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They've been a cross roads for a while. They have to ask themselves, is 4th every season good enough, or do they want to be genuine title contenders? If the later then they simply have to sack Wenger. Wenger proves year after year that he can't adapt to the top sides well enough and can't get the big signings right to correct their obvious flaws through the spine of the team. 

He was once among the most progressive managers in football, now he's just well out of touch. 

Edited by Dr_Pangloss

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One in every four people have almost been signed by Arsene Wenger. Look around you now; whether you are in your home, your office, a train or a school, there is at least one person in every room that Arsene Wenger has almost signed. So here’s an XI. We’re going for a Garth Crooks 3-3-2-2, before you ask.

 

Keeper: Petr Cech
‘But Arsenal did sign Petr Cech!’ says the lonely voice in the back. Shut up, lonely voice. No-one respects your opinion. Arsenal bought Cech from Chelsea last summer, but Wenger had been monitoring the goalkeeper since his time in his native Czech Republic.

“There was a chance before I went to France that I could sign for Arsenal but I was only 18 or 19 and at that time Czech Republic were not in the European Union,” he told Arsenal.com upon his eventual signing. “You needed a work permit and the conditions were to play 75 per cent of the first-team games for the national team, which at the time was impossible for me to get. In the end I went to France because I couldn’t get a work permit. I had a few teams who were interested but Arsenal was one of the main ones.”

In a later interview with The Sun, Cech added: “At the last minute I think the person who was the chief scout at Arsenal didn’t think I was good enough for the English league. So in the end it didn’t happen.”

Solid work, chief scout.

 

Central defence: Gerard Pique
The summer transfer window of 2003 was something of a mixed bag for Arsenal. Jens Lehmann and Gael Clichy joined for low fees, and would soon establish themselves in a successful first team. Philippe Senderos and Johan Djourou also arrived, and would soon become club legends. A wiry 16-year-old with an ill-advised mullet joined from Spain. He nearly brought his mates, too.

Arsenal’s signing of Cesc Fabregas that year is a story oft-told, with Barcelona unhappy at losing one of their most-prized young assets. But the midfielder was nearly joined by two other La Masia products in north London. One was a little Argentinean kid who barely registered above five feet tall; he would never amount to anything. The other was a towering central defensive midfielder, also wanted by Manchester United.

Wenger failed to procure the services of a young Gerard Pique, who starred in the same youth team as Fabregas, despite his best efforts. A year later, the now-converted defender left Spain for United. Pique spent four years at Old Trafford, before growing weary of sharing back-up duties with Jonny Evans. He subsequently returned to Barcelona to win five La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues.

 

Central defence: Vincent Kompany
Back before Vincent Kompany had calves, the Belgian was a hot commodity among Europe’s elite. Even before Mark Hughes identified the central defender as the future of Manchester City and signed him in 2008, the 29-year-old was wanted by Real Madrid and Barcelona. And, of course, Arsenal.

With ‘But I am’ Sol Campbell leaving the Gunners in 2006, Wenger sought to replace his defensive talisman. Kompany, then a fresh-faced 20-year-old at Anderlecht, was a mooted purchase, but Hamburg eventually won that particular battle.

Speaking in 2014, Kompany’s agent, Jacques Lichtenstein, discussed Arsenal’s interest:

“I had meetings with Emilio Butragueno at Real Madrid, the club leaders at Barcelona and by Arsene Wenger himself at Arsenal.

“But heading to an absolute top club immediately was not the right solution because Vincent is someone who feels alone in an environment where he is not properly valued.

“Vincent is not a third or fourth choice.”

 

Central defence: Raphael Varane
“I’m happy for him because he’s carving out a role at one of the world’s best clubs, which is remarkable,” Wenger told Eurosport in 2013. “Yet at the same time, when you are in charge of a club like Arsenal, you have to wonder why this player is not playing for us. He was at Lens, and we might well have caught him there.”

Explaining Arsenal’s failure to sign Varane, who joined Real Madrid from Lens in 2011, club scout and former player Gilles Grimandi added: “It’s easier to help a striker grow because you can ask him to do whatever he wants on the pitch and show off his talent. Making a defender into a first-team player takes more time because it’s a position which requires maturity, even if Varane is an exception.”

A reminder that Raphael Varane was 18 when Arsenal looked to sign him in 2011; Calum Chambers was 19 when he moved to the Gunners from Southampton in summer 2014.

 

Central midfield: Yaya Toure
The closest of Wenger’s nearly men. Yaya Toure wore the red and white shirt – he even played a match for the Gunners – but those dastardly work-permit issues would prevent his signing.

“I know him very well, since he was 15 years old, so I know him for a long time. He is a top-class talent,” Wenger said of the midfielder, who played a youth game for the club against Barnet in 2003. With brother Kolo already at the club, Yaya looked odds-on to sign. But the trialist’s performance was described as “completely average” by the manager, and the midfielder jointed Metalurh Donetsk instead.

“He was here as a young boy but we cannot get players in here if they are not internationals,” Wenger added. “He had no work permit and was too young. We tried to wait until when he was in Belgium, we tried to get him a European passport. He was not patient enough and left.”

 

Central midfield: Paul Pogba
One of Sir Alex Ferguson’s biggest mistakes, but also one of Wenger’s largest regrets. When Paul Pogba tired of sitting behind Park Ji-sung and Rafael in the central midfield pecking order at Manchester United, he decided to leave. The Frenchman was not short of suitors.

Predictably, his compatriot Wenger was among them. “Things happened very quickly. We were interested in him,” the Arsenal boss said in 2014. “We tried to get him to come here. But he very quickly signed for Juventus.” And so the circle of transfer life continued.

 

Central midfield: Claude Makelele
In the Troy Deeney role we have Claude Makelele. While many of the players in this XI are recent Wenger regrets, the diminutive French midfielder serves as a reminder that the Arsenal manager been on the brink of signing everyone for the past two decades.

Back in 1996, Wenger was faced with a difficult proposition. Relative unknown Patrick Vieira had already become one of his first signings since being appointed Arsenal manager. Now he has being offered Makelele, a 23-year-old midfielder who had just won Ligue Un with Nantes. Wenger trusted that Vieira would be a success at Higbury, and chose to turn Makelele down.

“Claude Makelele was close to signing for us,” Wenger told The Independent in 2006. “I missed a few,” he added, with no hint of sarcasm.

We would like to take a moment to congratulate Makelele on his finest achievement to date. From his Wikipedia page:

Claude Makélélé Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

 

 

 

 

False inverted No 9: Cristiano Ronaldo
Sir Alex Ferguson signed him. But Wenger and Gerard Houllier came so close.

Back in 2003, Ronaldo was not the physical force of nature he is today. Instead, he was a spotty, wiry teenager who was rather enamoured with step-overs. Yet his talent was obvious, and he was in demand. Wenger had even agreed a £4million fee with Sporting Lisbon for the Portuguese winger’s services. Then Carlos Queiroz – always Carlos bloody Queiroz – intervened. With Liverpool and Arsenal vying for the teenager’s signature, United suddenly emerged as the favourites. One impressive friendly against United later, and he moved to Old Trafford.

“He was very close to coming here,” Wenger said in 2014. “He has a No 9 shirt with Ronaldo on the back from Arsenal Football Club. What happened was that Carlos Queiroz went to Manchester United and they snapped him away from us because he knew him from Sporting.”

Always worth an inspirational quote, Wenger added: “That’s what life is about. You give your best but sometimes you might find that people are stronger than you. That can happen as well.”

 

False inverted No 10: Lionel Messi
As aforementioned, when Wenger secured the talents of a young Cesc Fabregas in 2003, he actually sought to sign a trio of Barcelona youngsters. Gerard Pique was another, and one Lionel Messi was the third.

Some reported that a stumbling block as insignificant as accommodation for Messi’s family caused the deal to break down. Not in Wenger’s eyes. “I think in the end he was not so keen to move,” the Frenchman once said, discussing his biggest transfer regrets. “It was not completely down to a flat in the end, it was down to the fact that Messi was comfortable at Barcelona.”

Just imagine how many Champions League last-16 exits and Calendar Year trophies the 28-year-old could have amassed. Seven La Liga championship and four Champions League titles? Pah.

 

Striker: Romelu Lukaku
The latest example of Wenger’s all-seeing but rarely-acting scouting brain. Romelu Lukaku, who has scored more goals before the age of 23 than the rest of the world combined, moved to Chelsea from Anderlecht in 2011. Naturally, Arsenal were late to the party.

“Yes, we knew him in Belgium but at the time he opted to go to Chelsea,” Wenger said on Friday. “He is developing every year. His finishing is better, his technical is better. He has better numbers.”

…”than every Arsenal striker,” Wenger neglected to admit. A winning goal on Saturday seems inevitable.

 

Striker: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Football’s answer to Romeo and Juliet, if Romeo was an iconic Swedish striker who won pretty much everything and Juliet was a football club struggling to match their previous highs due to their struggling manager. And if Romeo teased Juliet incessantly for 16 consecutive years.

There are conflicting stories from the two parties regarding this deal. In Wenger’s words: “He was 16, I asked him to have some training with the first team. He did not want to do it and I did not sign him.”

Ibrahimovic’s view was dripping in Zlatan: “I didn’t like being asked to prove myself. I know I’m good enough. I don’t need to show it to you. Either you know who I am or you don’t. Zlatan doesn’t do auditions.”

http://www.football365.com/news/oh-look-its-an-arsene-wenger-i-almost-signed-xi

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I'm not sure what that the point in that article is?  Wenger knows about all the best young talent but doesn't actually get to sign them all, but I'm sure that's the case for all the top clubs.

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24 minutes ago, sharkyvilla said:

I'm not sure what that the point in that article is?  Wenger knows about all the best young talent but doesn't actually get to sign them all, but I'm sure that's the case for all the top clubs.

but it always seems Wenger thing that he was close to signing a lot of players but then never actually does. He said same with  others like Benzema, Lewandowski, Mahrez, Payet in the recent past

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3 hours ago, bobzy said:

You and TrentVilla are quite clearly just completely anti-Arsenal.

That's fine - but the first Chelsea goal should be a foul all day long.  Alonso has flown in and smashed his arm into the defenders' head before getting the ball.  I don't think Arsenal would've stopped Chelsea in any case, but to not think that is a foul is bonkers.  I'd be absolutely livid if someone scored like that against us.

Two of my best friends are Arsenal fans. I'd like Arsenal to win the league. But winning a head is winning a header. 

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2 minutes ago, kurtsimonw said:

Two of my best friends are Arsenal fans. I'd like Arsenal to win the league. But winning a head is winning a header. 

You haven't won a header if you clatter the guy with your arm first.

The same way you don't win the ball if you go through the player first.

 

Edit:  This is the hit, before the header, from behind the goal obvs.

Alonso.JPG

Edited by bobzy

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1 minute ago, bobzy said:

You haven't won a header if you clatter the guy with your arm first.

The same way you don't win the ball if you go through the player first.

There's almost always contact with headers, that's the nature of headers. It's not a foul IMO.

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It's one of those I think that at real speed and from behind it would've been near impossible to see a foul.

I'm not even sure it's a foul anyway, Alonso just gets up first. Could Cech have not got up a bit quicker?

It amused me the exchange earlier between Trent and Gharperr about free money and betting against Arsenal.

Chelsea beating Arsenal at home is as guaranteed a bet as you can get in the premier league since we don't play Man. United anymore...Chelsea were incredibly 11/10....they should've been 1/10.

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3 hours ago, Zatman said:

but it always seems Wenger thing that he was close to signing a lot of players but then never actually does. He said same with  others like Benzema, Lewandowski, Mahrez, Payet in the recent past

Many of those quotes are from years ago . . . managers talk about their experiences, and he has been at the same club for a long time. I think it's a real reach to pretend that he's moaning or demanding credit or whatever. 

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59 minutes ago, VillaChris said:

It's one of those I think that at real speed and from behind it would've been near impossible to see a foul.

I'm not even sure it's a foul anyway, Alonso just gets up first. Could Cech have not got up a bit quicker?

It amused me the exchange earlier between Trent and Gharperr about free money and betting against Arsenal.

Chelsea beating Arsenal at home is as guaranteed a bet as you can get in the premier league since we don't play Man. United anymore...Chelsea were incredibly 11/10....they should've been 1/10.

Never a foul in my opinion and yes I also wondered about Cech, he had plenty of time to adjust to the second header.

As for my bet laying Arsenal for the title, I'm pretty sure that is a winning one. Again.

Oh and I agree re Chelsea v Arsenal,  I didn't back Chelsea to win because I thought a draw was possible but laying Arsenal was too good to turn down. An easy £20 to add to the pot.

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17 hours ago, sharkyvilla said:

I'm not sure what that the point in that article is?  Wenger knows about all the best young talent but doesn't actually get to sign them all, but I'm sure that's the case for all the top clubs.

I think it is a well known fact and has been for a number of years that Wenger dithers on every signing he makes, a lot of people at Arsenal have alluded to it. I am sure he could have snapped up a few of these lads comfortably, but he waits, and waits, and waits, thinks about it some more, then when he has made his mind up, he is still hanging around haggling over the price.

The case of Ronaldo, everyone was in for this lad, the fee was around £4m and there were over a dozen clubs I believe that had matched that fee. Ronaldo tore O'Shea apart in a pre season friendly and Fergie slapped in a £12m bid.

That's the difference.

Benzema the same, everyone questioned the fee but Real put it on the table, no questions.
Same with Higuain to Napoli.
Same with Griezmann to Atletico.

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He has missed out on a lot of world class players over the past decade or so and has barely managed to sign even one (world class player). 

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1 hour ago, rodders0223 said:

I think it is a well known fact and has been for a number of years that Wenger dithers on every signing he makes, a lot of people at Arsenal have alluded to it. I am sure he could have snapped up a few of these lads comfortably, but he waits, and waits, and waits, thinks about it some more, then when he has made his mind up, he is still hanging around haggling over the price.

The case of Ronaldo, everyone was in for this lad, the fee was around £4m and there were over a dozen clubs I believe that had matched that fee. Ronaldo tore O'Shea apart in a pre season friendly and Fergie slapped in a £12m bid.

That's the difference.

Benzema the same, everyone questioned the fee but Real put it on the table, no questions.
Same with Higuain to Napoli.
Same with Griezmann to Atletico.

Never been that impressed with Benzema. Is he an upgrade on Giroud? TBF they nearly signed Suarez who without a doubt imo would have won them the league. Its was Suarez's decision to give Liverpool another year.

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17 hours ago, kurtsimonw said:

There's almost always contact with headers, that's the nature of headers. It's not a foul IMO.

That's fine, and I think it's fair enough when 2 people are standing in the same position and one gets up higher than the other - you're naturally going to have an arm on your opponent pushing them down slightly.

Running towards a ball that's hanging in the air and planting your elbow into someone's head before being anywhere near the ball though?  Nah, that's not on.

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20 hours ago, kurtsimonw said:

There's almost always contact with headers, that's the nature of headers. It's not a foul IMO.

I think it's a foul. He hit Bellerin and that impacted Bellerin's ability to play this ball. The same rule applies for tackles. You cant get the player before you get the ball. Don't see why this is any different. 

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On 2/4/2017 at 22:29, PaulC said:

Gary Neville summed up their problem. They don't pay enough attention at stopping the opposition playing.

didnt he also say people wishing wenger out are being stupid? they do stop oppo from playing though. But theres many factors which stop it from being effective...

lets be realistic here...theres two mega oil clubs and united...its fkin hard to win the league. we can all do naratives about season tickets prices and what they demand or whatever...but they should be careful what the fans wish for. making them where they are is impressive (in before season ticket prices is even important....)

holy shit some naratives going here over one game. one of the worst performances coq has ever played...but hes still good. legit good against many teams this year



it is a foul on bellerin with the elbow...but you cant give shit to referee to not spotting it in real time imo. its a goal. its a foul. it goes either way a lot of the time

probably worst season i ever seen arsenal play tbh. Theyre playing some dog shit football this year. 

Edited by gharperr

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On 2/6/2017 at 04:38, kurtsimonw said:

Two of my best friends are Arsenal fans. I'd like Arsenal to win the league. But winning a head is winning a header. 

winning a header is hard when you have an elbow to a face impeding you....

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23 hours ago, TrentVilla said:

As for my bet laying Arsenal for the title, I'm pretty sure that is a winning one. Again.

 

whats the line you have it at? still interested here

pretty sure it isnt winning. ainec tbh

Edited by gharperr

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16 hours ago, gharperr said:

lets be realistic here...theres two mega oil clubs and united...its fkin hard to win the league. 

So that's when you take your chance when they falter. Arsenal beat Leicester in London and were 2 points behind Leicester. They won 5 of the remaining 12 games. Bottled it.

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