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Michel Kane

The Mighty Transition: Why Arsenal Haven't Won Anything in 6 Years.

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Yesterdays 2-0 loss against Manchester United meant Arsenal have now dropped out of three competitions in the span of only 14 days, which of course means a massive blow to morale within the team. But is there any reason to panic, or start doubting Wenger’s approach and philosophy? I say not yet, and here’s why.How We Got HereIn 1993, Highbury became an all-seater stadium, reducing its capacity from 57,000 to roughly 38,500, with even less capacity for Champions League fixtures. This meant a huge reduction in ticket sales, and the club could only watch as tens of thousands of supporters were unable to attend matches. With the season ticket waiting list growing rapidly every year, the club decided to look at alternatives.In 1999, the club announced the plans of building a new 60,000+ capacity stadium, initially intended to open in 2003. Even if the average ticket price would only be around £10, the increased capacity would mean an extra £6.5m per year, so the financial boost was huge. In reality the average ticket price is more than four times higher, meaning an estimated £20m-£30m extra revenue per year in comparison to Highbury.But it also meant having to spend money to make money, £470m in total to be exact, and even though large chunks of the cost was made back through sponsorship deals, player sales and clever investments like the Highbury Square development, a big portion of the debt remained.While all this was going on, Arsene Wenger had arrived at the club with a somewhat unique mindset when it came to transfers. Always a financially sensible man, it went against his philosophy to buy expensive ready-made Premier League stars, and instead realised he could buy younger or overlooked talent from abroad, without lowering the quality of the team. Players like Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Nicolas Anelka, Kolo Toure, Fredrik Ljungberg, Robert Pires, etc, were all products of this ideology.With Wenger’s nose for bargain players, and the increasingly tight budgets from building a new stadium, the club decided to create a long-term plan for the future of the club. The plan was to create a financially stable situation where new players would mostly come from within the club, as opposed to bought into it. With a good academy in place, the squad would ideally be filled with young players coming through the ranks as soon as older players needed to be replaced.2002-2003: The First WaveSlightly before the Invincibles were tearing up the Premier League, Wenger and the board were putting together their 10-year plan of turning Arsenal into a self-sustaining modern club that shouldn’t have to rely on buying expensive players to compete at the highest level. The first stage of the plan was to get a crop of 16-18 year olds into the club that would take over for when the current first team was in decline. The first wave of this new generation included Cesc Fabregas (16), Johan Djourou (16), Gael Clichy (18) and Nicklas Bendtner (16) – and also included the signing of 9-year old Emmanuel Frimpong.2004-2006: The Second Wave And The Mighty TransitionA couple of years later even more teenagers were brought into the club in a second wave, like Alex Song (18), Theo Walcott (17), Abou Diaby (19), Carlos Vela (16), Vito Mannone (17) and Denilson (18). With these players in the academy, Arsenal finally had a strong foundation for the future. But the problem was that the gap between the experienced older players and the new era youngsters was too big, and a period of inconsistency started shortly after the Invincibles season.When Jose Mourinho took over Chelsea, he changed the dynamic of the Premier League – what had been viewed as a two-horse race was now a three-horse race, and with Liverpool slowly becoming a threat again, the competitive level of the domestic league increased tenfold in a couple of years. And with the loss of players like Dennis Bergkamp, Martin Keown, Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Patrick Vieira within a three year period – and the move to a new stadium in that timeframe as well – the new wave of players were too young to carry the expectations of the club on their shoulders.The ideal set-up at a top club is to have a sensible balance between older/experienced and younger/energetic players. The older players will usher the younger ones into the philosophy of the club, and bear the majority of the responsibilities on the pitch while the younger ones learn and develop their talents. Without the older players in this system, the younger players are exposed for their flaws, and carry too much responsibility.Somewhat unexpectedly the transition was forced upon Wenger sooner than what was planned, and as the club wouldn’t start becoming self-sustained until the third or even fourth wave of youngsters started coming through the club structure, instability ensued.The plan was never to sell Henry, Pires or Vieira, instead the hope was to follow the same pattern as Man Utd did with players like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs. But as the long-term plan was in place, the financial benefit of selling these players would mean accelerating the reduction in debt, and that’s where the first big mistake was made. It wasn’t solely the board’s or Wenger’s fault though, the players themselves had expressed a desire to move on.2008: The Third WaveThe third wave would be introduced around 2008, bringing players like Aaron Ramsey (18), Ignasi Miquel (16), Kyle Bartley (16), Francis Coquelin (17), etc, to the club, and would serve as the first expansion for the new generation. The whole point of bringing in new waves of youth players would be to eliminate the need for traditional squad generations in the future and instead have a constant flow of new players, eventually having a broad age span within the first team squad with natural replacements ready to go where needed.The third wave of players meant Arsenal started to build a very solid foundation within their youth ranks, and with players from the first wave already starting to claim their place in the first team, Wenger knew the plan was working. But he also knew that not until the players were old enough would we see the true results of the plan, and he was only halfway through the project at this stage.2010-2011: The Fourth WaveAs the first and second wave players were becoming first team starters (Fabregas, Walcott, Clichy, Djourou, Walcott, Song, etc), and with the third wave players lurking in the wings, the club initiated the fourth wave in 2010 – expected to be ready for the first team in about 3-5 years. Players like Wellington Silva, Jon Toral-Harper, Samuel Galindo and Ryo Miyaichi would form one of the last waves before the first team players were old enough to become the experienced players at the club, and bring us to the self-sustaining state we planned for in the first place.Today: Almost ThereWe still have a year or two left before this 10-year strategy proves itself to be successful. We currently have a very strong first team with more harmony than in recent years, and first wave players haven’t even reached their peaks yet. Still we’re looking to at least claim second place in the most competitive league in the world, we were only one mistake away from a Carling Cup trophy, and we were only one Bendtner mis-hit away from knocking Barcelona out of the Champions League.Whatever happens at the end of this season, we are showing an increase in form every year as our players grow older, and it’s only a matter of time before the team opens the door to long-term success.2013-2014: The Fifth WaveIn the 2011 summer transfer window, Wenger will add the last of the fourth wave players to the academy, and then follow the same pattern as before, waiting a couple of years before starting the fifth wave. The fifth wave marks the end of the 10-year plan for mainstream transfer market independence, and at this stage the first wave players bought back in 2003-2004 will be hitting their peaks, becoming the club’s experienced players in the process.At this stage we should have the third and fourth wave players in their early/mid-20′s, ready to step into the first eleven if injuries or player sales alter the first choice setup, and with the fifth wave in their late teens, we all of a sudden have a perfect span of players in the correct age groups to dominate for years. And this was the intention from the start.My personal guess is that at this stage, Arsene Wenger will feel his work is done, and leave his managerial position, but staying at the club in some capacity to help complete the transition from the old to the new era. A young manager will be brought into the club, and he’ll have an impressive setup that will keep him supplied with new talent for decades.Should Wenger Go Then?First of all I’m of the opinion that nothing major went ‘wrong’, especially in the perspective of the long-term plan and the disadvantages that came along with that strategy. However, four aspects of the transition caused an unnecessary crash in form after the successful 2003/2004 season, and could have gone smoother overall:1. Our experienced players left the club too soon – Wenger or the board can’t be blamed for all of them, but could have put more effort into trying to keep some of them. Henry and Vieira wanted to move on, and when a player isn’t mentally at the club anymore, there is little point keeping him. But with players like Pires or Flamini, Wenger and the board definitely could have done more to keep them at the club.2. Unlucky age gap – the difference between the first wave players and the Invincibles generation was unfortunately a couple of years too much, and as a result the transition between them couldn’t be made in time before the older players disappeared from the club. Wenger and the board couldn’t really do much about this, but maybe the long-term plan should’ve been initiated in 1999 when the new stadium proposal was made, instead of 3-4 years later.3. Long-term plan causing close relationships with players – when dealing primarily with 16-year olds eventually expected to be responsible for the success of a world class football club, trust and love is put into the players from a very young age. This creates high levels of harmony within the club, but also creates relationships that can be too close at times. A major complaint about Wenger is that he trusts his players too much, giving them chance after chance even though they don’t seem to improve. Wenger needs to become more ruthless in this department, but then we run the risk of upsetting harmony at the club.4. Key replacements weren’t made exceptions to the long-term plan – losing Vieira, Gilberto and Flamini meant losing defensive stability in midfield until Song was ready to step up. And just like when Liverpool lost Alonso, the importance of a good holding midfield player in the modern game was exposed. If Wenger had made one exception to the long-term plan, we might have had a better form in the period between 2005-2010. However, we currently have very promising second and third wave players coming through, and with Song playing well, this won’t be a massive issue in 2011 and onwards.With that being said, it’s unrealistic to demand that Wenger or the board should have done everything perfectly when transforming the whole essence of the club into the modern era. Did they make mistakes? Yes. Should we get rid of Wenger when we’re at the final stage of a long-term plan? No, that would be ridiculous. Every manager makes mistakes, but lets be honest: Wenger has kept us in the top 4 throughout this transition phase, in the best league in the world.Final WordsNot winning a trophy for 6 years is probably more hurtful for younger supporters, but I don’t mind going without a trophy for 10 years to be honest. That is the timespan set up for the long-term plan, and I’ve accepted that the plan would bring instability until it was done. Also, the reward for having patience with Wenger will be to establish Arsenal as an independent, consistent and efficient trophy hunter, without ever having to buy a Torres for £50m.At the moment we’re witnessing the fruits of our labours, with lots of our first team starters being products of the first and second wave youngsters brought in several years ago. But there’s still a couple of years left for this squad to peak, and what we must do as supporters is to be patient until the long-term strategy is completed. Only when viewing our current situation with a bit of perspective can we understand what’s really going on.The main complaint I see everywhere is that Wenger didn’t bring in a central defender, defensive midfielder or goalkeeper in the summer. People had lost faith in Almunia, we had no proper backup for Song and little experience in our defensive line. And even though we did buy a central defender, it wasn’t enough for many supporters who seemed to have completely missed the point of the long-term plan.The problem is, and Wenger has said this many times as well, that buying experienced players would ruin the long-term plan, as the young players wouldn’t naturally progress and get a chance to prove their talent in the first team. Part of the process of eliminating the need for traditional generations is to give the young players an accelerated development by playing them in the first team, and if you buy an expensive 27-year old defensive midfielder, that position is suddenly locked down for almost 5 years, hindering the development of an internal player.For the plan to work, most positions in the team needs to be filled with our own waves of players, to form a seamless progression between generations, ensuring stability for the club. Not until the first wave reaches their peak should we judge the success of Arsene Wenger and the long-term strategy.I’m convinced that in the near future we will look back at this era and laugh about our dip in form, having to hand out sunglasses to supporters wanting to glance at our packed trophy cabinet. Success is coming, but we need to support our manager with patience and perspective. We haven’t even reached the runway yet, and we’re already challenging for the league title and playing cup finals. Have faith, Arsenal will dominate for years to come.
http://www.arsenalreport.com/2011/03/the-mighty-transition-why-arsenal-havent-won-anything-in-6-years/
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Why not just be honest and say this was the plan?Why gas fans every year saying your going to buy world class when you don't EVERY year?Fabregas is the showpiece of this whole project, when he goes what happens to the plan?Djourou, Bendtner, Denilson, Diaby, Song, Vela are all vital players from the first and second 'waves' and are not good enough, we still force them into the team. What club has actually successfully done this project and maintained success at the top without spending?I understand what Wenger and the board have tried to do but when do you say this isn't working as planned and readjust. Fabregas is integral to us and last summers saga should of been the kick in the arse we needed to buy big where we needed and finally show intent. Right now in the 6th year without a trophy you can say Fabregas is as vital to this plan as Wenger.I love Wenger for what he has done at Arsenal. Changed our image, style, reputation, everything. Saying Wenger deserves to do as he likes and fans shouldn't get onto him is laughable when even Ferguson's job wasn't as secure after two 3rd place finishes.Like someone said in the Prem thread hes turned us into a team with a losers mentality. No effort, determination, hope, drive nothing.

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Well when he said "judge me and this team in 2 years" or whatever he was alluding to it.The world class player thing is purely to get people to buy season tickets.The Fabregas thing, along with other players that have left is a major flaw in this "plan". Also you cant predict how football will be in 10 years time. When this plan was made football(especially premiership) was completely different. Which is why I agree adjustments should have been made.Also thats not the main reason we aint won a trophy in 6 years anyone who thinks that is seriously clutching. My main gripe with it is how it seems to disregard how football is going. Doesnt take into account the possible(or probable depeding on what you believe) rise of City, the rebuilding of Chelsea and Liverpool and Fergie still having the hunger to win (not to mention the other premiership clubs who now have good managers and money to spend). Seems like we're clutching on financial fair play crippling the teams that spend money(im not convinced).That said I personally dont disagree with the ethos of the plan, but mistakes were made, there were some errors of judgment and they should have been sorted out. To say oh dont worry about these six years because we will soon dominate is silly tbh. We could and should have won trophies (two cc finals, 07/08 season etc) Its not just the lack of silverware that people are pissed about, its making the same errors, having the same problem for years and not sorting them out(the article says why we dont buy players to solve these problems but not why we dont address them on the training ground) To simply say they are not ready yet is a cop out. We've seen different players come in, from goalkeepers to centre backs to midfields to strikers. The team mistakes are still there.

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Wenger has been clear with his actions tbh and numerous times has gone on record.Hmm... The term "World Class" is a ploy somewhat by Wenger, most fans think he means ready made world class, for example in the summer of 2003, we signed Jens Lehmann, Gael Clichy, Cesc Fabregas, Johan Djouoru and Philippe Senderos, now if prior to them deals being completed (and he could I just dont remember) if Wenger said I will sign "world class" players, by the summer of 2004 we'd have assumed he must have been talking about Jens Lehmann... I still think going into every summer Wenger FULLY believes he is buying "world class" players, whether thats something we will see that season or in three seasons time, only Wenger knows... TBH I'm struggling to think of a player that Wenger has signed that was the finished product, even Sol Campbell, Thierry etc.. Still came with parts of their game needing assistance...And this is why Fabregas is still here... And IMO will be until we win something to justify it or until Barcelona pay over the odds, I could be wrong tho.I dont think this is the season to get at Djourou or Song tbh. Denilson is pretty much finished at Arsenal. Diaby & Bendtner jury still out somewhat and they aint exactly starters... TBH IMO Wenger MUST know his second string have let him down consistently this season.Its buying big and buying right tho... I hate the way people assume we got big p too.Hmm...

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I always said Wenger shot himself in the foot against Chelsea in the Carling Cup 2007 final by playing that silly team..I dont think we are that far off, he just needs to get the blend right and have a bit of luck regarding injuries..I did say 07-08 was our best chance to win anything for a while, we shudda won something with that team, didnt and players left so we had to rebuild, i think we are 2 seasons away max from doing something4me Wenger has a job for life

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Djourou & Song not good enough?
Question marks always surrounded Johan, I believe he has answered them this season, he is good enoughSong imo is not good enough to be a regular starter, I have neva been a big fan of Song..Not giving Lass Diarra enough playing was a massive mistake, one of the worst thing to eva happen smh
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Djourou & Song not good enough?
Nope
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Djourou & Song not good enough?
/@TF We would have the money to spend though if we didn't pay players like Diaby, B52, Rosicky and Denilson over what they should be payed/if we sold them we have 18 loanees atm sh*t is stupid and our wage bill is the 4th highest in the league (not including jan buys though). Its like Wenger thinks the club will go bankrupt if we spend sensibly on quality players that will improve the team, no one is asking for a 50 mil signing like Torres thats just stupid but if Wenger had clocked that players like Denilson not being good enough earlier and Diaby being a inconsistent expensive crock we could have replaced them and would have won sh*t this season.
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Pos'd mp, agreed with everything said.@TF: I agree Wenger will eventually half way through each summer say hes happy with this squad and the experience gained over the past year is a huge advantage. But this is gassing as well. Every year we haven't "matured" and we all know its not enough as mp said we don't account for the changes around us. We have one view and that's what we must abide by.@TF and MK: Djourou and Song I am a little harsh on but that's cause I see in them what I saw in Denilson, Diaby. Senderos etc years ago. I hope I am proved wrong and Djourou and Vermalean can form a strong partnership next year but Song doesnt add anything to our first 11 and should be set for a sub role next year, we need a strong body in the middle to replace him. Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky and Almunia have completely buried themselves in the past 2 seasons. I dont ever want to see them in an Arsenal shirt again tbh.Bendtner is not going to improve and can't be forgiven for not even getting a shot off at Barca and Chamakh is a 3rd/4th choice striker. I refuse to believe we don't have up to £25mil for Hazard or cant spend up to £15m on Sakho. In football today this isn't even buying big and after the years of our tight behavior in the transfer markets it would be a joke if we don't have a nice chunk to spend this summer.We can easily get close to £20m for Bendtner, Denilson and Diaby together. Wenger trusts these below par players to f*ck*ng much he needs to show a real ruthless side.When I think we couldn't even get Schwarzer off Fulham I have to laugh.

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Don't know what you're seeing in Djourou that is unconvincing when he is paired with Kos tbh

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Both Djourou and Song are good enough to be in the squad at least, I am of the opinion that we can do much better than Song being a first choice midfielder though./But what is buying big for Arsenal? Dont think we've ever spent £20mill on a player have we? I think most gooners know its not going to be Villas and Ronaldos we are buying but most would say we do need a few more players in that 20mill bracket in key areas which we are weak.In todays world buying a £15-20mill player isnt exactly head turning. I dont think you can buy van persies for 2.5mill anymore. So it comes down to if you would rather pay 8mill for Kos lets say or 16mill for Cahill. With FFP coming in prices are just going to increase, they bar is going to keep getting raised because teams are going to want top p for their assets to aid in balancing their books.Its another thing i dont get with the plan, so say it fails (not that I want it to) and we are in 2015 and still won nothing, then what? Are we going to go out and spend 200million a season lol? or are they going to do what most realistic fans are asking for now (i.e. supplement the young players with some genuine quality and experience).

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Wenger is just ignorant you cant bring through 6 or 7 young players in the FIRST TEAM at once and expect success especially when they all do not haave the ability to become world class it is just not happening.Walcott is still trying to work on his end product, dribbling, control, finishing, crossing etcDjouro is still trying to learn the game, improve marking, heading, tackling etcBendtner is still trying to learn how to control a ball from 5 yardsDenilsonDiabySong#53VelaWilshereFabregasGibbsClichyRamseyNone of them are the finished article some are close others are nowhere near finishing, the thing Ferguson has done well over the years is when a youth player is given first team opps and doesnt impress he sells him brings in a good player and nobody blinks an eyelid Wenger just seems like hes to paro to buy somebody incase everyone goes omg you wasted 7 years on them why didnt you notice earlier etcThen next season he will probably have Frimpong, Lansbury maybe couple others like Miquel and Watt possibly Chamberlien if you still want to sign him that is another batch of young players to bring inAnd it does not help when your senior players are not he Scholes and GIggs types to take time out to help out the younger players or lead them on when they are struggling cant imagine Arshavin saying your doing this wrong do this instead or dw you made a mistake heres how to rectify it or Rosicky or Chamakk etcBut then again if Verm, RVP, Fabregas stayed fit all season you could have been laughing but in context you went out of 4 comps in a very short space of time because of lacklusture performances from playersIMO Wenger knows who he needs to sign but is just to stubborn not sure if a Cahil is a right answer for the first team but to have someone like in the squad and a Parker, Downing players who care for the clubs they play for hes missed the boat on so many players over the years that could have made a magnificent difference which a more ruthless manager who relies on instinct at times would have doneIf Pep has to spend money what makes Wenger think he doesnt?

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For me personally, Djourou is good enough. We haven't lost a single PL game with him in the side this season & he's a good blend of an athelete & a developing defensive brain. Proper modern CB. A starter, even with Vermaelen in the side.Song, it's a difficult one. He's definitely good enough to play for the title-challenging team, but he shouldn't be as indispensable as Wenger has forced him to be. People forget, he's been at the club since he was what, 18? He wasn't raised in a team that particularly prioritises good, defensive, positioning, so his development/knowledge in that area isn't going to be as quick or as good as say someone like Sergio Busquets, Obi Mikel, etc. I would never get rid of him but I'd definitely have someone better than him there, because as having Song & Frimpong as your only 'out & out' anchormen is criminal.

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Bane, if you even read that article & wasn't trying to fish, you wouldn't have typed all that sh*t.

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Djourou & Song not good enough?
/@TF We would have the money to spend though if we didn't pay players like Diaby, B52, Rosicky and Denilson over what they should be payed/if we sold them we have 18 loanees atm sh*t is stupid and our wage bill is the 4th highest in the league (not including jan buys though). Its like Wenger thinks the club will go bankrupt if we spend sensibly on quality players that will improve the team, no one is asking for a 50 mil signing like Torres thats just stupid but if Wenger had clocked that players like Denilson not being good enough earlier and Diaby being a inconsistent expensive crock we could have replaced them and would have won sh*t this season.
TBH there is the argument that they are overpaid for the quality they possess, but fact is they contribute at a club which finish minimum 4th in the English Premier League and last 16 of Champions League EVERY season... Plus they came with next to no transfer fee and I do think at times they are over rewarded for that fact.The loans play little relevance IMO, as believe it or not, a lot of these clubs pay us upfront fees to loan our players, I was actually shocked at the number tbh. Then alarmed, considering some of them aren't even then playing...
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Pos'd mp, agreed with everything said.@TF: I agree Wenger will eventually half way through each summer say hes happy with this squad and the experience gained over the past year is a huge advantage. But this is gassing as well. Every year we haven't "matured" and we all know its not enough as mp said we don't account for the changes around us. We have one view and that's what we must abide by.@TF and MK: Djourou and Song I am a little harsh on but that's cause I see in them what I saw in Denilson, Diaby. Senderos etc years ago. I hope I am proved wrong and Djourou and Vermalean can form a strong partnership next year but Song doesnt add anything to our first 11 and should be set for a sub role next year, we need a strong body in the middle to replace him. Denilson, Diaby, Rosicky and Almunia have completely buried themselves in the past 2 seasons. I dont ever want to see them in an Arsenal shirt again tbh.Bendtner is not going to improve and can't be forgiven for not even getting a shot off at Barca and Chamakh is a 3rd/4th choice striker. I refuse to believe we don't have up to £25mil for Hazard or cant spend up to £15m on Sakho. In football today this isn't even buying big and after the years of our tight behavior in the transfer markets it would be a joke if we don't have a nice chunk to spend this summer.We can easily get close to £20m for Bendtner, Denilson and Diaby together. Wenger trusts these below par players to f*ck*ng much he needs to show a real ruthless side.When I think we couldn't even get Schwarzer off Fulham I have to laugh.
TBH the whole transfer situation, I blame Arsenal FC more than Arsene. Since David Dein left we have always been late chasers with a budget (hence why whenever Chelsea or Citeh have been involved we didnt even bother) in a very crazy market. Loads of transfer situations this has been clear to me tbh... Even if you think about Aaron Ramsey's transfer, we was last to bid, and only beat Man Utd cos Fergie thought him and Jones had effectively done the deal. If it wasnt for Terry Burton being at Cardiff, there is no way we would have got Ramsey on a plane to speak to Wenger. Trust me Cardiff did not particularly want him to go to us.I've come to the conclusion Wenger starts the summer with good intentions, but with nobody to really make it happen, when sh*t dont happen and he then resorts to spending the rest of the summer working with what we have, and looking for value (as there not his main choices) and attempting & failing to hijack deals which are pratically done...My only issue with Djourou is his injures, granted he stayed fit most of this season, but I could argue we need him now and he aint there... I actually think he has proved himself somewhat this season tho. However like van Persie, I'd always figure in a extra body for him. The Song thing I cant agree on whatsoever, I actually feel sorry for Song cos he has to do all them man's work and Wenger clearly intents to burn his body out.40m spent on two players and I still dont know if they would bring the title home tbh. Both talented players but in a debut season, I'd seriously wonder. Plus lets not forget these are two players that Wenger has attempted to sign...
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I read the OP after the United game, it was good that the importance of the stadium was raised, as was the change in the Premiership during this process.I do believe the David Dein issue is overlooked, especially on here & by a lot of fans in general...I really do believe if Arsenal, was 24/CTU, Wenger would be Chloe O'Brian and David Dein would be Jack Bauer...It actually angers me that a percentage of fans want Wenger out before Peter Hill-Wood, the guy should not be running the club, let him be a figure head cos its been in his family, blah blah blah... but the way he got rid of Dein, then didn't like Kroneke cos he was Dein's man, then liked him again when he thought he isn't Dein's man, then ignores Usmanov cos he is Dein's man, sh*t is disgraceful, how are people letting his type of ownership go unnoticed is beyond me.Dein so clearly was the buffer, Wenger doesnt answer to PHW, I was actually laughing to myself at the way PHW seemed to be conversating with Wenger thru the press over his UEFA charge. I actually said this can't be life.

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Agree with that, the importance of DD cannot be overlooked, especially in the transfer market.He was the guy that negotiated the best deals and it seems like he was the one to say to the board that paying that extra 5 million is worth it. If you think about all the transfers he was a part of, and how much the players cost and how good they ended up being its a madness.It was his vision and ambition which brought this club forward with the times. Without him, them dinosaurs like PHW would have kept the club firmly in the past.

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I heavily C/S what TF is saying about Peter Hill Wood and David Dein.I remember making a topic similar to this a few seasons back and it seems the general consensus is still the same.The worrying thing for me really is the mentality of this current bunch. The talent is there but the "drive" is missing/I also think without Cesc Fabregas there's no direction or point to our football which is also abit of a worry but that may be for another topic.

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I read the OP after the United game, it was good that the importance of the stadium was raised, as was the change in the Premiership during this process.I do believe the David Dein issue is overlooked, especially on here & by a lot of fans in general...I really do believe if Arsenal, was 24/CTU, Wenger would be Chloe O'Brian and David Dein would be Jack Bauer...It actually angers me that a percentage of fans want Wenger out before Peter Hill-Wood, the guy should not be running the club, let him be a figure head cos its been in his family, blah blah blah... but the way he got rid of Dein, then didn't like Kroneke cos he was Dein's man, then liked him again when he thought he isn't Dein's man, then ignores Usmanov cos he is Dein's man, sh*t is disgraceful, how are people letting his type of ownership go unnoticed is beyond me.Dein so clearly was the buffer, Wenger doesnt answer to PHW, I was actually laughing to myself at the way PHW seemed to be conversating with Wenger thru the press over his UEFA charge. I actually said this can't be life.
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It was his vision and ambition which brought this club forward with the times. Without him, them dinosaurs like PHW would have kept the club firmly in the past.
Wenger interviewed really well before Rioch was appointed and Dein wanted him, the board went with Rioch and a year later, Wenger was appointed. Says a lot tbh.Dein has his flaws, he gave Ljungberg 70k a week, but he knew everyone in the game and he was the guy no club could getaway from cos of his various positions. I remember reading how if Arsene wanted something from a club and they was showing some resistance and dodging calls, Dein would ring up and say he was ringing regarding FA/UEFA/G14 business, so they'd have to take the call, talk some sh*t and then get straight to what Wenger wanted out of them, this Gazidas can not do.
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His influence is deffo missed. I swear we got more decisions and leniancy from the FA them times aswell lol or at least that what everyones excuse was. I remember people always saying "its only because DD works in the FA etc"

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Peter Hill-Wood has always given Arsene Wenger everything he's wanted, don't see why people are blaming him, he pays Wenger to drive the club to success, he lays all the financial resources on a plate for Wenger, £14m Henry, £18m Reyes, £12m Walcott, £19m Arshavin... only one of those major signings have been significant in terms of bringing home success and getting value you for money.At least when other clubs spend big they get what they pay for..

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