September 27th, 2010
12:59 PM ET

Time running out for Arsenal's Wenger

Arsene Wenger (left) is under pressure to deliver silverware at Arsenal after five seasons without a trophy.
Arsene Wenger (left) is under pressure to deliver silverware at Arsenal after five seasons without a trophy.

Arsenal have not won a trophy in five years and judging from their performances in the early part of this season, that drought will most probably last another year. If it does then Arsene Wenger's time at the Emirates Stadium could come to an end.

I know it is too early to make predictions, but I am pretty confident that with this group of players, the Gunners won't be celebrating any silverware by May, 2011.

What baffles me is that Wenger has had several seasons to invest in his squad, but has decided against it. The French manager continues to insist on relying on young players who have won little or nothing in their careers.

It's easy to start from the back when we try to break this down.

Since Jens Lehmann left, Arsenal have been without a top-class goalkeeper – a ‘keeper that can come up with big saves to preserve victories and avoid silly mistakes that cost points.

That keeper is not Manuel Almunia. We all know that and so does Wenger, so why has he not gone out and invested in a new goalie? He courted Mark Schwarzer this summer, but that wouldn't be an intelligent choice looking at the future of the club. So why not go for someone like Fiorentina’s Sebastien Frey, Genoa’s Eduardo or Maarten Stekelenburg of Ajax?

Their defence is also missing a world-class player. Every big club around Europe has an experienced leader at the back, while Arsenal have no-one who fits the bill. Even when William Gallas was there, he was not the team player and the reference point that a young team needed. This summer Wenger brought in Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci, both good players but neither will make or break their season.

Midfield is an area of the pitch where Arsenal are renowned for having some of the most talented players in the English Premier League. This is the engine room where many say the best football in England is created. I agree the Gunners have many skillful players and Cesc Fabregas is a fantastic footballer. But there has been a key piece missing in the center of the park since Patrick Vieira, a defensive midfielder par excellence, left the club.

In order for Cesc to blossom he needs someone to cover his tracks. At Barcelona, Xavi has Sergio Busquets. At Inter Milan, Wesley Sneijder has Esteban Cambiasso. But who does Fabregas have? Alex Song. A talented young player for sure but he lacks the character and strength to do the job against the top teams on the continent.

Up front, it's a similar story: a lot of style but not much substance. Robin van Persie is a top player but he's not a pure striker who will get 20 goals per season. Andrei Arshavin blows hot and cold and you never know if you are going to get an inspiring or frustrating performance from the Russian international.

Marouane Chamakh was signed this season and he has added some much needed muscle but is still not the reliable forward player this team needs at the highest level.

So what has to be done? Wenger must realize he may have to start from scratch after this season ends. He may have to sell his fringe players and bring in two or three established internationals that can gel with the talented youngsters in the squad and create a winning side. If he doesn't do it fast, the Frenchman may be heading for the exit door when the board realizes the trophy drought has gone on for too long.

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soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. Anthony

    Pedro, I agree with you in part. Arshavin is highly unpredictable and Chamakh in my opinion is weak and not the kind of Striker Arsenal would need to win a trophy. With regards to Almunia, I actually disagree with Almunia is fast becoming a penalty stopper and in the field of play he is mostly exposed by the defense. Arsenal's defense is the weakest of the top flight teams. Gibbs in my opinion is better than Clichy but the French Manager keeps planning the French left back. Wenger keep going for weaker guys when what he actually needs is at least two to three Drugba type brute-force with technical skills to give some dimensions to his team. He should also stop looking outside the Premiership for players - there are far better players in the Premiership that could have taken the position of Chamakh and the other recent new comers.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  2. Oluremi

    It looks like most guys are missing the point. Arsenal is a business, period. The others are winning trophies and Arsenal is winning the money game. Wait until the others are aground and Arsenal can pick them clean of their players. The vulture is a patient bird....

    September 27, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  3. Felix Lau

    When I became an Arsenal fan, at the time, they have Bould, Adams & Dixon at the back, and with Platt and Petit in the mid-field. These are proven experience players that didn't make mistake often. They might not be the best of their time, but they are very reliable players. With these player at the back, the Ian Wright and Bergkemp could go forward without worry what would happen if they lost the ball upfront.

    Today Arsenal players may be better technically, except comparing to Bergkamp of course, but they make mistakes far too often. And they always caught when they lost the ball in the midfield. I really miss the time when we had Petit and Vieira.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  4. Ashraf

    It's easy to compare Wenger with his peers and castrate him for not winning any trophies for the past five years but you have to remember that,compared to Chelsea and Manchester United,Wenger had limited funds for transfers and was basically forced to built a team around young,inexperienced players.The club had no money for big name signings and he took up the challenge to see what he could do with a small budget.True,they never won anything but at least he showed the rest of Europe what could be achieved with limited transfer funds.Would Jose Mourinho or Alex Ferguson take up the challenge and be able to build a competitive squad with limited funds?I don't think so.Wenger should in fact be commended for what he's achieved under these circumstances.Maybe the likes of Mourhinho would simply have walked away.....

    September 27, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  5. paco

    I totally concur . For all his guile and genius AW has shown uncharacteristic obstinacy bordering on stupidity whenever the issue of bolstering the great Arsenal squad is concerned. What was once a fearsome squad is peppered with lily-livered weaklings who have no heart to scrap out a victory , no lion-hearted performances at all from this lot and its all down to the manager's failure to weed out the rotten elements and buy quality players while at the same time mentoring the up coming , fledgling talent.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  6. phil

    ...so long arsene w

    September 27, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  7. Alistair

    Ummmm Pedro.... no, just no really.

    Wenger needs 1 change to have a successful year and as everyone can clearly see, its the freakin GK.

    He appears to have that position completely backwards. I feel, along with 99% of Arsenal fans that Mannone or the Wojciech Szczesny should start. Alum and flappyhandski are not Arsenal worthy.

    I feel really bad for Mannone, who after a shaky first ten minutes in his first game for Arsenal, a CL game at that, was almost unbeatable. He started for what felt like 6 weeks and then got benched.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  8. saliu mojeed

    As an Arsenal fan, is time the 'professor' spend the money on player that can play 30+ games in a season rather than players that shows flashes in 10 games in a season or be prepare to leave.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  9. Jude egbuchulam

    Well sald about wenger
    & his arsenal teams but let me as you? Are you a couch what is your qulifition in foot ball compair to wenger let me as you again how manying year did it take chelsea to win the premeir leauge b4 muorihu was in change my friend live wenger alone don,t sald what you don,t know if it take 10 year 4 wenger to bring cup to arsenal that is no problem 4 us arsenal fans

    September 27, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  10. zaouli bi irie paul

    This squad is never going to win a trophy until wenger changes his mind.Talents arn't always the magic recipe to win, we need experienced players with strong caracters in order to build a very good team

    September 27, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  11. Sameer

    While I enjoy seeing mainstream news publications focus on soccer, I have to say this article is poorly written. I do agree with your analysis of the team (except there is no reference to Vermaelen who is argubly one of the best CB in the premier league). A few points worth considering which brings the article more in touch with reality:

    1. The bank vault was locked for Wenger for the early part of the last 5 years (i.e., the time since he last won a trophy). This was due to the stadium expansion. Now that the bank is open, I think some credit should be given to Wenger for selecting his targets carefully. If teams like Man City and Chelsea (though not for the last couple of years) continue buying players at outrageous prices, football as we know it will suffer. Should he buy more players? Yes. But buying players is not just about writing checks.

    2. While Arsenal have not won a trophy in the last 5 years, who has won? Only ManU and Chelsea have won the title in the last 5 years. Actually, since 1996, only Chelsea, ManU and Arsenal have won the title. FA Cup: Since Arsenal last won, only Chelsea and Liverpool have won (oh yeah, Portsmouth too). Is this an excuse? No. However, relative to other teams, I think Arsenal are doing well given the dominance of ManU and Chelsea (and their ability to spend money).

    3. Replacement. Its unbelievable that people think Arsene should leave. Who is going to replace him and do better? Outside of Sir Alex, he is the best manager in England and definately in the top 5 for club managers (alex, pep, jose and one to spare).

    Despite my criticism, please keep the articles coming...very interesting.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  12. Philip

    They've lost one game. They are third. I wouldn't make such a big fuss of early days.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  13. david

    Pedro is quite right. Arsene Wenger is taking too much of a gamble with the young players which may not work out for him and Arsenal. He better strengthen the team with one or two mature players to up their game or incur the displeasure of the board.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  14. Matt

    Every one always writes Arsenal off at the beginning of the season. It must be said they've been hit with injuries as always. With Van Persie, Walcott, Fabregas and Vermaelen Arsenal are a different side than last weekend. Still lacking a world-class goal keeper but it is too early to write them off.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  15. Frank

    "Goalie" sounds so American... let's say "goalkeeper", shall we?

    There are two very good reasons why this situation (reliance on youth, bargain spending, and reluctance to purchase established stars) has continued. Firstly, Arsene appears to enjoy act of attempting to put together a team from scratch ...maybe he sees it as something as a fantasy, but he clearly want's to develop youth to fit his style of expansive, free-flowing football, so to Arsene, big spending must be undertaken sparingly.

    But secondly, and most importantly, Arsenal are run like a business more so than other clubs (I'm thinking of Chelski in particular). The board and investors see a full stadium on almost every matchday (the only exceptions seem to be the odd league cup tie) and people buying shirts and other items in droves. Coupled with the revenue that is coming in from property investments (anyone who walks around N5 and N7 will see that Arsenal own a great deal of property), make the club a profitable enterprise. If they attempted to purchase like Real Madrid or Chelski and spent 100+ million each summer on dead wood, then that would eat into that profit. The board and investors love this to death, so why worry about what supporters want when the money continues to pile in? Therefore, the board and investors love Arsene and won't let him go.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  16. Fred

    You right about the keeper situation but the rest is just plain wrong.

    Arsenal got Thomas Vermaelen in the central defence – simply a world class player.

    Song is the replacement for Viera and he is one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League.

    And Arsenal don't need a pure striker because of the system they are playing. Look at how many goal they score from midfield – that is not the problem at all.

    Btw Arsene Wenger will never be fired – he is just too good a manager and he has just signed a new contract. My conclusion is you have seen to little of Arsenal playing and listened to too many rubbish pundits.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  17. C.H.A

    I agree with you Pinto. The toddlers arsenal is buying can not win any trophy but if there is a trophy for entertaining the crowd at the emirates then they have already won.

    According to the special one, it the points that count at the end of every match.

    Arsenal must go out and buy Wayne Rooney now if they have to be relevant in the English Premier League.

    Wenger plays much of his football in tabloids as opposed to the pitch and that is why funs at emirates will wait till 2030 to win any trophy.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  18. Uche

    Thanks Pedro. I don't know what is going on at arsenal but it does not seem like the people who run things there are really in it to win. We assume they are but the obvious lack of interest in boosting the squad suggests otherwise. The problem may be more than just wenger. After all, he works for the club and buys players when the Board says so. Sad. What a talented team with lots of potential. One good goal keeper, one solid striker, and one more reliable centre back is all that is needed. Arsenal has the money and can certainly afford it. But like everyone is beginning to realise, the bosses at arsenal are not that bent on winning.

    September 27, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  19. Matt

    A coach without silverware, but a coach with record profits. Sounds like a relatively good problem to have, all things considered. Who would replace him, at what cost, and with what guarantee of return?

    September 27, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  20. hanson

    I totally agree with you Pedro, i`m just amused you guys at world sport are only just begining to realise this.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  21. naeem

    I believe wenger lacks investment just becz of the reason that club is in hands of multi milliionaire business who just want to gain profits for themselves then to bring some success at club...these invester are capable doing this all just just becz of AW...I dont thhink any other manager can stay or survive at emirates with funds availble to him.I believe the best thin is to sell the share to fans as it in real madrid...

    September 27, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  22. dmac

    You no nothing about the arsenal, or football for that matter. Wenger at the beginning of this season signed a contact extension. You should get your facts straight poor journalism.
    I cant wait until this team wins something this season and shut you all pros on whats good for arsenal up. Arsenal is a big club with many constraints over the pass few season, no club could sustain our level given the constraints. There are many other clubs around the would in a worst position than arsenal i hear nothing for you lot about them. Please you all Leave my team alone go comment on the purchasing power of Chelsea and the debt riddled Barcelona.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  23. q

    ARSEN BEST

    September 27, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  24. Josh S

    This is an absolutely ridiculous article. Wenger has just signed a contract extension, so they're obviously fine with what he's doing at the club. Agree with you about the "Goal Keeper" and the "Defenders". Start from scratch though? Pretty easy to write that from where ever you are sitting as you were probably sipping on a coffee and just reading the results from the weekend. Maybe I should have googled or wikipedia-ed "Pedro Pinto" to see you're professional CV to see how many years you've played football at the top or managed, but I believe you're article is a bit off the mark. Wenger does however need to be a bit more mindful of his player selection as the talent is there to get results and win trophies. Bear this in mind, the English Premier League is really good and wins don't come easy. Ask, Chelsea and Man United how their weekends went. Three dropped points from the Gunners and the shock of the league so far means the writers around the world of football are going on a witch hunt at the Emirates Stadium. We'll be seeing articles like this until January.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  25. uche

    i think wenger has a problem of spending. players like diaby need to go on loan. a close look at last weekends game, Arsenal would have had the day if not for the late inclsion of Rozicky and wilshere. i understand wenger and the and his idea of wanting to preventing more injuries. but last weekends game wasnt good at all. i still have fate in him., and i believe we wood get trofies this season

    September 27, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  26. Kaden

    This opinion by Pedro Pinto on Arsenal is right on point and really needs no nuclear scientist to say. With the crop of players Wenger has put out in the last five years, we are left to wonder if Arsenal football about making record breaking profits at the expense of winning trophies.
    More worrisome is the fact that the board of the club seem the least bothered by this drought. So far the money keeps coming in, no problems!
    But how about the fans, season ticket holders, jersey buyers, the people who make money this club, do the manager and management care about them?
    supporting a club that you know will definitely break your heart must be the height of loyalty. I salute fans of Arsenal football club.
    To the management, the fans wont be their for much longer

    September 27, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  27. E

    Let the Arsenal bashing begin folks brought to you by CNN. Arsenal is one the most profitable and inspiring clubs in Premier League even though when they don't win any silverware, all board members know that!

    Now from a supporter point of view, it may be frustrating offcourse. But I am shocked and disgusted by Pinto's personal attacks on Arsenal. Name me a team who has won silverware every year since 1900.

    Pinto stick with golf....

    September 27, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  28. uche

    Wenger is a good coach, and i believe in his tactics. i just hope we get in win at Chelsea

    September 27, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  29. Colin Watts

    Arsenal invested heavily in a new stadium, training facilities and youth policy. Eventually this investment will reap huge rewards, the income just from the executive seating in the new stadium outstrips the income of the entire old Highbury ground! The legacy of Wenger will be appreciated far more in the future than the previous five years trophy drought.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  30. The Marcster

    Wow, insightful article, almost a verbatim regurgitation of what every pundit in blighty has been saying. The author of this fluff is a true paragon of originality.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  31. LANI

    The fact you are 100% right & perhaps its time for change. As six yrs is way too long even for die hard gunners....

    September 27, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  32. Julien mMitchell

    If Arsenal do not win anything this season, Arsene Wenger still deserves his job. Let me explain.

    The Gunners are in good financial condition, due to Wenger's astute mind in the transfer market, for the top teams in this country, securing a champions league place is way more important than winning the FA or League cup.

    If Arsenal go and blow all their money on a few players, end the trophy drought, but find themselves in a financial crunch, what goos will that FA cup be to them? Yes they will have a trophy, but also so much debt that in the years to come they wont be seen, portsmouth are a prime example, FA cup winners a few years ago, won more trophies than Arsenal in the last 4 years, but i know which team i'd rather be a part of right now.

    In this modern day state of football, maintaining financial stability has become a priority.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  33. vince k

    i take it this pedro pinto character isn't a gunners fan. probably follows spurs.

    it's because of wenger's philosophy that arsenal recently announced that they turned a profit. they're paying off debt. you think that "the board" will pay more attention to trophies. you're nuts. and "Wenger must realize he may have to start from scratch after this season ends". what are you talking about?

    this is a horrible article, quite obviously overlooked by the editor. you can't make such statements after a few games "in the early part of this season". interestingly, i remember the gunners have won matches by 5 or 6 goals. they draw at anfield, and last week's WBA match was apparently a glitch. chelsea lost last weekend in a lame match, who knows what's going on with man u. so who do you think will win trophies?

    granted, gunners need a consistent keeper. but the fact remains that almunia has made some great saves and some gutsy decisions. if the 10 in front of him played better, like vs WBA, we would never have a conversation about him.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:08 pm | Reply
  34. Isah

    for sure pedro pinto you said the truth this guy is just raising young players and when they get better and become talented the giants of europe such as barcelona,realmadrid,ac milan,intermilan etc snatch them and left him with another plan.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  35. adam

    everthing youve written here is 120% true.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  36. sim

    You'll be eating your words come end of the season. Just look at Arsenal's finances now and the young but experience squad they've now. Minus the injured players and Arsenal still have a squad that that beat anyone in the league. They aren't too far off now anyway.
    Guess CNN's not the place to come for football news/analysis.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:56 pm | Reply
  37. alehandro

    Predictions like this are ridiculous this early in the season. Apart from Chelsea, no-one has looked like a worthy champion so far, and even Chelsea have started to stutter. So it's clearly anyone's ball game as far as the league goes. Arsenal still have a shot in four competitons, and could easily have a good run in the F.A Cup or Carling Cup to leave you and others who've already written them off with egg on your face. Wenger hasn't produced a trophy-winning side for 5 years simply because he hasn't sold his soul by throwing money at the problem like the other instant glory hunters. Could the team do with strengthening? Couldn't every team? But Arsenal are solvent, play attractive entertaining football, and make the Champions League every season. That would be a dream for 17 of the other 20 teams in the Premier League, and I think the Arsenal board and the real Gunners fans are smart enough to recognize that, however much doubters like you try to stir the pot.

    September 27, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  38. donald

    pedro u are spot on

    September 27, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  39. Mateusz Macierzynski

    I think you're exaggerateing a little Mr. Pinto. Fine, they lost at home to West Brom and I put the blame entirely on Wenger. It's no secret that Almunia is a poor keeper and the fact that Arsene keeps playing him is nothing short of mind-boggling.
    One bad game doesn't mean the season is over though, or does it?

    September 27, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  40. James

    Yes Arsenal need a top class goalkeeper, and i agree the three you mentioned would have been better alternatives to the present goalkeepers.

    But, you haven't mentioned that Arsenal have produced record profits and are getting closer to wiping off the debt acquired by building the Emirates. Finanically, Arsenal are the most stable best run club in the Premier and the best equipped club to compete in the next 50 years.
    What Arsene has done is remarkable; the gunners have been competing over these past few years on a shoe-string budget and have produced great youngsters like Wilshere. Arsenal did get to final of the Champions League don't forget and they have been competing domestically against Manyoo and Chelski who aren't pushovers.

    I wouldn't swap Wenger for any other manager, even if we don't win anything this year.

    September 27, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Reply
  41. Mark

    Pedro, I agree with some of the things that you have said but I don't agree with this being Wenger's last season if he does not produce the goods. It is obvious that the board are happy for Arsenal FC to continue to reach the top 4 thus qualifying for the Champions League because this brings in the £££. Yes, every Arsenal fan knows we need a new GK and I for one can not understand why a new GK was not purchased. I also do not agree with you on the defence issue. It is true that we don't have a world class defender but I and most AFC fans have seen what Thomas V is like, he is still quite young and can become a world class defender. The same goes for Laurent Koscielny.
    So, to put it bluntly, start watching AFC play and then make your predictions

    September 27, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  42. Robert Parks

    If you just throw out five years without a trophy it sounds bad. But lets compare Apples to Apples and Oranges to Oranges. Liverpool who have won the FA Cup and the Champions Lg. Any true Arsenal fan would choose Arsenal's current state vs. those of Man Utd. and Liverpool.

    September 27, 2010 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  43. Ankur Aggarwal

    I don't agree with the article at all... It is being too critical of Arsenal, If we even go by the writer's view in which Arsenal have just one Great player – Cesc and rest are ordinary I don't think so Arsenal has done very bad this season, rather clubs like Manu and Liverpool who have "Sacred" players like Rooney, Gerrard, Torres have performed worse – on the contrary Arsenal has performed well on all the fronts – Carling Cup ( Beat Spurs 1-4) , Champions League – (Opened with a 6-1 Win), haven't been bad either in the EPL as have scored a decent number of goals had two setbacks in last 2 games but apart from that they have been top class. More than BAD players, AVG Management i guess Arsenal has been a victim of injuries which have kept them devoid of players like Robin Van Persie, Eboue, Nasri for major part of the season. Yes I agree Arsenal can do with a better keeper but apart from that I believe the squad is good enough to win any trophy.

    September 27, 2010 at 8:30 pm | Reply
  44. Seth

    I really hate to agree with you Pedro but you are bang on. When they are hot, there is no team in the world that can beat them but they lack those few key players that are requried for the consistency that a championship team must possess. I am truly desperate for them to bring home a trophy before el Cesc departs but I am afraid it will not be so.

    September 27, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Reply
  45. Richie K

    I am not an Arsenal fan, although i enjoy watching their entertaining style of play.
    As a Leeds United fan, who experienced his club reach the dizzying heights of the champions league semi-final and then later get relegated because of some financial miscalculations from which we have never quite recovered, i say leave Asene Wenger alone!

    You measure success & failure by goals: and his goal may very well be to stay in english top 4 & play as much cash-money football (i.e. champions league) as possible – while u think his goal is to win things.

    If thats the case, he may be achieving all his goals – while laughing at his critics, all the way to the bank!

    September 27, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  46. sumer

    Wenger going out?, sorry, i disagree on that with you. By Wenger's own admission, he didnt recognise the team that played against WBA, so i believe it is and will be a one off performance this season. Yes, he could have bought a GK, but now that he has not, as a gunner, i believe that we need to rally behind the team and show support. Overall i believe it is a touch early to talk in terms of who will be the champions, especially after last week's performance. Go Gunners!!!

    September 27, 2010 at 10:08 pm | Reply
  47. gooner from mogadisho

    i wonder when arsenal is goin to be serous about winning a trophy
    they need to fire this looser iam tired of havin heart attacks every game.... what a looser idon't like this coach he is looser.. all about money.. iwant a winer like THE SPECIAL ONE JOSE MOURINO..

    September 28, 2010 at 12:43 am | Reply
  48. Neil

    The pain is felt by the die hard gooners like myself. It seems like Arsenal is run more like a business and property company than like a football club. Yesterday's full year results reveals we are one of the most profitable club in the world. And probably Wenger is rewarded for finishing top 3 in the Premier League and staying in the Champions League + selling players for multiples of their original buying fee. So if one evaluates Wenger for the returns he has brought his Russian and Turkish owners, then he has done well. But then fans and investors have always been strange bedfellows !!!

    September 28, 2010 at 5:08 am | Reply
  49. Edwin

    very truthfull.. You are good..

    September 28, 2010 at 6:48 am | Reply
  50. Joseph Lim

    Sergio Asenjo would be perfect for the Gunners.

    September 28, 2010 at 6:49 am | Reply
  51. sunny

    What a beautiful analysis
    On so many points i do agree with you,but there is one basic point you are missing,and that is the issue of survival.!!
    World soccer financially is in a crisis,more than the governing bodies are willing to aknowledge for obvious reasons.
    Why do i point this out ? Well, Arsene Wenger's policy of relying on young and relatively cheap players has made Arsenal one of the healthiest football clubs in the world today.
    so what should he do? exchange this for trophies? i think a sound thinking buisness man will say no. no offence intended -)
    I believe he should get in one or two more experienced players,(infact all the positions you proposed i agree!!) but for once not sell the best, and at the same time not break the bank.
    The most difficult task as a trainer is creating or improving players,the easiest task? (well sometimes) is buy stars and mix them up to get success,even then you are not guaranteed of trophies,ask REAL MADRID.
    Arsene Wenger Creates and improves players. He is unfortunately part of a dying breed.
    Please keep up the good work and cheers!!!

    September 28, 2010 at 9:04 am | Reply
  52. Treon T

    Thanks for the blog Pedro and for most part i agree with you. Arsenal are but a shadow of the team that won the league in 2004 (even though its just been six years it seems like eternity). I'm not sure where or when Wenger lost the plot, but i think it was soon after moving to the Emirates. The man is stubborn and frankly i have no clue what he is trying to achieve. Sure, we've made it to the Champions league season after season but is that enough for one of Europe's biggest? I doubt it.
    I am a die hard Arsenal supporter and i am so sick of Arsene Wenger, which right thinking manager of a top football team would replace legends like Henry, Viera, Pires with a group of teens who are talented but knew nothing about winning. Year after year its the same lame excuse, of Arsenal being a young team. These guys are all in their mid 20s or close to it and have enough experience playing in the top flight, the fact is that they know nothing about winning. There are four things Arsenal need and this year itself, in the Jan transfer window so be it

    1. A top class striker that can smash in 20-30 goals a season
    2. Another central defender,
    3. A World Class GK...Shay Given maybe?
    4. Time for Arsenal to splash the cash

    And to all Arsenal fans out there who still believe 'In Arsene We Trust' Please ask yourself one question, would any major euro football team tolerate the kind of failure that Arsenal have had for season after season? Or would they go out and do something about it, think along the lines of Bayern, Inter, Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, AC Milan.
    Its high time something changes at the Emirates.

    September 28, 2010 at 9:36 am | Reply
  53. arash

    I'm agree with this news 100%

    September 28, 2010 at 9:57 am | Reply
  54. zizou2006

    Ok so you want to replace Arsene Wenger but then who on earth do you think could do better than him for the Gunners ? The problem with Arsenal at the moment is not the manager but the policy about selling players when they are coming up. I am pretty sure that Arsenal will sell Fabregas next season to Barcelona and for a very handsome amount of money as well. If Arsenal needs to win a trophy they need to change their transfer policy. But still Arsenal are making very good money compared to other English Clubs but the problem is they need to finish off their loans before they really start to prosper from what they sell

    September 28, 2010 at 10:04 am | Reply
  55. gideon githu

    It is realy true,he had all the time to organise the club but he did not and so he better be on his mark's

    September 28, 2010 at 10:42 am | Reply
  56. napong

    apart of the goalkeeper part (which is an universal truth) it seems the rest of the article is waaay off the mark. to name a few, Laurent Koscielny and Sebastien Squillaci are two acquisitions that will make or break the season. Have you even realized how many centerbacks left the club during the summer? secondly, Robin is not reaching the goal and assist targets because he's made of glass not because he's not an out-and-out striker. and with regard to Marouane, the lad has not even been playing for 3 months and has done well in almost every game he played. we're a bit quick to judge aren't we?

    September 28, 2010 at 10:49 am | Reply
  57. zacaveli

    the cup is coming to emirates this season.. bliv dat

    September 28, 2010 at 11:21 am | Reply
  58. Milseán

    It baffles you, does it? Tell me, if Wenger had spent millions upon millions on players and won the odd trophy, how likely would it be that Arsenal's debt would be as low as it is? The £230 million that the club owes on the stadium costs is in deep contrast to the multiples of this figure owed by Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool. As well as the inevitable mess that will be left behind at Manchester City one day. When the race to build the largest debt finally takes its victims down, Arsenal will be left standing. It's important to take the long view.

    He also did try to sign a goalie. Shay Given has no ambition and Manchester City will not sell him to Arsenal. Frey is not that good.

    September 28, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  59. Gatien Adrien

    Hey Pedro I think you forgot a bit too quickly this great defensive midfielder that covers tracks and is capable of taking the ball up 40 meters and make a decent pass who, guess what, plays for Arsenal ! I think you could have come up with his name instead of a lousy Alex Song ... (you'll have noticed I don't even bother to say his name😉

    September 28, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  60. Alfred Liew

    I'm an Arsenal fan. Naturally I want them to win trophies with top class players. Yet I admire Wenger, his staffs and some of the board members. Simply because Arsenal is good business. Debt is well managed, they made rational purchase decisions and yet continue to yield top quality performance from the young players. Wenger is no fool. Only a fool who knows nothing about running a business will write him off.

    September 28, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  61. Mars

    It's a beautiful answer for Gunners,but i think every team has its low tide,they need time.And i will support them for ever ,because i like Wenger,Fabregas,Henry,Vieira!!!!!Come on Gunners!!you are the kings in the future

    September 28, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  62. aik

    Arsene wenger is still one of the best managers in the world,both on and off the football pitch.
    Lets be patient and we(ARSENAL FANS)will be highly rewarded.we need a good goalkeeper and maybe another CB,But we will never pay for overpriced players.just look at liverpool,man united,west ham and even chelsea(who no longer splash money like no tommorow).
    UP ARSENAL,UP WENGER(THE MOST INTELLIGENT MANAGER OF THE ENGLISH PERMIER LEAGUE.

    September 28, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  63. Ahad

    I have to admit, CNN isnt well known for its analysing skill when it comes to soccer (Its actually football). You need to compare the amount the Prof spends a year and the success that he achieves. For some people, its all about winning the trophy. What about getting into the CL every year. How about the quality of football that Arsenal produce and the fact that it is one of the only clubs that arent like the banks in Wallstreet (taking debt that they cant pay for).
    As an arsenal fan, i am appalled by aparent Analysts who clearly look at everything in a one dimensional way. Time running out? for what?
    The only thing wenger did wrong this year was not get the Keeper, other then that i think the squad is very good.

    September 28, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  64. marcos from Brazil

    Please just point me ONE better manager than Arsene Wenger... All the others mentioned are good, but only with loads cash of money to back them up... Mr Wenger is the brightest manager in the game and if u guys who think I am wrong just put a little think on what I just wrote and please learn more about football because clearly u don't know anything about this subject.

    September 30, 2010 at 11:00 am | Reply
  65. joe dede

    Pedro, it is quite obvious that a club should always aspire to win trophies. passing judgement after 6-7 games hardly adds to failure. Let us look at it. Footballers have to mature, and as such they cannot be rushed. Secondly, if Arsenal were to adopt a 'chelsea' like strategy they would be seriously in debt. it's okay to buy big one season win trophies over 2 seasons, then clear out and start again.

    i too had been critical of Wenger's refusal to spend. We are in a better financial shape than most ( if not all the clubs, except maybe Man City). We will not go bust. While you believe that only Fabregas is the main player, there is Walcott, Arshavin, and even Wilshere, as well as Jack ramsey. We are building for the future, and sometimes like a housebeing developed the object is 'prudence' NOT exuberance and debt like Pedro is advocating that Arsenal follows. You seem to forget that there are very few teams that have been consistently in the top 4 like Arsenal have in the last 10 years.......

    September 30, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Reply
  66. joe dede

    Pedro, You talk a very good game. I hope your insight extends to having a business acumen as well as an eye for talent. This is what footbal is about in the 21st century, not excessive spending and 'short-sighted' predictions made on whim and without the right information and analysis.
    A prediction like that after 6-7 games is at best that.

    September 30, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Reply
  67. Alex

    This "article" is way biased and way off. Vermaelen is a leader at the back and world class. Alex Song has become one of the best defensive mids in the Premier League. And Chamakh has scored 4 goals and had 3 assists in 9 games. Exactly, how is that not quality? We need a new goal-keeper and to stop having such injury plagued seasons.

    Arsenal doesn't splurge with the cash because we are a financially sound club with a huge debt from the Emirates. Sure, its a little frustrating for the fans, but at least our club won't go down in flames like Man Utd or Liverpool in the near future, who are struggling just to pay interest on their debts.

    Basically, the article writer is an idiot. Go watch more baseball or whatever you are used to covering.

    September 30, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  68. Bello Taofeek

    It is a well establish fact that Arsene Wenger is the problem confronting Arsenal Fc. For the past five seasons he has failed to invest in big players and even find it difficult replacing the old invincible Arsenal squad. Its even more frustrating to we the fans who continues to support the club despite pressure to shift loyalty to another club. I appeal to the BOARD to pls put pressure on Wenger to win trophy this time around or face the music.

    September 30, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  69. Twinamatsiko Julius-Uganda

    I my self , I think that Arsenal as a club has been struggling looking for money of emirates stadium, I think that Arsenal will buy Beautiful players as we are in need of them. FOR me I think that Arsenal will be a most powerful Team in Europe.

    October 1, 2010 at 9:17 am | Reply
  70. Kerry

    The only problem with defense was squillaci. Wenger should have just picked up koscielney or squillaci, not both.

    The midfield is fine but they need to look for a midfielder with the passing ability and vision of Fabregas in case he leaves. Wilshire will someday be that man. But he is too young and inexperienced, and this is the key part, for that role.

    As for strikers, Van Persie is just not reliable. He's reportedly a lazy trainer and thus he suffers injuries when pushed to the limit. He's notorious for his attitude problems as well. That's not the type you want up front. Of all the traits Wenger should looking for in a replacement, the highest should be composure and discipline. As Van persie's injuries show, it pays dividends.

    October 2, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  71. Kerry

    @oluremi: You're right. A lot don't know this, but Wenger holds a masters in Economics. For all the criticisms of no silverware since the 2005 FA Cup, Wenger has fielded a team that has finished in the top four every year since then. Keep in mind this has occured after they lost Jens Lehmann, Patrick Viera, Thierry Henry, and Adebayor. All the while, the young prospects are starting to develop. Look at Wilshere and Walcott. He has done this while paying off the shiny new stadium.

    October 2, 2010 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  72. gunner49

    Arsene W is d best around. 4all u Arsene haters when all d big clubs have 2 sell thier best players , because of big depts . we won't have dat problem 4 all u who think gunner need 2 replace him r insane,all d clubs all over europe , line up 4 him including Man U and Chelski. HE IS D BEST HE HAS A BRAIN 4 BUSNESS AND FOOTBALL

    October 3, 2010 at 3:06 am | Reply
  73. Kufre emmanuel

    Arsenals good jst sm balances wenger elapse and sometimes he knows a match he's lost already

    October 5, 2010 at 8:22 am | Reply
  74. Dr. Cajetan Coelho

    The Gunners are firing well. A 3-0 win against the all star Manchester City speaks well for the depth and class of Wenger's young side. Well played Arsenal.

    October 26, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Reply

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