a sense, I think this is part of AW’s issue as well. He’s practically raised some of the guys…like Cesc, Theo, Wilshire & so forth. So there’s a connection there well beyond the football & Wenger must feel some paternal protectionism for the team.

    In having read voluminous comments, made quite a few myself and religiously read/listened to Arseblog the one thing that stands out to me that the press get completely wrong is that NONE of us is saying that Wenger should “abandon” his experiment of developing a young team. But that gets printed a lot by so called pundits who think they have their finger on the pulse of all things Arsenal. I wholly discount this. What I think we’re asking for is a blending of that youth with some seasoning. Not an abandonment of the grand experiment, but an adjustment to get the absolute most out of those young players and to win trophies. I think we all understand the “trial by fire” method, but some players clearly aren’t ready for the trials they face week in and week out in the Premiership, let alone the FA or CL. For that we need at least a few guys with some notches on their belts who’ve been bled a bit more…just to add to the overall effect of the team.

    Regarding transfers, to my mind, we do all the youth development specifically so we don’t have to spend a fortune every transfer window. It’s smart business and it’s smart football. But that plan has a second part to it that AW simply hasn’t implemented, which is augmenting the talent each window as needed. It doesn’t have to be a blockbuster transfer every window (we grow our own blockbusters through the youth program). No one would say that buying Hangeland, Veloso or Upson would be the equal of buying Shava. But think of the effect on the back line having either of those guys would have.

    So…Arsene Wenger says he won’t bankrupt Arsenal to add players. I agree with him 1000%. But please, for the sake of all things Gooner, at least recognize that there are some areas of the current roster that CAN be improved with reasonable spending.

  5. Ignoring the fact that it’s all a lot of newspaper waffle and rumour – I’d personally like to see Adebayor stay because he’s a talented goal scorer and, when he’s performing, a big handful for any opponents. On this season’s showing it seems like he’s not a grafter. He’s lazy in other words. Spurs fans said the same about Berbatov – when the going’s good – he’s great. When it’s tough he fades away.
    Okay – so imagine if next season we’re flying with a solid defence and a lively attacking mix of Fabregas, Nasri, Rosicky, Arshavin and Walcott etc. wouldn’t it be perfect to have someone like Ade being up there for the final ball? (Well I can dream can’t I?)
    If things did come good for us like that – we’d all be crying out for an Adebayor then.

  6. You need to hold on to the players you have- Adebayor can score goals consistently, he hasn’t turned rubbish over a season. He’s still a great player.

    As Arsene said- you’ve scored plenty of goals this year- but conceeded far too many. It’s the defence that needs strengthening.

  7. 3 things to blame for arsenals poor season:
    1) Fabregas: am a big fan of cesc and he definately is th most talented nd gifted player we got BUT he is not a captain, he is not a leader!he is always among th first players to give up when things go down bad. on th contrary, Toure is a leader, never gives up and his age difference with th younger players makes him more appropriate captain.
    2) Poor defence: th foundation of a succesful team is built on a solid defence tht leaves th midfield nd forward players to worry more about getting goals upfront.we got one of th most shaky defences in the EPL and like half of th goals conceded can entirely blamed on freakishly uncapable defense
    3) Mode of play: everyone saw how Barca vs. Chelsea games went both home and away.Barca is arguably th best team in spain and you’ll agree tht th way they play their passing football is so so similar to arsenals passing game. Barca struggled with chelsea nd may as well have lost th CL semis coz as much as they passed th ball around, tht way of playing can easily be defended by a smart opponent (all an opponent got to do is pack th defense with 7 players nd leave 3 players hanging in front waiting for counter-attack chances) and chelsea, man u, liverpool nd other small teams are smart enough to know this. small teams like hull have been able to squeeze th life out of our game nd it won’t end this season. wat wenger needs is to have options in his way of play. remember henry’s days? especially th unbeaten season? it was counter-attacks and no passing around bullshit was evident.
    bottom line: it is not adebayor, it is wat wenger tells his boys to play. sorry 4 th long comment

  8. i agree knightman . we need to change our playing style , bringing more aggressiveness in counter attack and audacity to shoot even you r not in the d-box.
    players like nasri , rvp , fab can take a long shot coz they are capable of . They should not wait for other player like diaby , song ,denilson , silvestre to come and let them decide whether to shoot or not.

  9. I miss the Ade of last season, he used to run his sox off but now he is not interested anymore. I think he must be sold in the summer, he is a liability to the club.

  10. In my opinion,Ade should stay.Well put Old Timer.There’z no so much diff btwn Ade and Berba.When they shine they’re full of praise,when they have a goal drought everyone’s fast 2 criticize.

    He should stay,he has some stunning perfomances that usually come when we least expect.

  11. Yah you are right it has to be the manager’s call on whom and how to play.Lets hope he will keep all the players and just adds on some three goood players one for each department. But if he is to sell i would choose RVP so much injuries on his side. this time he had less but he contributed less not like addy did last season while he was alone. AW has to sell one big player every end of the season to pay the debt remember that.

  12. Ade shld and must stay if we are to challenge 4 anything next season. the reason is tht as much as Ade going may mean another striker joining us, it may/will take a hell lot of time 4 a new striker to adjust to arsenal if they ever will. look at eduardo – it took him months to fit in. arshvin seems to have fit in but don’t get fooled by a few great performances coz he hasn’t been tested yet. Adebayor on th other hand has full adjusted to arsenal’s playing nd what we may need to get th best out of him is as simple as playing walcott alongside Ade and changing our game to a more counter-attacking style. Walcott nd Ade are the fastest in arsenal and they will do wat Henry used to do – run for through balls and breaks! Nasri, Rosicky, Fabregas, Eduardo and Arshavin can shoot and so they’ll take shots whenever a chance comes. Ade will also be available for headers and he’s great with assists too…my point is that it isn’t necessary to let anyone go, all we need is to bring in a keeper, a central defender, a left-back and maybe a holding defender and let the boys compete for positions in th starting line up.

  13. I agree with Gibbs, Ade should go. I think he was great last season when he was up for it. However, he made it plain last summer that he wanted away, and his performances this season back that up. At the end of the day if a player doesn’t want to play for you, it’s pointless trying to keep him. I’m not sure I agree with Wenger about selling your top players to ther top 4 clubs, but I think this is to do with the fact that we’ll be back after Alonso in the summer.
    Frankly, I think Ade’s attitude has stunk all season, and for that I won’t be sorry if he goes. It does meean we’ll need to but another striker though, because Bendtner is not good enough to lead the line yet.

    On another point, AW said yesterday that the fans are too negative with their criticism of Ade, Eboue and Bendtner. I find that quite staggering frankly. By the standards he himself has set, the last 3 seasons have been very, very poor. The quality of the players, compared to those on show 4 years ago, is also poor. NONE of our current first team (bar Fab possibly) would have got a game in the “invincibles” team. We pay more than ANY other Prem club for our seats at the Emirates, so it’s not too surprising if we’re beginning to feel a bit pissed off with what we’re seeing. Anyone who sat through the turgid rubbish of the Sunderland for example, will not think it was 50 quid well spent. We pay our money, and while we should always support the team, it’s a bit far fetched not to expect the odd criticism, especially when we’re served up some of the shit we’ve seen this term.

    Give us something to cheer about Arsene, and cheer we will.

  14. In response the AW claiming the fans do not generate enough support esp at the CL SF: The away fans in the Semi Final were awesome as they were 2-0 up after 11 minutes of football, game over Arsene!! I was at the game, the atmosphere was electric, the best I’d ever seen at Arsenal. The club had a big say in that providing flags, adding impetus to our support of the team. But when 2 goals go in after 11 minutes, the team where never going to come back. I stayed the full 90mins, unlike a lot of others, sang on, cheered to no avail, but the crowd were not to blame that night. Even after the first goal went in the crowd still got behind the team noisily only for 2 mins later our throats to be ripped out with a second Utd goal. On other occassions the crowd is very quiet, but Stewards play a big part in this. Anytime you stand up to shout or sing your told to sit down. Why? This “crowd control” crap from Stewards is stiffling the atmosphere. Why do you think the Kop at Anfield is so noisy? They stand the whole game and are allowed to get pumped up for the game. They are the ones who generate the atmosphere for the whole ground. The Arsenal fans don’t identify with the new stadium and the coloured quadrant system. I used to sit in the North Bank at Highbury and we started the singing “Were the North Bank….” if there was nothing else to sing about and the rest of the stands would join in! The Emirates has lost this. If the club wants to generate more atmosphere, do more to promote it like at the CL SF and lift the ban on flags!! Oh, and maybe pick a more energetically charged song to play before the games instead of that terrible Elvis song!! So Arsene get it right on the pitch, because we are sure as hell trying to give it everything in the Stands. It’s hard to watch at times, but i always sing to the bitter end.

  15. @rilub

    You could also add the fans who booed eboue and basically put him under more pressure when we needed all our players to concentrate..
    The fans that booed bendtner for missing a pass when he was actually playing well
    The fans that leave early and don’t create noise or ‘atmosphere’ as its called..

    Wenger has made mistakes and no one would know that more than him.He wasnt demeaning fans.He was basically asking fans to look at the positive side as well rather than give in to all the negativity.
    However this summer is crucial.Let’s wait and see what happens but till then keep the faith.

  16. as regards adebayor.. this is a tough one to make my mind up about.. My thinking is he should stay if wenger thinks he can put that hunger back into him.(though his comments seem to suggest thats a remote possibility)
    I think he should stay not cos he’s earned it but cos he offers us something that noone else in world football can at the moment(except drogba,who i hope breaks a leg when he next dives)
    But this is a tough one to gauge..

    If he does leave, esp to chelsea it better be big big money which may go towards signing tevez maybe or villa (I can hope cant i?)

  17. @ rilub – absolutely spot on mate, I agree with everything you say. I’ve tried to stay positive throughout this season, despite the dismal league campaign and the fact that at no time have been challengers for the title. I’ve tried not to believe the obvious fact that we’ve DEFINITELY gone backwards this year (just look at the table, it doesn’t lie). I’ve tried to console myself with the decent FA cup and CL runs, but the fact is that virtually every time we face anyone really decent we lose. OK, we beat Man U in the league game at Emirates, and Chelsea at their place, but what other highlights have there been this year? Do we really think beating Rome and Villareal makes us a top team in Europe- you’re ‘avin a laugh Arsene. I haven’t jumped on the “Wenger out” bandwagon, and I don’t intend to yet, but you’re right rilub; yesterday’s comments do look like the work of a man who’s losing the plot.

  18. @ Andy- you’re right about the lack of identity at Emirates. Highbury had 4 distinct stands. I remember the songs going back and forth between the North Bank and the Clock End. It doesn’t happen any more. You’re right: if you stand up and sing or shout the stewards are straight onto you, and everyone looks at you like you’re some kind of nutcase. It’s like going to the theatre, not to football.

    I must admit I’m feeling really down at the moment. It’ll cost me £2,700 to renew my 2 season tickets, and although I know I will (as I have done for the past 28 years) I can’t say I’m filled with enthusiasm about it.

  19. Adebayor to go, he doesnt seem to try anymore. His heart is not at the club no more, he is brilliant on his day, but we rarely see that anymore. He just does not threaten defences for us anymore and we can get good money from him. Although I dont like Drogba, I prefer Drogba to Adebayor and we can do a swap or we can go for David Villa with the money. I do want him to go but also want AW to sign another striker. Although Arshavin could play up top with RVP, sill would like a new striker if Ade goes. We need to win a trophy nex season. And wenger needs to use this transfer period wisely! Sell players that arent good enough, bring in players we need. We have the financial support so use it Arsene!

  20. Im sorry if i sound like a wenger worshipper or something but i have to say it’ll be a sad sad day for arsenal football club when eventually wenger does leave. He could have gone years ago to any club in the world, spent millions, won trophies and gotten personal plaudits and glory.But he stayed. He stayed and he won us trophies and he will again..

    I read someone say yesterday that the team had to face a transition within a transition meaning that at the time we were rebuilding the league became the richest in the world where everyone was looking to spend more.Yes we have to cope but what are we up against?3 clubs who collectively are abt 1.5 billion pounds in debt..

    My point is wenger’s actually doing whats best for this club.I think he’s thinking the plot thru a little more than many fans..I want a trophy as much as anyone but not at any cost.Plus for all the millions that chelsea n liverpool have spent they might jus end up with nothin as well.N a few seasons ago Man utd hadnt won anythin for 3 years and there was talk of fergie having lost it.. who says that now??

  21. @jay jay
    Maybe adebayor should go but i can never imagine wenger bringing in drogba.. rightly so
    silvestre was one thing but this’ll annoy the fans no end.. not what he needs right now 🙂

  22. Drogba! Over my dead body!

    As for Arsene – I think hes disappointed. Disappointed with Ade. Disappointed with another season of near misses. Disappointed with himself probably. The man can’t walk on water. But he’s done a pretty passable imitation up to now. The Great Man is out of a different mold and one thing you can be sure of, he won’t be sitting at home with his feet up wondering what to do with himself during the break. He’ll be plotting and scheming what to do? Who to get?

    The interesting thing is that all the other clubs will be trying to improve their teams too and there’ll no doubt be some big names coming in.

  23. agree completely we still have the best man at the helm…although i have been dissapointed and disillussioned with some of his decisions this year there is no1 out there that wants to put this team backon track more than him.
    as for the adebayour situaton u can say farewell to him…there is no confusion about whether AW wants to keep or sell SF hes simply biggin the guy up to start a bidding contest….to be fair ade has done ok…but hes not as good as he thinks he is and he will join the long list of players that have learned this since theyve left us….jose reyes,hleb..etc…also ade does go missin in big games and lacks the desire of our rivals frontmen…tevez,rooney,torres all have mopre class aswel as workrate and RVP wont do it either…iv resisted coming on this site since last weeks CL exit and home defeat to chelsea as i was so dissapointed not just with the results but the complete lack of desire and pride only three players can come out of those games with credit and they are gibbs,toure and bentdner.we have too many players who talk a good game in the tabloids but thenlack the bottle on the pitch…i like nasri but the way he backed off for anelkas goal while sylvestre(useless) dithered was embarassing,compare that to the way other teams players put there bodies on the line and wer a joke..if the PL was won and lost on tackling and commitment wed be relegated

  24. Our style of play is worrying, when all the balls have to get to the last finisher Ade, Bentner, RVP name it, other teams have perfected the art of waiting for arsenal attack near the box, with packed diffence you will play the ball up to the right and to the left with no effect, If our midfielders could constantly shoot from far range, like Gerald, Lampard, Alonso, then others will panic to close them down and the strikers will find breathing space. Adebayo can go but we need a no nonsense finisher who shoots at the goal with anything

  25. @ Old Timer – I hope you’re right about big names coming in, but what makes you think it’ll happen? AW doesn’t exactly splash the cash does he? Hopefully the experience of getting Arshavin, (ie: spending a few bob on a quality player and getting instant returns on the money) might make him change his policy of buying unknowns and kids.

  26. If even us, the common football spectators thinks adebayor is a liability to the club, I’m wondering if any manager would want to pick him up having seen his performance this season, let alone the 20mil that some of you say that he is worth.

    anyway, I juz want him off the team. totally dont deserve the starting XI spot. I credit bendtner ahead of him. somehow people of his physique seems to be a burden to the team, diaby for example. haha.

  27. i think we should not jump into conclusion of which player should go or stay every player has his own time to shine but to me one player i think we should take a look at is diaby not adebayor bcos as defensive mildfielder u should not be loosing possesion of d ball as diaby doing in must casese.

  28. Wenger isnt exactly opposed to signing experienced players. rosicky, hleb, campbell, pires etc show that.. n now arshavin of course.. I’m hopeful he will get in the right players even if they cost a few million extra(without bankrupting us as he put it)

    But i read somewhere a quote attributed to him n i think he is right that even if u have the money there just arent many players in the world who can make an impact n would be available.

  29. I miss the Ade who used to run and fetch the ball when it went out for a goal kick and put it down for the goalie. I just hate all the negativity sourrounding arsenal at the minute. I think it’s about time we all think positively and give the players and manager the support they need whatever happens. This Is my first post by the way gotta say that I love the blog, it gets me through work LOL keep up the good work and peace out.

  30. Ade should go ONLY IF Wenger can get really big $$ for him and those $$ are spent on adding some superior strength in midfield and/or center defense.

  31. @ goonertom – I agree that there’s a lot of negativity surrounding Arsenal at the moment, but a fair proportion of it is justified. It’s all very well saying we should be positive, but this is the 4th season that we’ve been saying it. We’re the only one of the top 4 that hasn’t won anything in that time. Do you really feel that, without major signings in the summer, we’re likely to change that dismal statistic next season? I don’t.

    Wenger’s comments about not needing many new players etc may well just be him not showing his hand, but the supporters need something to cling to. Several people today have made comments about other team’s supporters showing far less patience than we have. Wenger’s past achievements have quite rightly given him time and space to re-build the “invincibles” team, but it’s been 4 years now. How long is it resonable to wait? Another 4 years, or 5, or 10?

    We’ve been incredibly patient, but it’s beginning to run out.

  32. Ade has to go this year as the african nations is on and we can’t afford our main striker to leave over jan. But don’t expect anything untill rvp signs a new contract as if we lose both of those players the likes of fabregas and others will walk but would like to see villa or santa cruz but mostly tevez as he has worked his socks off keeping west ham in the prem and helping manure in the epl. Only thing is not to happy about a companey owning a player whats next we sell fabregas to sony for 40 mill theo to dell computers anybody?

  33. I have two silver memberships, and use them for my partner and I to go to most games.

    I am more than happy with the current situation, perhaps because I bring a historical perspective. I have kept on attending the games (for 10 years as a season ticket holder) when for years and years we not only won very little, we were not likely to win anything. Years when Tottenham were above us, and a draw with them was satisfying.

    During much of that time not only were we just a solid regular run of the mill Division 1 team, one or more other clubs were so far above us (I think particularly of Liverpool in the period before George Graham) that there was no thought that we could catch them.

    I recall going to the League Cup Final against Luton, paying for the usual awful service that Wembley offers, and watching us lose, and then of course renewing the season ticket next year. And the year after year of nothingness.

    So to me the world Wenger brings us is the golden era, because

    a) the football is so brilliant
    b) we are now one of the top 8 clubs in the world

    In the days before Wenger we were often not one of the top 8 teams in England, and the English league in those days was very much a fourth rate competition behind Spain, Italy and Germany.

    Looking back to the time before Wenger, before the Champions League became all-dominant, there was no telling at this stage which of the clubs in England would move into a world where we play on an equal stage with AC Milan and Real Madrid. Believe me, it could have been Tottenham that joined the elite. Man U were, like us, for years and years a middle of the road team – they were even a second division team for one year. It could have been Everton rather than us that made it. It could have been Villa.

    But we made it into the top level, and we are still there, so we have moved from being middle ranking, to top ranking, in broad terms, and that means that we have a good chance to build a new team and start winning trophies again.

    So, I won’t be having to pay out my £1000 at once, but with two tickets to support I will be spending more than that during the year as I buy the tickets week by week. Plus I will be spending a fortune on travel. And I will love most of it.

    No I didn’t enjoy being beaten 4-1, any more than I enjoyed being beaten 6-1 at Man U (with a team including Henry et al). But I know what Wenger did after that defeat, and I look for the same again.

    Finally, I suppose I return to the home defeat by Leeds, 3-2 I think it was, with two games to go. I was very upset and depressed, we had thrown away the league, but I returned for the next match against Southampton and laughed at the touts who couldn’t even give away their tickets. We won 6-0, and that was the start of the 49. Leeds were looking like a team moving up once more. Instead they imploded and dropped to division 3.

    Yes, I willingly pay, and if I could work out what is wrong with the sodding on-line ticket purchasing system I would already have bought my two tickets to Barnet away in July.

  34. I’ve been to every home game this season in the league (apart from 2 when I was out of the country and one when I had to attend a wedding), and if you don’t recognise that the attitude of some of the supporters affects the players negatively I don’t know what to say.

    At times (January and February) the players were scared to play the ball forward because they were scared of the reaction they would get from the fans. And no, the groaning and shouting “you useless c**t” or similar abuse didn’t start after 10 bad passes by a player, but after one or two. And that was long before any “negative tactics” were deployed by Wenger. And even if we did play with only one striker we still went forward and tried to play our game, so those tactics weren’t negative as such.

    Do you ever wonder why Bendtner (for instance) scores the majority of his goals away from home? If you’re being booed before you’ve even entered the pitch it won’t fill you with confidence. We’ve scored 27 goals at home and 37 away from home this season, that’s hardly normal and hardly a coincidence.

    He is absolutely spot on with his assessment of our home support. Should he have said it after going out in two semi-finals and finishing the league 4th? Probably not, but it’s still true and I don’t see why the manager shouldn’t be allowed to talk about it in general.

    Fans are allowed to voice their opinion, I have nothing against that at all. But at the end of the day you’re going to the stadium to support you’re team and not to make things more difficult for them. Or at least I would hope so. The amount of money you pay for the pleasure of going there has nothing whatsoever to do with that. If you don’t want to support the team stay home and shout at the tele. It’s better for everyone.

  35. Some of these posts beggar belief.

    So, Wenger acknowledges that yes, he is p!ssed off by the minority of home fans who boo, then people interpret it as attack on all fans, or rather them. For pity’s sake – he’s just pointing out that he doesn’t like it and that far from encouraging players it discourages them. He always agrees that fans have a right to complain, but feels this is the wrong way to do it. People outside Arsenal, especially in Europe, can’t believe that anyone in their right mind could turn on a man who has given us so much.

    People talk about Wenger as if he doesn’t but this is a man whose every waking moment is spent thinking about Arsenal, a man who famously goes home and spends half the night watching and re-watching a defeat to try to work out what went wrong. He may make mistakes, but believe me, he cares.

    someone made the point that if Wenger worked in venture capital he’d be out. True, because the corrupt, asset-stripping people who operate in that field are only ever interested in lining their pockets today and getting out by tomorrow lunchtime. No interest in the long-term whatsoever. Oh sure, let’s sack the second most successful manager in football history for failing to come higher than 3rd for a few years. Wenger is trying to build something that will still be successful when he’s gone, without breaking the bank or taking dodgy money from dubious benefactors. I don’t even care if he fails because he has tried to build success, not buy it, and in the meantime given us some amazing football, something we hadn’t had at Arsenal for decades.

    Behind all this is this assumption that we are doing badly. Well we’re not. There are 92 clubs in the full league and we’re 4th. That’s pretty good in my book. The collapses against Man U and Chelsea have gutted me and yes, there are some changes needed. Replacing a few poisonous, lazy wasters will be a good start but there is nobody better suited than Wenger to do the job.

    So come on the anti-Wenger brigade, answer these questions:
    1) who should Wenger have bought last summer who was a) actually available and b) available at a realistic price with similarly realistic wage demands – I don’t mean affordable, just realistic. Forget players (like Alonso) who were only available if other parts of a chain went through.
    2) if not Wenger, who?

    PS — I was at the AST meeting on Monday and only a couple out of 100+ people said anything derogatory about individual players so it’s not as bad as you might think. The meeting was very positive on the whole. Incidentally Wenger wasn’t there, just Ivan Gazidis, and to be honest I doubt they would have had the nerve to say anything in front of the manager.

  36. @fatboy I am afraid if you come to football, with your attitude, you are bound to be disappointed. You have to be able to enjoy each individual game for what it is & remember that trophies are a privilege granted to very few.

    My first match was in 1956 & I have been a season ticket holder for 45+ years. I have seen the lot, one of the 4000 odd who came to the Leeds game in 1966, a couple of other seasons close to relegation (Everton are the only other club not relegated in my time) but even then there was something to enjoy. It is the hard times that make the good times so great.

    Believe me, these are good times, I have seen the 70/71 team built from the mid 60s, the Brady/O’Leary gang who got to 3 consecutive FA Cup Finals (unheard of in modern English football at the time), & the Adams/Rocky team which started under Don Howe in ‘83/85 to win 2 League Championships with GG.

    I can tell you, in all honesty, that the current lads are the best, in terms of depth & pure talent, that I have ever seen at the club. Nothing is guaranteed but I would be surprised if we are not the dominant force within 2 seasons, with a capability of taking it on for years to come.

    People, like you, have a ludicrous expectation & instead of castigating a manager & teams, who are performing well ahead of any realistic schedule, you should be enjoying watching them develop & be amazed at how competitive, our great manager, has kept us considering his task of replacing the ageing greats, at a time when Celski/Manu/’pool & others had an at any cost attitude.

    I just love watching these kids & I believe there are plenty more like me,

  37. @ nigelp – fair points about the historical perspective mate. I’ve been going to Arsenal since 1974, and have been a season ticket holder since 1981. I sat through the Don Howe years, rejoiced during the GG era and watched it all collapse with Bruce Rioch. I agree with you that football’s about ups and downs, and that we are generally in an “up” period. I also totally agree that we are all very much in AW’s debt. I’ve made the point many times on this blog that he’s completely changed our club from top to bottom, and that the football we now see is from a different planet to that we used to get, even during the success of the Graham era.

    However, that’s precisely the point. AW set fantastic standards during the first 9 years of his time at Arsenal. Never outside the top 2, doubles and FA Cups etc etc. 9 years is no flash in the pan. He was able to build several teams during this time, from the Graham-inherited team with that fabulous back 4 through to the “invincibles” team. Even the most loyal supporters of AW must acknowledge that he has fallen below those standards over the last 3-4 seasons. The game has changed immeasurably in that short period. The number of foreign players has rocketed, as have the technical standards of the league. The Premiership is now by far the best league in the world, you’ve only got to look at the English representation in the final stages of the nCL to see that. Unfortunately, part of the changes have meant, in my opinion, it is not now possible to consistently challenge for the top honours without spending big money and regularly investing in a large squad. I don’t like it, but it’s just the way it is. I know we couldn’t compete financially before the new stadium, but now I truly believe we can; surely Arshavin proves the point?

    The reality is that the expectation levels are now so much higher than they were when Don Howe was manager. That’s down the fantastic success brought by AW, I accept that. But is it reasonable to start complaining if our achievements don’t live up to this expectation? I believe that after 4 trphyless years it is, to a degree. I am NOT one of the supporters who booed Eboue or Bendtner. I have opinions on the abilities of both, but would never abuse our own in the stadium.

    We have grown to expect a level of success at Arsenal, and I don’t see anything wrong in that. I think that level of expectation is also there within our best players, especially Fabregas. Do you really think he’ll hang around for much longer if he doesn’t think we’re able to compete for the top prizes? Why do you think Flamini left? Why do you think Ade is haggling for a move? Do you see Man Utd’s or Chelsea’s top players asking to leave? How many more seasons will you be happy with us being “in transition”?

    I truly believed that we had taken a step up to the top table of European football 4 years ago; able to regularly compete with the very best. I went to the Stade de France in ’06 really believing we could win the CL. You’re right, historically, we were never that high up, but I thought that we were now. I’ve watched Chelsea surge ahead of us, and it hurts like hell. I know they have massive debt, but they’ve got a benefactor who can wipe that debt away instantly if he chooses. Yes, he can also walk away and leave then bankrupt, that’s true.

    We can stand and look down from the financial moral high ground and admire Chelsea’s silverware from there, but I thought we were now able to compete with the richest clubs? That’s what we were told when the new stadium was finished.

    Yes, I am disappointed at this point in time, and I make no apology for it.

  38. I said it before and ill say it again. Adebayor is gone this summer. This is what Wenger has to say right now to keep his value as high as possible. Praying for David Villa/ Benzema though I would not mind Roque Santa Cruz at all. If he were a step faster I would almost prefer him but I feel speed is essential for us up front these days…

    Oh and there will be at least 1 D signing as well. Dont know whethr it will be midfield or CB but that likely means someone will be leaving. Id rather Gallas stayed tbh but it could be him

  39. @fatboy
    You have full right to be disappointed as we all are.. but i think you are disillusioned which im not.. not yet.. 4 years it may have been but we aren’t that bad.We have the makings of a genuinely good side.I believe wenger’s only major mistake this summer was not replacing flamini.Surely he’ll set that right cos he wants to win as much as we do..
    You are right abt there being a danger of players leaving, like hleb did.thats why i think this summer is crucial.for the boss to show the players and the players to show the fans that we mean business..

    I don’t want to gain ‘success’ like chelsea have done.They have some very good players but no class.N to be 600 million pound plus in debt is not a solution..

    The new stadium gives us a foundation for the future but it has to be paid for first.AW is just building a better long term future for arsenal..Its just that the short term needs a slight adjustment..So hang in there mate..its not all doom n gloom

  40. All I want to see now is: AW lists out the players he needs to challenge the title & CL next season and hand over the list to Ivan. Let Ivan to worry about the P&L and he has to do his best to get the players in the list within AFC 2009/10 budget.

    AFC P & L is Ivan’s job and AW’s job is give AFC’s fans want = entertaining football + trophies!

  41. @ fatboy

    I meant big names coming into other clubs – not ours!

    It’s great getting the historical perspective from people like andy and nigelp above and you yourself of course are a long time supporter. I think you’re entitled to have a moan though…this season has driven me mad as I’ve cursed the persistently crap performances of certain players. I’m looking forward to the break so I can forget all about it. But I’m a Wenger-ist through and through and I do believe he knows what to do – without spending loadsamoney that we don’t have.

  42. Before I continue, I must declare that I am usually a great admirer of AW for his achievements with Arsenal since he was here. He has brought success into the club.

    However, having read some of his recent comments, I really wish I could talk some sense into him.

    Look at what he said: http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-put-our-failure-in-perspective

    well, I think why there is so much negativity around the club is not because of the failure to win a trophy this season. It is true that all of us here wish arsenal could land something in their cabinet. But, that is not what caused this. Consider this, supposed we fell to an aggregate of 1-0 or 2-0 to Man Utd in the CL and lost to Chelsea after that by 1-0, I think AW is justified to say that his current crop of players have the talent, and as they mature, so will the club prosper. But that is not the case. What caused so much negativity is the manner we lost the games. Losing 4-1 to both Man Utd (agg) and Chelsea just doesnt support his claims.

    Yes, Man Utd have more resources, Chelsea have more resources. But I dont feel its the right excuses. We did beat them before in previous seasons, so we know we have the potential. That doesnt gives us the right to lose to them.

    AW final comments about tennis juz made me rage. pardon me. but are we contended to be second to others? look at what nadal do before he even established himself. Federer was reigning the world and nadal is NOT contended to be second. It is not about being be a good player, it is about becoming the BEST player. being second is just not enough.

    With all due respect, AW is an excellent manager. the best in the world I think. But his recent comments juz made me want to make this post. anyone on the same side as me?

  43. I’d say it’s a bit of both really. AW is right to say that just to be competing with the other top 3, given the huge amounts they have all spent on players, is admirable. On the other hand we as supporters know our team can do better and we wonder why AW persists, unnecessarily I would say, with some players who do not seem to be up to the job.

    AW has won us trophies before with teams he built so I have faith in him and, ultimately, it’s isn’t all about trophies.
    However I will definitely be doing my nut if, come the start of next season I see certain players trotting back out onto the Emirates grass – unless they’re playing for our opponents. In which case I’ll be laughing and rubbing my hands together with glee.

  44. I said it the last time Ade wanted to go, I will say it again; that let the player who wants to go be left to go. He has now lost confidence and the zeal to play for the team. Let us focus on buying committed players, if we must win anything and restore the funs confidence. There are many players who are good and who want to play for arsenal, but Wenger always frustrates them by saying they are too expensive. But we are competing for trophies and money, how will you get there, by dreaming and wishing!!!!!!

  45. I really cant think that ade is committed enough to be in the arsenal squad in this season. when we look at him this season he seem to be roaming in an garden. I think most of us like him but if we know that he not going to be 100% arsenal player in the field than it better to leave him. Because it is my own assessment that i think he is the only player in EPL who has been caught OFF-SIDE more than any one else. I think AW is smart enough to know that. And also I prefer an speedy striker upfront and who can read the line upfront.

  46. 0-0 Half time…..arsenal had the best possession as always but no goals to show

  47. I desperately need good runs (Without ball) from nasri for support to Cesc, Rosicky and hleb has been always the best guys for that, but this has been always one of our biggest weakness thruout this season, WE NEED GUD AND FAST RUNS ON THE PITCH GUYS THATS WHY WE RE NOT WINNING, AND WHERE IN THE WORLD IS WALCOTT???





  52. We’re doing really well against a team that smashed us to pieces on our own home ground about ten days ago.

    Give it a rest, mate! And leave Caps lock alone.

  53. very hard to say this…but i think Fabregas,RVP should move to other club to win something…Because this team has got nothing but lots of Hype. I love the commitment shown by Fab and RVP. Gunners think i don’t think they should ruin there time here. Bcz this club gives chance after chance to waste product like diaby. Who I still figuring out what is he doing in the squad. Today as well MANU wanted to draw the game that the reason it was 0-0. ArsenalFC needs to change that to quickly…so so diappointed

  54. Good effort today that just cemented my thoughts. Having a real striker (RVP) up front keeps the link up play going and gives us a chance. Adebayor is not that player anymore. That being said RVP is not a lone striker and needs to play as a second striker for us to be at our best. Replace Adebayor with a real striker and we will be set.

    Also Diaby has no business playing for this club. I found my self cheering and thinking he was having a great game then realized I was applauding the simplest of sideways passes. He is so inconsistent and other then hight on set pieces I’m not sure what he gives us.

    Song has a future though Im not exactly sure where. Sell Adebayor and Diaby this summer, get a real striker/ goal poacher up front and get some steel- not just in playing style but in attitude- someone like Gattuso who other teams will fear- in either CB or DMF…

  55. Brilliant effort from the boys, they deserved to win today.

    Its obvious what we need for next season. Sell liabilities like Diaby, Silvestre and Adebayor. Buy a quality CD (Zapata/Hangeland), a tireless monster in CM (Toulalan/M.Diarra), and a ruthless striker (David Villa). Lets hope AW makes those changes in the summer.

  56. Or maybe we wont need David Villa. Eduardo is a brilliant finisher, he could play the leading role.

  57. good and bad, 0-0 at old trafford, i feel we deserved to win aswell. We were without Adebayor completely, bad United still won but overall im happy with today.

  58. @Gibbs, i cant put much of hope on Dudu anymore, he s such a gud player but you can always see the difference from dudu b4 the accdent and dudu after it.Im also desapointed abt this but unfortunately thats the thruth so far.On another hand, having David villa or an impacting new striker would bring much of a bold image to our team, the likes of Benzema, david Villa and Ill still take Robie Keane (He was wonderfull at the reds and scored agst us).Ade,Diaby,Silly (Shud Sanderos comes back!!) shud dfntly go.And most importantly we need gud running wingers, the likes of Rosicky, hleb,ljunberg,… coz we need acceleration.Just look at how fast TH14 is leading the barcelona attack, and thats exactly the way we used to play back in the old days with him.Now, most of the players cant even cope with that game.Nasri is defntly a gud player, No doubt abt that, but he lacks speed on his movement on the pitch (To over-run opponent without the ball), I beleive that he will be really great if only he could borrow Eboue’s run.My bottom line is about our movement on top and inside or thru adversaries box when we attack or we are facing the opponent’s full back defenders, our wingers are not doing enough to over-run their individual opponent defenders/ to get themselves free from their opponent so that Fab or somebody else can pass them the ball and create more danger to the opponent, these are including the likes of Bendy, Nasri, Diaby,and Ade.We can only have that chance of gud run when Walcott is there but most of the time he hasnt got many supports(As the rest are all lazy at the back) when he hits his cross.Thats the reason why a gud defending team like Manu,Chelsea can always shut us down, JUST BCOS WE DONT HAVE CREATIVE PPLAYERS, EVERYBODY JUST WAIT FOR THE BALL TO COME TO THEM AND THERE THEY THINK THAT THEY ARE GOIN TO DO BIG THINGS BCOZ THEY’VE GOT THE BALL,try to dribble pass 3 opponents at a time or if no way then passing the ball to another mate who’s goin to do the same thing again!!!Cesc really knows abt this weakeness within his teamate but i dont know how cant he convince them to change their game’style since he is the skipper.From the way we play, we shud be attacking exactly like Barcelona, They have TH (or INIESTA) cutting fast from the left, there is Xavi who is always cutting thru the middle, and messi from the right goin to the middle or attacking on the side, Eto is tirelessely moving up and down from in and out of the box, AND YOU ALWAYS see A CUTTING FAST MOVEMENT(Without ball) FROM 2 TO 3 PLAYERS EVRYTIME THEY ATTACK.Eto’o has never been alone, i remember Barca scoring 6 without Eto’o on the list.

  59. Agree with both of you. My worry is that Wenger will think e need a tall striker and avoid David Villa. I disagree with that logic though as he has played up front alone for Valencia for ages and excelled. Put him along RVP and that will be deadly. If not then Benzema please.

    The other thing is if we get the CB we all want- who leaves? Toure? Gallas? Gallas is older but IMO better. Kolo as much I love him has not been at his best but that could change with a powerful addition along side of him…

    Do you guys think M. Diarra from Real Madrid would be a capable DMF with the attitude we need? I havent seen too much of him but he is rumored to be on his way out…

    Wenger definitely has some thinking to do as it will not be as easy a decision as we make it out to be…

  60. Something else I thought of- If Barca buy Ribery why not bring Henry back? He is exactly what we need Id say- even at his age. Put him up front with Robin and he would produce… My only question is if he has that competitors spirit still- its been a walk in the park at Barca for him…

  61. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urmCfkDoxS8

    Look at that. Exactly the type of player be it Henry, Villa, or whoever, that we need. Leader, fighter, willing to get into his teammates, hard worker, and skilled. Hell I wouldnt mind bringing back Henry and Vieria to mentor the youngsters for a couple years. Obviously id prefer to sign Villa and long-term replacements but if it works…

  62. Impressive video!!! I really miss the old days, all the wonderfull acceleration, fast game play with long passing……… thats the football that Arsenal used to play.
    I could really see Fabregas wanting his team to play that way but i see him battling to convince them.Why didnt AW play Arsha and walcott together yesterday which is for me wonderful combination???We can perform those fast attack play with those two lads on the wings.I see AW a bit irritating sometimes!! Not playing the right players at the time you need them to play, remember the FA cup semi agst Chelsea line-up???? dont understand!!

  63. this year i am turning the big 3-0 and my wonderful girlfriend has bought me tickets for the stoke game, i am travelling over from ireland and was wondering if any of the locals could give me some tips on pubs and resturants and general match day events. thanks, oh by the way i was a big fan of ades but i think the time has come for the ego to go and keep cesc happy by gettin his chum villa in the team. wat the chances are of landing him? probably slim but with arsenes contacts i would be quite confident of replacing ades with a top quality striker.

    dont get me wrong i would love to see the ades of old back but can we afford to take the risk of another season of strollabayor?
    also its time for arsene to get ruthless and bench some of the young guns and buy quality, lets hope for some busy summer work for gazidis….. alonso anyone?

  64. 1) The club are not going to advertise how much is in the kitty.

    2) Wenger is not going to advertise which players he is after.

    3) Anything you read in the papers is pure speculation.

    4) Don’t believe anything until it is announced on Arse.com.

    That said, Didier Drogba the Diving Diva will not be wearing an Arsenal shirt next season. If I am wrong about that I will eat my keyboard!
    Just consider the rubbish that was written and broadcast about the Arshavin Signing!

  65. Well,
    Adebayo have been trying,But i guess ge his not fit for Arsenal,So, we have to sell him and buy a better striker.

  66. Adebayo is also a better striker,but when somebody is doing something and his or her mind is not there he may not be able to accomplished what his doing….So Mr wenger lt him go and get a better stricker.

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