Connect with us

archived posts

Is Wenger Destroying His Own Empire?

In 1996 a Frenchman going by the name of Arsene Wenger took over Arsenal football club. Little known to many then Wenger transformed football at the club, introducing new interesting ideas, getting the players on strict diets and fitness regimes.  He trained his players by him self and has continued to do so helping them learn the fluid attacking football he wanted them to play.

Fast forward to the year of 2006, Wenger was being applauded for his shrewdness in the transfer market over his 10 years, buying brilliant players for bargain prices and Arsenal football club was in a happy place as it moved to it’s brand new stadium. In those 10 years Wenger transformed Arsenal, lifting the Premier League on 3 occasions and coming runners up on 6 occasions winning domestic cups along the way with their most recent trophy being the 2005 FA Cup 8 years ago.

In 2006 just as the season was coming to a close Arsenal fans reached the ultimate goal: a place in the Champions League final. As we all know they lost in Paris against Barcelona and Arsenal was never the same again.

It was the previous summer where things started shaking with the sale of captain Patrick Viera which fustrated some fans yet Wenger wasn’t worried and masterminded Arsenal’s fantastic European run. However the summer after that Wenger yet again offloaded the current captain in Thierry Henry to Barcelona and his supposed replacement was Eduardo Da Silva, bought for £8 million.

veirra and henry

Since then Arsenal have never finished in the top 2 and Wenger has continued to anger the fans. No trophies in the last 8 years despite two League Cup finals ending in defeats to Chelsea and most recently Birmingham. In the last 8 years Wenger has continued to sell big name players and not replace them.

It started about 6 years ago when Wenger decided to sell players like Alexander Helb, Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure. The brand then continued with Sami Nasri and Cesc Fabregas departing the Emirates. The frustrating thing for the Arsennal fans was Wenger’s failure to replace these players.

In the summer of 2011 Wenger sold Fabregas, Nasri and Gael Clichy. He replaced them with Mikel Arteta, Gervinho and Andre Santos. Things however got worse last summer another captain in Robin Van Persie was sold to Manchester United and Wenger didn’t succeed in the replacing him or hard tackling midfielder Alex Song and was left with a big hole in the squad. However, yet again he managed to clinch a very scrappy 4th place.


Some will argue in the last 2 years Wenger has spent money, in fact he’s spent over £100 million in the last 2 seasons prior to the current one.  However it’s been the lack of quality added to the squad which has frustrated the season ticket holders at the Emirates who pay the most money in the League to see their club.

Wenger bought and spent but the lack of quality was a concern, he dished out £11 m for Gervinho who never really made a mark and was sold this summer. He spent £7 million on Brazilian left back Andre Santos on deadline day in 2011 where he also spent a combined £20 million for Per Mertasacker and Mikel Arteta. Last season Wenger spent some cash again, bringing in Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Naxo Monreal.

This summer was in my view where Arsenal could and should have left their mark, a change in personnel in terms of managers in the top 3 sides meant Arsenal could really go for it. In July that’s how it seemed, Arsenal were reportedly very close to the signings of Gonzolo Higuian and Julio Cesar.

But Higuain went to Napoli whilst Cesar remains at QPR. Arsenal also bid £40 million plus £1 for Luis Suarez which was laughed out from Liverpool and it seems the striker stays. Wenger also tried to bid for Wayne Rooney, it seems for the time being Rooney will stay at Manchester United or join Chelsea. Wenger also this summer tried to finally replace Alex Song with Luiz Gustavo, the midfielder then joined Wolfsburg.


So what now for Arsenal? With just over a week left in the window Wenger needs to act. It’s reported Arsenal have bid for Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye but do they really need him? Don’t they need a hard ball winning midfielder such as Fellani?

Or maybe a striker who can put the ball in the net on a consistent basis, Michu? A solid centre half, maybes someone like PSG defender Sakho who’s been linked with Arsenal, what do you guys think? Has Wenger destroyed his own Empire? Is it time for the professor to hand up his coat?

34 комментария


  1. pedro roriz

    26 августа, 2013 at 13:17

    i think that what he has acchieved speaks volumes for his behalf. so, he should not be discarted just because he isn’t winning trophies anymore. i guess england could learn with other countries that the institution of the «manager» may be dying. with football becoming increasingly complex, the coach just can’t attend to all of his duties with his full attention. so, dealing with transfers, managing sponsors, recruiting staff, studying opponents, etc, it is all too much.
    in my opinion, the gunners should hire an experienced football director that should be in charge (along with the coach’s imputs) of buying, selling, recruiting players. if he focus on that and the coach focus on the ‘rosa’ as the italians say things might improve.

    • Gaurav Chaddah

      26 августа, 2013 at 17:05

      Yeah but you cannot just live on pass success, he might have achieved a lot with Arsenal and transformed them into such a club but if he isn’t changing with the times where in order to be successful you need to spend money then maybes it is time for him to go.

  2. Darren Smith

    26 августа, 2013 at 14:07

    I personally think Wenger is arrogant and far too proud to admit he needs to invest big sums in singular stars to succeed, I know there were ‘bids’ for Saurez and Higuain, but if he really wanted to get them, he’d have made it happen, neither player even came close to discussing terms, so he just wasn’t prepared to spend the money which you have to in our days. Back in the glory days a club could work off a budget and bargain hunting. Wenger made his name around that and that alone has kept him in the job over the last three years IMO, but the EPL isn’t the same, its evolved and Wenger hasn’t, he needs to adjust his thinking if Arsenal are ever to challenge.

    You can’t sell your best players and replace them with lesser quality, thats what has happened in the last 3-4 years and slowly it has shown until Arsenal are now a doubt for even the top four.

    Last but not least I think its disgusting for Wenger to bid £10 million for a player thats worth at least 50% more if not double, very naughty tactics and just hours before the player is meant to feature in a match, naughty, naughty, he’d be the first to moan if the shoe were on the other foot like it was with Fabregas when Barcelona were looking for a cut price. I am of course referring to the Cabaye bid.

    • Gaurav Chaddah

      26 августа, 2013 at 17:09

      I agree, he is very arrogant and seems like he isn’t adjusting to how football is changing, in order for success you have to go out and spend, the money is their so I don’t know why he’s being so stubborn about it.

      Exactly my point, he’s sold so many big players such as RVP, Nasri, Fabregas who are now winning championships and cups and their supposed replacements haven’t been at the required level.

      I think the bid for Cabaye was a joke, £10 millon is pathetic and to do it on the eve of a game, he just contradicted himself TBH with the moaning he’s done in the past with the bigger clubs bidding for his players and apparently unsettling them.

  3. Johnny Karp

    26 августа, 2013 at 14:29

    I admire Wenger, what he did at Arsenal is outstanding by any standards. But I partially agree with Darren, after criticizing the likes of Man City for splashing huge sums of money on single players Wenger is too proud to admit that he needs to do that himself now. And there’s nothing wrong with that as long as the club has the money and doesn’t borrow it from a sheikh like Man City does. I hope Wenger will realize that as soon as possible, hopefully this week! :)

    • Darren Smith

      26 августа, 2013 at 15:24

      My comment was very one dimensional, I should add that I do admire the Arsenal way its the right model to maintain a club and do things right, its the sort of model I use in FM :) But I think as Johnny said Wenger is too set in his ways and after so many years of stability Arsenal have admitted they can afford a war chest, yet they still aren’t using it when the need is desperate, its not too late to turn things around and use the cash they have smartly made over the years, but Wenger desperately needs to admit he needs to spend, still seems too proud to do so though.

      • Johnny Karp

        26 августа, 2013 at 15:29

        We understand, you were upset about the Cabaye thing :) And you are right to be so, the bid should have been made after the match, that’s how a gentleman should have done it.

        • Darren Smith

          26 августа, 2013 at 16:43

          I think I’m more annoyed that Cabaye has given Newcastle such a backhander going on strike immediately to push something through. No player is worth keeping with that attitude, he’s made it very hard for us to negotiate a fair fee now, just a shame he’s our creative force, going to be a long season for me mate!

          • Gaurav Chaddah

            26 августа, 2013 at 17:13

            @Darren, Cabaye is pretty pathetic, I can understand why he wants to leave… To play for a bigger club ect ect however he should at least respect his current employees who give him his ridiculous wages every week, he probably is going to leave unfortunately which is only going to add to Newcastle’s problems.

          • Darren Smith

            26 августа, 2013 at 18:41

            @ Gaurav, It winds me up because if Newcastle went on strike against paying his wages due to misconduct it would go to court…surely he’s in violation of what he’s paid to do, I guess the Toon are just playing the waiting game incase there’s a chance of keeping him and resolving the tiff. If it were me I’d threaten him with a fine for been absent and let him rot in the reserves if no one is prepared to meet the demands just to make a stand, players walk all over their clubs now, its a disgrace. If you have signed a contract, you should honour it, you belong to the club that pays you and they can sell you for whatever fee they see fit!

          • Johnny Karp

            26 августа, 2013 at 17:17

            Yeah, I totally agree. They will have to sell him for less than he’s worth now.

    • Gaurav Chaddah

      26 августа, 2013 at 17:11

      I also like what Wenger’s done and obviously is a great manager but I think he’s out of order having a dig at other teams for spending when TBH he should be doing it himself or he’s going to find Arsenal lagging behind a fair bit.

      • Johnny Karp

        26 августа, 2013 at 17:16

        He was absolutely right about Man City in my view, that kind of spending is extremely dangerous and can lead to clubs going bust once the «Sugar Daddy» decides to collect what’s rightfully his. Arsenal is so strong financially now thanks to Wenger, all he has to do is spend some of the profits on taking the club further on the pitch.

  4. Ryan Daly

    26 августа, 2013 at 15:20

    I think Wenger is passed it. He was a great coach, I think he has lost his touch recently and it seems that it’s mostly down to the fact that he refuses to change as the modern game evolves. He refuses to acknowledge that finding great cheap players is almost impossible and that player values have gone up immensely recently. I think he deserves credit for constantly getting the best out of his squad but he really needs to change his transfer philosophy in order to bring Arsenal to the next level. Signing young/unknown talents is all well and good but when those players improve into quality players he does nothing to convince them to stay, so effectively Arsenal has become a development team where players get good and then move to a world class team. I would also love to know whether it is Wenger’s decision or the Arsenal board’s decision to set a limit on their wage bill.

    As far as I am concerned, if Arsenal fail to significantly strengthen in the next 7 days, this season will mark the start of the end for Arsenal and Wenger. Spurs and Liverpool look far stronger even at this early stage and Arsenal’s only saving grace recently has been CL football, given that I think they will miss out this season, I see Wenger and a lot of players leaving next summer

    • Gaurav Chaddah

      26 августа, 2013 at 17:14

      Yep, he is a great manager with at one point great methods but he hasn’t changed with the game, you cannot now keep going out and buying young on the cheap and hope they turn class like he did with RVP, Fabregas ect ect, he desperately needs to spend this week or this season could be the killer blow.

    • Bmwdestroyer

      26 августа, 2013 at 17:25

      «down to the fact that he refuses to change as the modern game evolves» This, back when he stated at Arsenal he was one of the most innovative managers out there, his tactical ability and his ability to spot a bargain and spend money when he needed to was what made him an incredible manager. Recently though he seems to have run out of ideas for tactics and his transfer policy recently has been awfull. I dont see him changing his ways so unfortunately I think it is time for him to go IMO.

  5. Ben

    26 августа, 2013 at 15:35

    He should have gone 5 years ago! He has no clue what he is doing in the transfer market, lets our best players leave and then replaces them with rubbish. The thing is that he has spent money, just on some absolute rubbish. I will always be grateful for what he has done but it’s time for him to go. But with no time left in the transfer market what manager is going to come in and do any better now? I think the board must take some blame in this too, letting him get away with what he is doing, the whole club is a bit of a mess if I’m honest. As an Arsenal fan, I think this is the season we realize we aren’t the best team in North London :(

    • Gaurav Chaddah

      26 августа, 2013 at 17:16

      I think 5 years a little far fetched but probably over the last few years, he’s gone a excellent job, their’s no question but he hasn’t changed with football and as a result the challengers for fourth, Liverpool, Spurs look much much stronger.

      • Ben

        26 августа, 2013 at 22:32

        I honestly don’t think 5 is, if any manager at a big club went 4 to 5 years without a trophy questions would be asked, especially if they don’t challenge for anything which we didn’t. The warning signs were there and the board didn’t act and just let him ruin the club.

        • Gaurav Chaddah

          27 августа, 2013 at 09:27

          But 5 years ago was 2008, the previous year he took Arsenal to the League Cup final but was beaten off a very good Chelsea side, the year before that he took Arsenal to the the Champions League final and the the year before won the FA Cup, 3 years wasn’t awful considering their was 2 cup finals, it’s all started to crumble since 2012/2011 in my opinion.

          • Ben

            27 августа, 2013 at 12:12

            Fair enough, I am very anti-Wenger being in charge so am a bit biased in wanting him to go! It’s just that every year we get worse and worse and it’s so frustrating! The other question is, if Wenger did go, who would replace him? Not a lot of managers available of that calibre and c.v

  6. meric

    26 августа, 2013 at 15:54

    no money no honey :)

  7. Archie

    26 августа, 2013 at 20:25

    Sorry everyone but I disagree. As usual, everyone thinks Arsenal are a club in crisis after losing one game. Yeah right, how about we wait to the end of the season before we jump to the conclusion that Wenger is past it? I’m sure we’ll be signing players before the window closes, we always do and they usually end up one of our top performers. We’ve got the same team as last year minus Gervinho, Wilshere is fit, Ramsey looks likes hes matured at last, Giroud has started scoring regularly. If Bale goes to Madrid, I really cant see them doing better than us. Even if he stays I think we’ll finish above them.

    We finished 4th last season despite losing our best player and Tottenham having their best year ever in the prem. How is that bad? You might say that there’s no trophy for finishing 4th, and fair enough, I want us to challenge for the title, but I would hardly say that getting into the CL with such ‘average’ players is proof that Wenger has destroyed his empire. Look at teams who have spent over the odds and collapsed in recent years; you have to credit the stability Wenger has given Arsenal. We are still in touch with the top teams and we’re always going to be one the favorites to win trophies.

    Also, all the Arsenal ‘fans’ booing the team, that makes me feel sick.

    Anyway rant over, dont call me deluded, but people dont realise how lucky Arsenal are to have Wenger. He trusts the squad, and so do I.

    • Johnny Karp

      26 августа, 2013 at 20:56

      Just one quick remark: the post doesn’t say anything about the current season results, it’s surely too early to say what’s going to happen after two matches. The post does talk about the past few years though, and those haven’t been exactly brilliant, right? The club’s aim shouldn’t be finishing above Spurs but winning the title, that’s what Arsenal was doing in the good old Wenger days.

      • Darren Smith

        26 августа, 2013 at 21:08

        I think Johnny has touched on the key point here, right at the end of his comment. Its all about expectations, if you’re happy with falling backwards and now barely scraping 4th position then Wengers done a great job because the club is stable, but if you expect Arsenal to win trophies or at least challenge (which I disagree with your point on this Archie, they aren’t one of the favorites to win trophies anymore) then he’s not doing a good job.

    • Gaurav Chaddah

      27 августа, 2013 at 09:34

      I never said Arsenal are in crisis because of the start of the season, they’ve been in a mini crisis for a while now. You might sign a few players over the next few weeks but they’re just going to be panic buys…Do you really need Cabaye or is that just Wenger buying someone for the sake of it? Wilshere is fit yes but from what I’ve seen of him looks of the par, Ramsey has been good I’ll admit that, Giroud has scored against 3 average opponents, let’s see what he can do when it really matters.

      Bale might be leaving but Spurs have strengthen in all areas of their pitch, they have a much stronger base and a manager who’s hungry and ambitious, sorry but I think Spurs are the best team in North London at the moment.

      He has destroyed something he built, he had Arsenal as the best club in England at one point, he’s made them financially sound but what’s the point in having the money their if it’s not going to get spend? There’s no trophy for who makes the most profit per summer.

      Your seriously happy with Arsenal finishing 4th season on season, surely not? And I don’g agree with your last two points…

      1) Arsenal aren’t favorites no more to win trophies, their’s many teams ahead of them.

      2) The fans have every right to be booing, they pay ridiculous ticket prices so they should be rewarded.

  8. Erbsademon

    26 августа, 2013 at 22:13

    I think Wenger has done a fantastic job despite his lack of trophies over the past couple of years. While I can completely understand why Arsenal fans are upset over Wenger’s lack of transfers during this transfer window there may be a ton of behind the scenes issues which may be contributing to the lack of purchases. Not a single fan can honestly say they know how the transfer negotiations and/or contract negotiations have gone. Maybe he just having some bad luck at the moment. I would remain patient because let’s be honest, Arsenal is annual Champions League team and consistently finish in the top4 in the Prem and maybe in the next year or two they will put together the missing pieces and win a trophy.

    • Gaurav Chaddah

      27 августа, 2013 at 09:36

      Yes he’s done a great job up until around 2007, 2009 where he’s lost it. I do agree however that their could be behind the scenes issues with Gezadis possibly.

      Finishing 4th however isn’t great all the time, their’s a lot of work to be done complete the jigsaw and if it’s ever going to be completed Wenger needs to go.

  9. saltwater

    27 августа, 2013 at 12:07

    Let’s forget the whole «haven’t won a trophy in 8 years» thing. Let’s forget the «sells his best players and brings in replacements that aren’t as good as their predecessors». When you look at what he’s doing right now, putting in cheeky bids for World Class talents and attempting to buy players who quite obviously he doesn’t need, there’s something wrong there. The fact that your run-of-the-mill football fans can see areas where he needs to strengthen but yet he refuses to spend money on a striker, or a DMC or a CB for instance, that’s worrying. I worry that his arrogance might be clouding his judgement. I look at some of the players that played against Fulham: Giroud, Podolski, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Sanogo. Can anybody really say that any of these players would get in, for instance, Tottenham’s first 11.

    This is a manager who has completely lost his way in the transfer market and lacks the conviction and the ability to attract big name players. If he really wanted Suarez or Higuine, he would have got them and shown his hand, instead of trying to activate clauses with a £1 coin. I completely agree with those above who say he has not evolved with modern day football, the time on spending peanuts on a player that will come good in 6 years has gone. Daniel Levy has realised that and put his money where his mouth is.

    His transfer policy, though admirable, is not realistic for today’s football, and as a result he has been left with a paper-thin squad that lacks quality. The Fulham win was paper over the cracks, and I am convinced that come May Arsenal fans will start to realise how big this crack is.
    Great article by the way Guarav, for a second I thought I was reading the Guardian!

    • Johnny Karp

      27 августа, 2013 at 13:09

      Good point there, I am surprised to say the least that he isn’t looking for a centre back, at least I haven’t read about any bids for a CB. The only top class CB we have is Vermaelen…

    • Gaurav Chaddah

      27 августа, 2013 at 16:36

      Haha, cheers mate.

      His bids for Suarez and recently Cabaye have been pretty stupid, not as if they need a player like Cabaye but if Wenger really wanted him why hasn’t he gone and put another bid in of £20 million which would probably get him.

      That starting XI you pointed out is pretty poor by their standards, he really needs new additions to the squad but not just anyone like he has done in the past, we needs real quality.

  10. Jack

    28 августа, 2013 at 13:31

    I agree with this article but at the same time Wenger deserves a break form all this criticism. Everyone has forgotten how he rejected the Brazil job to stay with Arsenal when he could have easily left. I’m a Spurs fan but I reallyrespect Arsene Wenger. However, I think what has let Wenger down is what he has done in the transfer market. I think that they can be linked to all these fancy players but at the end of the day your not going to win the league if you hardly ever make a marquee signing. But the thing with Wenger is that he always comes good in the end; It looked like they wouldn’t make top 4 last season and they did.

  11. Soovey

    11 октября, 2013 at 09:57


Leave a Reply

Ваш адрес email не будет опубликован.

FM 2022 Latest

Свежие записи

Subscribe to our Newsletter

FM 2022 Player Lists

More in archived posts