Boss won’t discuss ‘internal’ goings-on

Boss won’t discuss ‘internal’ goings-on

Arsene Wenger has called the increased media spotlight on every aspect of football clubs (not just Arsenal) ‘ridiculous’ and urged the media to concentrate more on what happens on the pitch than what goes on behind the scenes.

In an age when information overload isn’t just a catchphrase, media and fans are rapacious in their desire to know everything little thing about every little thing, and it’s something Wenger is keen not to get drawn into.

Quizzed at his press conference about whether or not he’d called the team together for ‘crisis talks’, the manager said, “I don’t talk about what happens inside. We live in a world where you don’t have to come into our sleeping room to know what happens.

“We inform you but don’t forget that your job is first to judge us on what we do on the football pitch and not what we do inside. I think it’s become a bit ridiculous now that every single moment of a football club has to be absolutely public.

“We have to stand up for bad performances but not for everything we do inside the club.”

But when asked about the emergence of a photograph from the dressing room at the training ground which showed the internal fines structure, the boss showed a little more sangfroid.

“You cannot keep anything inside anymore, it’s frustrating because I feel you have a right to privacy inside the dressing room and when that is not respected it’s disappointing.

“But in this case, I think it was not malicious, it is more innocent. The intention counts for me and I don’t think the intention was anything bad.”

He also found time to explain why it was Per Mertesacker who was tasked with collecting fines:

“The Germans do well economically and we respect that. They’re the only ones who make money in Europe and that’s why we’ve chosen a German!”

As frustrating as he is, he’s still a great man for a one-liner.

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77 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t understand why Squillaci wasn’t tasked with collecting the fines. After all, picking up the cones after the players train only takes a few minutes and he’s already completed Frogger on hard mode, the poor chap’s at a loose end!

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  2. What’s goes on at this club is the complete opposite of being public, the fans have no idea what’s going on from one day to the next. The CEO says one thing, arsene say another then days later the mantra changes again.
    Lies and half truths is a sad way to treat the fans. But they will turn and bite this board and manager on the arse at some point.

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    • Hmmm, who is giving you thumbs down for this post?
      6 of them…
      Wenger, Kronken, Gazidis, Bould, Primorac and Rice (Wenger called him).
      :)

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    • I think they made the calculation that the fans would find the truth even worse than the obfuscation. I mentioned something along these lines in the arses yesterday, so a quick recap:

      If you look at the club finances, the most obvious interpretation is that the club decided that in order to compensate for a stagnant revenue stream (long-term sponsorship deals), it would be prepared to use transfer policy – i.e. selling players – as a lever to help pay for the rising wage bill.

      Admitting this openly would in turn require admitting that the club was prepared to sacrifice the ability to win anything until 2014, when the club would get new, more lucrative commercial deals, and that in the meantime it was aiming for nothing more than Wenger keeping up his seemingly magical ability to get Arsenal into the Champions League year after year.

      Would the fans have accepted such a stark explanation? Hard to say… I’d say probably not. Either way, it’s pretty obvious that things have gone a bit pear-shaped now, which probably has to do with one or both of two things:
      (1) the club and probably Wenger himself overestimated the manager’s ability to get by on a shoestring;
      (2) expenses (i.e. wages) rose quicker than the board had anticipated, meaning that the club found itself under more (self-imposed) pressure to sell players.

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      • Then why say we have substantial funds available and we are now in a position to compete with top clubs in the transfer market.
        I understand what you are saying and maybe the truth wouldn’t go down much better, but when we get statements saying we have money and then don’t spend it, I’m not sure why some people are surprised when some fans then get the hump. Mixed messages coming form the club are doing them no favours.

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      • Well, the way I see it, they’re not telling strictly untruths when they talk about having substantial funds. The club does have cash reserves, and it could conceivably spend some (although not all) of them on transfers if it really wanted to, but its plan appears to be to “keep the powder dry” for as long as possible. Of course, with the team turning out mediocre performances on the pitch, this seems to be turning into a high-stakes gamble.

        To be clear, I don’t intend my comments as a defence of either the club’s strategy or the way it has communicated with the fans, per se. See it as my attempt to provide a plausible (though admittedly incomplete) explanation for what we’ve seen from the club.

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      • @Cyril Washbrook – would the fans accept such a stark explanation? Sure they would if it was presented as part of the Gazidis-style fairytale. Tens of thousands of fans bought into the rhetoric about our superior prudence and morality. Fans will buy into anything that raises their spirits and gives them some hope for the future. What’s a few years of hardship when we’ve got moral right on our side? Besides, the hardship wouldn’t be lasting for long as Chelsea would soon be doing a Leeds and imploding in a puff of black smoke, and with the coming of FFP and our new and superior sponship deals we alone in the league would be solvent and able to compete. Lots of fans still believe this.

        Would they accept that there’s been a bad cock-up? I think so. I think many fans would be OK with an honest mistake. What they’re going to find harder to swallow is that they’ve sold a big lie in the jam-tomorrow fairytale about our club doing things the prudent and morally right way, in contrast to the irresponsible sugar-daddy owners who’ll shortly be getting their just desserts.

        The truth is, we’re not short of money because we chose to be more virtuous than Chelsea. We’re short of money because Kroenke is poor and reluctant to invest in the club and because he won’t cooperate with his co-owner. We’re in a bad fix because Hill-Wood backed the wrong horse. With each passing year that fix is getting harder to remedy and we’re slipping a little further behind.

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      • Truth is more players will leave Arsenal, we won’t replace with like and the Arsenal media team will use online blogs to spread propaganda of such players being “cunts”.

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    • You’re right, even the most loyal of fans are soon going turn on the club. In fact they’re already staying away in worrying numbers – plenty of tickets available on general release for Liverpool.

      You have to ask yourself what the club has to hide if it doesn’t believe honesty and transparency is the best way to keep the fan base onside. I’m not suggesting we should reveal our transfer targets to our rivals; in fact the sooner arsenal dot com stops reporting transfer rumours from the tabloids the better, imo, as that kind of tacky cheerleading just leaves fans feeling the club is taking the piss.

      What most fans want is information, even if that information is depressing. Was there money available last summer? If yes, why did Gazidis and Wenger tell Van Persie it wouldn’t be used to strengthen the squad? If no, where’s it all gone? It’s the feeling that you’re being lied to and treated as a halfwitted cash-cow that gets up people’s noses. Won’t be long before the Emirates is an extremely expensive white elephant if the club doesn’t buck up its PR.

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  3. AW is correct about one thing. The amount of detail made public by players and agents surrounding recent transfers and contract negotiations at Arsenal Football Club is simply unacceptable. Is there any other club forced to conduct its business in so public a way as us? And, maddeningly, usually by our own players or their agents. This is unacceptable behaviour. And while I’m at it, Arsenal players “voicing their opinions” on our club is also unacceptable.

    I don’t care if they are “only answering a question put to them” – “I’d rather not talk about that thanks”, is an entirely acceptable (if uncharacteristically dignified , for some) answer to offer if it arises.

    I hope players take note of what the boss says, and conduct themselves with some decorum.

    No, I am not interested in how “hard” the negotiations were on Theo’s granny.

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  4. Getting tetchy Arsene? Maybe it’s because you never signed a player at the start of the transfer window when everyone else did including all of our closest rivals above us, when we were in direst need.

    What. The. Fuck. Is. Going. On. At. Arsenal?

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    • Who should he have signed though? Ba? He’s just Adebayor with a shorter name. Sturridge?

      There’s been no-one signed by any of our rivals that I though: “I wish we had signed him…”

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      • Classic rose tinted glassses. Ba is just another adebayor? Does ade have 14 prem goals and I don’t blame ba for leaving newcastle, he wanted a bigger club. Perhaps more money but isn’t that what football ‘s about today.

        Go away, you excuse making fool.

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      • Let’s be honest here, our rivals don’t need to sign like we do, we have the worst squad of them all. Hence our league position. Our problems are much greater than our rivals’ ATM.

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      • @TR: Which is what makes this even more frustrating. They are already better than we are and they are going out and improving ourselves. Our manager/board are doing fuck all (save for loaning marginal players out so we are even thinner before a run of 4 games in 10 days or whatever it is).

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      • I disagree Frrred. Ba was touted around every club in England by his agent/brother simply looking for a higher wage, and a percentage of the fee. Players like that are trouble. My memory of Adebayor for us was that the fans hated his disloyalty, and his annual “come and get me” routine in the closed season.

        Ba belongs at Chelsea, a “club” who’s philosophy and owner he and his brother couldn’t be more suited to.

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      • There are other players in the world, not just Ba and Sturridge. Our scouting network must be utter shite if we cant find players to improve our current squad.

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      • This Adebayor hate is tiring. Yeah, he is a mercenary footballer playing for sp*rs, and money seems to be the most important thing for him. But hearing arsenal fans singing “Shot in Angola, it should have been you” is so disgusting. It has been 4 years since he left arsenal, get over it.

        Any arsenal supporter singing like that is a disgrace. The same goes with the “She said no” song. Maybe unrelated to the comments. But chants like that needs to stop.

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      • If there are better players than Ba and Sturridge available and willing to change clubs, then we are not alone in not finding them. No one else has either. No one else’s – not just our – scouting setups have found them.

        Like I say, no one that has changed club so far this transfer window have I thought: “I wish he was coming here…”

        They he to be available, they have to be willing to change club.av

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      • @Dave Gooner – I agree no one else has made any particularly enviable signings this window, but that’s hardly surprising since every club knows this is a bad time to buy. The enviable signings get made in the summer; at least they do by the type of clubs who bought Nasri, Cesc and Van Persie from us and who had the sense to trigger Mata’s release clause rather than wasting money on Santos and Park. Why didn’t we make a serious offer for Cavani two summers ago when he was younger and cheaper and at that point just about within our reach? It’s the three past summer windows that are the problem, in my view, not our failure to buy now.

        That said, Mapou for 6m will be a big, big bargain for Newcastle. A central defender may not be what we most need but it’s still painful to see him going elsewhere at that price. Same goes for M’vila. Big risk, bad character, but great player at a price we could afford.

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  5. I am firmly on the band wagon that a change at the helm is required, having said that, I firmly back everything Wenger said above.

    Not EVERYTHING about the club should be in the media.

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  6. This guy definitely breathes Arsenal. God cannot make anyone perfect, maybe that’s why he made this one a little too stubborn.

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  7. “We inform you but don’t forget that your job is first to judge us on what we do on the football pitch and not what we do inside. I think it’s become a bit ridiculous now that every single moment of a football club has to be absolutely public.”

    Exactly because what’s happening on the football pitch, all of us are interested more and more why is like that, so we want a peek inside.
    I mean, we are assuming why is like that but it would be nice to get some confirmation how bad it is.

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  8. We can’t and shouldn’t know all the goings on inside the locker room. That’s just silly. The issue everyone has is there are areas where there should be much better transparency and information coming from AFC and there isn’t. We are watching our club in a downward spiral and nothing seems to be being done about it. We lack true quality and depth in certain positions and we wait for signings but we hear nothing. And Arsene certainly doesn’t help things with the comments he makes from one day to the next that completely contradict each other!

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      • Ummm. Ok, but let’s just look at the names.
        After kolo(our best cb) n gallas(2nd best after kolo), what have we had?
        Senderos. Djourou. Squillaci.
        Still a shaky defence.
        N then we buy kos, and per. Honestly I was expecting a lot from per. But, no. He’s too slow and not good in the air. You would expect him to be good in the air with that size but no, he’s too weak. Slow. N kos, I’m sorry, I’m happy if he just doesn’t score an own goal.
        May be I sound too cynical but we have had this problem in defence ever since kolo and gallas weren’t starting.
        The boss might find it hard to buy another couple of cbs with squilaci, kos n per bought not very long ago.
        But, it’s preety obvious they are not good enough.
        And as a cb pairing, you are only as strong as your weakest link.
        So, I’m sure vermaelen will be twice as good with a partner as good as him.
        I kinda got lost somewhere. Lol.
        But, basically I’ve made my point I guess.
        New signings – one cb please.

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      • Maybe you missed something mate. Because if I remember correctly, kolo and gallas weren’t all that great together and they hated each other. If you had just said ” our defense needs a bit of strengthening, can we please buy hummels” you may have gotten a better response.

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  9. From Wengers point of view it might be better if the media discussed what happens around the club rather than whats happening on the pitch…..

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  10. So, basically, most fellow gooners think we don’t have a problem at the back? Or at least, it’s not our priority problem?
    I’m however, annoyed with per’s inability to use any of his height (not even mentioning how frustratingly slow he is) and kos’s proneness to scoring own goals.
    Wenger, you’ve screwed big on this cb thing.
    Sold kolo, gallas.
    Bought senderos, djourou, squilacci, kos, per.
    Now, sell kos n per as well and let someone else pick a new cb for us.
    I’m still fuming at how we let vertonghen slip and worse, move to spurs.

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    • Senderos was at the club before Gallas… just saying. Not even going to bother telling you what’s wrong with the rest of your statement

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    • Pfft….I know…damn German internationals…

      Or to put it another way, Arsenal play much much better with Per on the pitch than we do when he isn’t playing for us. We are far more assured at the back. That is not coincidence. He has the complete confidence of his team mates, and rightly so. He rarely puts a foot wrong. And while he might not be the paciest, he more than makes up for that with a positional awareness which is frankly second to none..

      Per is superb, and has been pretty much every game since we bought him.

      I also dispute your opinion of Gallas. Flaky.

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      • I was typing a response like this and decided not to bother, you have put this wonderfully. Per is a massively underrated player.

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    • Selling our best defender from last season (Kos), and our best defender this season (Per…but along with Gibbs) sounds like a good idea to u?
      Verm and Sagna are the ones making the most mistakes this season.

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  11. I hear Sneijder has gone to play in Turkey and for a staggering 7 mil.

    He could not have possibly improved Arsenal … not at a staggering 7 mil. We need to save that kind of money to pay to World Class players like Walcott.

    Also Sneijnder could not fit into the Arsenal. He would get in the way of our new style of play of passing the ball around aimlessly, getting caught in possession and not creating any chances. Also he has a good long range shot, but we do not need such players at the team. I mean shoot from distance, why would you want to do that, when you can aimlessly pass it around.

    Its glaringly obvious to everyone that he would only hamper our development as a football team, and get in the way of the direction we are heading into. Further at 28 he would not be the right age either

    Good thing we did not sign him the cheeky little bugger.

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    • Are Galatasary paying Sneijder the 200,000 odd euros a week he was on at Inter?

      It its around that for a 3 year deal, they are taking on a 30 mill euro commitment as well as the transfer fee

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    • right. sneijder was also asking for $1k/week, and was willing to help with the kits part time as well.

      he is not a greedy mercenary. no, he’s not that.

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    • I bet his 200k pr week demand was a turnoff for many clubs….

      The best reason to sign him would have been because he hates Rvp.

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  12. off-topic,

    Gervinho scored a beauty at the ACON against Adebayor’s Togo, sweet.
    Let’s hope he comes back like a champion.

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    • I like Gervinho a lot but we’ve not got the best out of him. Nor out of quite a few others in recent years, some of them (e.g. Arshavin) fairly expensive. Seems to me it’s not – or not only – that we’re now buying bad players; it’s more that we’re misusing them by playing them out of position or in system that’s ill-suited to their particular skills and as a result we’re draining their confidence. Arshavin’s the most extreme example of money wasted, but you could also add Chamakh and, so far, Gervinho and Giroud, all of whom had an impressive scoring record before they arrived.

      There’s something scarily directionless about our transfer policy these days. It’s like we’re always on the back foot, reacting to events (usually departures) rather than planning for the future and using our limited resources in a proactive way. Too many stop-gap second-rate or elderly players with poor injury records and we’re going to be in right mess a few years down the line.

      Still upset at the thought of Mbiwa going to Newcastle for 6m.

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  13. Just fucking buy someone,,,i don’t give a fuck who it is, it would give us all a lift to battle on for fouth spot, i can’t go through the rest of the season with the mad proffessor telling us “we can make fourth place” “we couldn’t find anyone of top top top top top quality who would improve the squad” “we have the mental strength” or any more old bollocks that we’ve heard a million times before……i can see it, all Arsenal fans can see it…don’t tell me Wenger can’t fucking see it!!!! Arrrrrrrggghhhh

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  14. From the headline I thought this article might be about Wenger refusing to talk about his bowel movements.
    What a relief.

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  15. As frustrating as he is, he’s still a great man for a one-liner.

    Oh just fantastic. As Comedy goes, he’s a French Benny Hill come Buster Keaton.

    Has he heard the one about the once great North London Club, that over a period of eight years, became mid table dross and was overtaken by Chelsea and Spurs and had West Ham breathing down their necks ?

    As Frank Carson said ‘It’s the way I tell ‘em”

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha !!!!!

    Vomit !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  16. OK, fair enough, I can take the point about Wenger bullshitting to the press and keeping his cards close to his chest – I can take that.

    But what f**ks me off is that, if Wenger really plays the long game, why does his strategy more often than not bear bugger all fruit?

    For numerous seasons now, he’s waited to the very last minute in the transfer period, by which time all the “top, top quality” players have been bought up by other teams and we are left with very average bargain bin players that, apart from Santi, nobody else wants.

    I bet at the end of the transfer period Wenger will bill Walcott as a ‘new’ signing/excuse for not getting any new star signing(s). Walcott has improved somewhat over the last couple of years but he is still not “super quality”. Instead of pissing about for months negotiating with Walcott’s cut-throat agent like we’re trying to land Messi and ending up with Walcott on a short contract and a wage he doesn’t really deserve, Wenger should have flogged him and spent the time looking for some real “top, top quality” talent.

    Zut alors.

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  17. Isnt what goes on inside the club a massive part of why we are failing on the pitch? Yes we can judge you by your performances on the pitch. The performances on the pitch are the exact reason people are questioning what the fuck is going on inside the club.

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  18. Despite all the media rumors about arsenal signing players (striker, defense , etc) that’s not our business .. Things happening in the board stays in the board and mustn’t be exposed .. Every player arsenal is intrested in you see Manu or spurs running to sign him .. Why ?? It’s all because the other club shares the info to the media to increase the player value and of course we lose the deal cuz we pay half what he’s worth .. In other words ” we sale three we get one free “

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  19. It has become clear to me that Arsene Wenger and the board have taken a massif gamble and that currently it is not working out.
    “If” we were in a strong position this year there would be no call to invest in the team during the winter “but” as things stand and the way the form is, we are heading out of the Champions league and out of pocket by £20m plus. Arsenals spending was to come from the new commercial deals but that is clearly linked to CL qualification. No qualification no money to invest unless more players leave and the wage bill is reduced. As we have 3 or 4 out of contract in summer, then we may look outside but don’t be surprised if they just don’t move youngsters in to fill the gaps, we are in a downward spiral. The team is constantly weaken to balance the books only and will mow only be strengthened if we get back to CL

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