Connect with us


When Does Arsene Become Accountable?


The Kids, they’re alright. But alright does not win you a title.

Yes, Arsenal got hosed. Theo Walcott’s coming out party was spoiled by a pathetic penalty decision, a putrid product of the Kop End.

Stevie G got to grin and smile like he had won the match, though he did everything in his power to lose it by squandering so many possessions.

But, a win would only gloss over glaring problems. Problems for which Wenger has not had to account.

Why was the squad not strengthened in January? Arsenal is the fifth wealthiest club in the world, why are they turning a profit in the transfer window? What future glories are so great that one can pass up a shot at the title or the Champions League? Why have they gone two months without playing decent football?

Wenger scoffs at the outrageous sums spent for Torres and Babel, yet these are the two players who killed his team’s hopes today.

He seems to have the answers for all of football’s ills, yet sits incredulous when his team – starting a central midfielder and a right back on the wings – struggles to attack the goal.

Wenger may still have a magic hat. But, when the rabbit repeatedly comes out dead, it begins to lose its effect.

200+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
  • Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
  • Price: $69.99/mo. for Entertainment package
  • Watch World Cup, Euro 2024 & MLS
  • Includes ESPN, ESPN2, FS1 + local channels
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
  • Price: $4.99/mo
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more


  1. Ivan

    April 11, 2008 at 4:10 am

    At the beginning of they season:
    1. Chelsea
    2. Man United
    3. Arsenal
    4. Liverpool

    Although i agree some people underestimated whether rightly or wrongly the potential of Arsenal.

    And i agree with Alex Hleb somewhat, RVP can be as good Torres or Rooney. His just not fit. I know of a few people that tipped RVP to be the player of the season with Arsenal in the absence of Henry. Obviously his injury record has been terrible.

  2. BillE Shears

    April 11, 2008 at 1:14 am

    To be fair, I picked them second.

    JM – It’s not an inference. It’s a basic and well tried psychological theorem. The more you are around something. The more attractive and familiar it is to you. The less you are able to see its flaws.

    A Hleb – RVP is a fine player. But he’s not Torres or Rooney. Those guys are game changers week in, week out.

  3. Kartik

    April 10, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    Accountable? Some of you here picked them 5th and now that they have over achieved people are talking about accountability. I’ll take Wenger any day of the week over any club manager in the world.

  4. jm

    April 9, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    BillEShears wrote:

    “But it is possible to become so enamored with them that he cannot see their weaknesses and overestimates their ability.”

    I think this is a rather dubious inference. (I mean, sure it is possible, but I don’t think there is enough evidence to suppose it likely). A youth movement is tricky when the youth are this good. You’ve got to balance this year and the next five. Stripping playing time now means blocking development. The more players you bring in, the more players who get in the way of the development of people like Bendtner or Walcott. Wenger clearly did not want to block their development.

    I’m not sure where I come down on that question, I am, you might say, in a state of equipollence between the two arguments. But I think we should be more charitable to Arsene, and that presuming he takes the approach based on an inappropriately high evaluation of certain players (such as Diaby) is unfair.

  5. Alex Hleb

    April 9, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    van persie i think when healthy is as good as torres or rooney.

  6. BillE Shears

    April 9, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Yes, Alex Hleb those are all excellent points. But to quote an American football coach “you play to win the game.” It’s all well and good to brag about points per pound spent and take the ethical high ground, but as an Arsenal fan, I want them to win trophies.

    It is admirable to save money, but when there is no need to save money, it is foolish not to invest in the team.

    Arsene hasn’t spent 25 million quid on a single player, great. But he also doesn’t have anyone as good as Rooney or Torres either.

  7. Alex Hleb

    April 9, 2008 at 11:08 am

    i think its a joke to question whether wenger should be accountable or not.
    look at liverpool. they spent. alot. did they succeed? of course we have to see where they finish in the champs league but otherwise they were down to one game as well as to hoping to get anything from this season. if arsenal win this weekend, theyll only be 3 points down from Manure. Wenger has built 3 world class teams and has scouted and signed young players who became world class when they were in their prime. henry, ljungberg, viera, cole, lauren, toure, clichy, sagna, van persie, flamini, adebayor, and players like pires, campbell, kanu, gilberto silva, overmars, eduardo who no on expected to do too much. he did all of this while saving alot of money. he would never be let go. he is irreplaceable. who would do a better job than him with the same amount that he spent? he hasnt spent 25 million quid on a single player but arsenal still maintain their popularity.

    he’s a master at judging talent.

  8. Darren

    April 9, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Then the Telegraph are fools. Even Gerrard came out and said it was one of his worst matches

  9. TheScout

    April 9, 2008 at 10:00 am

    Re: Gerrard

    The Telegraph listed him as their man of the match. Funny how different people see different things 🙂

  10. BillE Shears

    April 9, 2008 at 9:28 am

    I don’t think it is so much that he has lost it, but I think that there is a point where you can have too much faith and confidence in yourself.

    Arsene obviously loves his young players. He scouted them. He signed them. He trained them. But it is possible to become so enamored with them that he cannot see their weaknesses and overestimates their ability.

    I think Diaby is a prime example. He has a lot of talent, but is lazy and can’t hold his position on the left.

  11. dragonki2012

    April 9, 2008 at 9:17 am

    I love this article.
    GREAT JOB, I mean it too.
    I’m an Arsenal fan but you speak the truth.

    If you mention a name in the papers and online, Arsene Wenger won’t go after that player, that simple.

    As I watch AW on the sidelines I can see that he’s more and more irritated and animated, something he didn’t used to do as much.

    I’m starting to picture him as the professor who has finally lost it…. like a “mad-professor”.

  12. Jeff Hash

    April 9, 2008 at 8:39 am

    I think next year is the make or break year as far as Arsene goes. It’s always great to have an up and coming lineup that plays well (and they do). But as the so-called “Golden Generation” of England showed, if that promise does not produce results, the talk will turn to why nothing is happening. Another year of nothing would be 4 in a row. That kind of a number is one that will get noticed if nothing happens.

    Timao, as far as injuries go, I don’t buy it. Every team gets dealt injuries. Great teams should be able to get above that. The true issue here is depth, not talent, and I expect that WILL be looked at this summer.

    And also, Everton is not that bad. They sit 3 points off entering next year’s Champions League in the same round as Arsenal with 5 games to go. If you want a third squad to finish your comparison, try Aston Villa.

  13. timao

    April 9, 2008 at 4:15 am

    arsene is accountable every day – what do you mean? he is accountable for the fact that we are not in the position of Tottenham, everton or newcastle. and he is accountable for building a team that plays like a dream. he is not accountable for martin taylor’s thuggery or pieter vink’s skullduggery. maybe the lads need one more season to get it right. so what, it’ll be worth it. this year we’ve come so close – i enjoyed every minute up until Eduardo got hacked to pieces. and i’ve suppored the team and the manager every step of the way. like every true gooner should. remember last season? and the season before? now think about this season and next season. and cheer up for feck’s sake!

  14. Ivan

    April 9, 2008 at 3:32 am

    I think Carlos Vela coming to Arsenal next season will be a very important factor. I’m not sure but ive thought of him as a converted winger from a CF as i saw him at the u17s (same tournament Dos Santos, Nuri Sahin and Anderson) where he played as a CF and have always rated him higher than his compatriot Dos Santos. He is now a goal scoring winger which Arsenal have lacked over the last couple of seasons without Pires and Ljungberg. Not sure if Diego fits into the picture (his a number 10 and Arsenal formation and tactics would perhaps need to change), his price tag being a talking point as Wenger has reluctantly spent unless with extreme certainty references cases such as Walcott (albeit with clauses) and Reyes. Jesus Navas/Diego Capel have often been linked with Arsenal both quality wingers but often seek the foul in La Liga. Ive also read stories regarding Quaresma (i’m a fan) however a bid by Liverpool believed to be around 14 million was rejected last season. Yoann Gouffran, Payet and the fore mention Ben Arfa have all been linked.

  15. Ja'far M. Tabbal

    April 9, 2008 at 3:16 am

    A squad to fulfill the optimism of Wenger ,and compete against the Kop, Man Utd and Chelsea squad, should consist of 33 established players.

    You can split that into 3 (A,B &C)teams, which means if 11 players have injuries/suspensions you’ll still have two teams to choose from and have fresh legs in April.

    Håvard Nordtveit is a starter in team C, alongside Djourou in central defense.

    Senderos will need Wenger to buy him a young world-class backup defender to partner him in central defense of Team B.

    Toure and Gallas of course will start in Team A.

    Fran Merida/Carlos Vela will be back and will start in team C.

    The likes of Jay Simpson, Randall, Paul Rodgers, Gavin Hoyte..etc. should not be considered part of that 33-man DEEP & THICK squad.

    The Squad is as follows:

    1 GK Jens Lehmann
    2 MF Abou Diaby
    3 DF Bacary Sagna
    4 MF Cesc Fàbregas
    5 DF Kolo Touré
    6 DF Philippe Senderos
    7 MF Tomáš Rosický
    9 FW Eduardo da Silva
    10 DF William Gallas
    11 FW Robin van Persie
    13 MF Aliaksandr Hleb
    15 MF Denílson
    16 MF Mathieu Flamini
    17 MF Alexandre Song
    19 MF Gilberto Silva
    20 DF Johan Djourou
    21 GK ?ukasz Fabia?ski
    22 DF Gaël Clichy
    24 GK Manuel Almunia
    25 FW Emmanuel Adebayor
    26 FW Nicklas Bendtner
    27 DF Emmanuel Eboué
    30 DF Armand Traoré
    31 DF Justin Hoyte
    32 FW Theo Walcott
    35 DF Håvard Nordtveit
    40 GK Vito Mannone
    42 MF Fran Mérida
    46 DF Kerrea Gilbert
    –– FW Carlos Vela

    + 3 MAJOR Signings:

    DF (young and talented to partner Senderos in Team B)

    MF (winger perfect choice would be Lyon’s Hatem Ben Arfa)

    FW (best idea would be to sign Werder Bremen’s Diego)

    And that’s a BIG squad that is young and still compete on 4 fronts.


  16. Ivan

    April 9, 2008 at 2:48 am

    This article i suppose only touches the surface and i gather that is its purpose to generate a bit of discourse. As i have discussed elsewhere with fellow board members some neutral some pro arsenal, the answer after the event is obviously more clear than it is reality.

    Wenger’s initial reason for not spending is an half hearted one in regards to paying of that lovely stadium. Do i buy it? Not entirely, it seems that Arsenal finances are healthy and repayments is not really an issue. But that is his answer.

    If you couple his “reason” with the situation of Arsenal as of 30th of December, top of PL, still in the UCL and the Carling cup and RVP and Rosicky were he only players on the injury list (the players they missed throughout the start of the campaign). Add to that the fact they thumped Liverpool last year in both cup competitions with the young reserves you have Wenger believing his hype a bit. Oh and don’t forget managers don’t like spending in January – players take time to get use to PL without the help of the preseason especially when foreign and prices can be inflated.

    From the above i can understand the thinking of Wenger. Saying that on the last day of the window Woodgate was being linked with Arsenal but Arsenal decline to make an offer it isbelieved. I think Wenger knows that Sendoros is indeed a younger version of Cygan (and perhaps Wenger expected Djourou to be his answer) but did not want to replace him with an injury waiting to happen Woodgate. In hindsight should he? Probably.

    When it is all said and done, Arsenal are third in the league (many suspected they would drop out of the top four not me!) and were knocked out by “master tactician” Benetiz. For such a promising start it is perhaps disappointing but Arsenal fans can be all hopeful, the quality is there when there is no injuries, its the squad depth that needs to be rectified.

  17. Ja'far M. Tabbal

    April 9, 2008 at 12:40 am

    Add to that he usually sells talents than hunts his team down (or could’ve made the difference):

    1)David Bentley

    2)Lassana Diarra

    3)Seb Larsson

    3)Fabrice Muamba

    4)Jeramie Aliadiere

    Imagine if the above 5 where still in the Arsenal squad…wouldn’t Wenger’s men surely be in the Semis while setting on top of the PL !?

    Why just cannot he keep his players? let alone he doesn’t buy!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in General

Translate »