Gnabry: Wenger should stay

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As rumours circulate about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s future – it was claimed yesterday that the midfielder is tempted by a move to LiverpoolArseblog News can’t help but think back nine months to Arsenal’s decision to cash in on another talented attacking midfielder who had just one year left on his contract.

On that occasion, the Gunners sold Serge Gnabry to Bundesliga side Werder Bremen for a fee thought to be in the region €4-6 million – a steal of a deal for a Germany under-21 international with Premier League experience.

Yes, he’d endured a terrible run of injuries and a disappointing loan spell at West Bromwich Albion, but the player’s performances at the Rio Olympics were so impressive that Arsene Wenger urged him to stay at the Emirates. There was even speculation that Bayern Munich were the real engineers of Bremen’s approach as the Bavarian giants took a long-term approach to capturing the ex-Stuttgart man.

Since leaving N5, Gnabry has flourished at Bremen, scoring 11 goals in 22 Bundesliga appearances this season, to help them to 8th in the table. There have been injury niggles along the way, however, with a hat-trick on his full Germany debut added to his CV, it’s obvious his confidence is soaring and that suitors will again be knocking at his door.

Despite calling time on his Arsenal career prematurely, Gnabry remains fond of the Gunners, even travelling to Wembley to watch the recent FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City.

 

He’s also a firm admirer of Arsene Wenger. “Yeah, of course,” was his reply when asked by The Set Pieces if the Frenchman should sign another deal at the club.

“He was the one that gave me a chance. I have deep respect for him and I wish him all the best.”

Gnabry also attributed his upturn in form to hard work, staying fit and getting played regularly by coach Alexander Nouri. “I work hard, it’s that simple I think,” he continued.

“He [Nouri] has played me. The team’s on a great run. He’s got it under control. So I’m just benefiting.”

“The past is the past,” he added when asked whether Arsenal might come to regret selling him.

“I’m healthy. I’m able to play. I’ve got my confidence back up so those are just the results.”

While we’re pleased to see Gnabry delivering on the promise he showed when he broke into the Gunners first team as a 17-year-old, we can’t help but feel gutted that his pace and power isn’t something Wenger can call upon anymore.

Here’s hoping we don’t make the same mistake again with the Ox.

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You can read the full Gnabry feature in The Set Pieces, here. It’s well worth 10 minutes of your time. 

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69 Comments on "Gnabry: Wenger should stay"

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sahil

Did we enter a buy back clause when we sold him?

Toure motors

We were going to, but dick law forgot his crayon that day

Tom Gun

Knowing how our club is run at the moment, Gazidishit probably had a choice between a buy-back clause and a sell-on clause. Kroenke was proud of his pet rat’s choice and we all know which he chose! Money in the bank far more important than the actual team and success. *Sigh*

Lord Bendtner

We don’t do clauses. We like to sell our talents up front for on the spot cash. We’re very old school, we demand hard cash in black briefcases.

Newxieland

Maybe next time don’t let a contact run down to the last year…

Toni

11 goals in 22 appearances! Godamn! Did our Dick insert in the contract a buy back clause? We sure could do with a replacement for Mr. ConsistentInPatches.

Rossi88

Shall we just do a utd? Admit we made a mistake letting him get away and shell out the 20 odd million hes probably now worth? I have a feeling ox will leave, a shame IMO.

Heavenly Chapecoense

We all love Ox these days but plenty of fans were commenting that he should be sold last year and even two, three years ago. He didn’t develop well and even now , his technique is very useful to the team but he doesn’t score goals.

Mpls

Gnabry is still subject to injury interruptions and the PL -especially Arsenal- is the worst place for that sort of record.

Dom

Another example of horrible decisionmaking by Wenger by leaving the contract matters for too late. Most recent ones are of course Ozil and Sanchez. If we offered them the deals sooner, for example at the beginning of this season, they would both be under new contracts now. The way the season panned out, they would probably want to leave, especially Sanchez, but at least it would be easier to keep them or sell them on a high profit.

Looking at the goal against Southampton on Wed, I was so sad thinking how we will miss Sanchez’s magic, for all his flaws he is the guy that makes the difference. We can all dream but I don’t think Wenger can persuade him to stay. Losing him and Ozil we will be significantly weaker, sad times. I fully blame Wenger for this, through his poor tactics, no gameplan and no accountability approach (to himself and to players).

Can’t see many world class players wanting to come and join us with the current setup we have so next season, if Wenger stays, we could be a new Everton.

Dom

I see that I am a bit negative but it’s really interesting how after 2 good results most of the people who come here are again on the positive note, as if us reaching top 4, which is the thing probably now most hope for and want to jeer the club to reach, forget all that transpired this season and how dreadful we were /still are, what a mess of a club this is.

Maybe the fans are as Wenger, seeing top 4 as some kind of trophy. I’d rather see us not being in Europe at all for a while, as if we reach top 4 and win the fa cup, Wenger will be on such a high horse, no way he will leave and Stan will see it as a success.

Dom

When I say “maybe the fans”, it would be more precise to say some fans… Those who come here and change their opinions after a few good results. When we lose, 80-90% want Wenger to leave, now again you can’t say bad things about Wenger, when we beat a demotivated Man U side with a Mourinho who is a shell of a manager he once was, and a bad Southampton side (although, now when our usual top 4 is in jeopardy, the team is again switched on).

tdl

80-90% ?

Don’t confuse loudness with majority.

Nimble foot

Oh my goodness! I thought that with young players and injuries especially given the luck we’ve had over the years, it was wise for Wenger or the club to wait and see how he comes back before awarding him a new contract… For all its worth I am quite sure it was Gnabrys choice to stay, play and sign a New Deal but he chose to bugger off. Don’t point fingers at the manager

Araj

Consider this.
Lucas Perez was signed this year and has occupied a somewhat similar role in the squad as to what Gnabry would have had: An option on the right side.
He has played less than 500 minutes despite being a 17 million pound signing and despite being more versatile than Gnabry (since he can also play as a center forward).
Imagine Gnabry’s chance of getting a game when he would have had even Perez ahead of him.
It was not just an intelligent decision. It was the only decision he could have made.

PeteyB

I wonder if we would not have bought Perez had Gnabry decided to stay. Wenger always liked him and honestly I think he would have given Gnabry more minutes than he has Perez… We all know how he likes a project.

Araj

Perez was not bought to be a winger. Gnabry was never seen as a center forward while at Arsenal.
Also, wikipedia says Perez completed his medical on 27th August 2016 and Gnabry left 31st August 2016. It would be wrong to suggest that the Gnabry only happened in only those 3 days but that sort of tells its own story.

Faisal Narrage

Perez was bought as a striker.
We sent Gnabry our most talented youngster to Pulis, a man statistically known for given the least chances to youngers. And when we had a chance to end it early, we didn’t.

Clins

You’re right , if gnabry have stayed he would have been a first team player right now provided he performed as well as he is right now at werder Bremen.and I also think wenger should not be blamed here as it was players decision to leave the club which was on hindsight a right decision for him. I always thought gnabry was one of the best player we had at our academy inspire of the injury and the failed loan spell. His performance for the reserve team before he left also indicated as much

Faisal Narrage

Meanwhile Theo’s like
“Who wants it more, lads?”

Bould\'s Eyeliner

It’s important to remember that contract negotiations are a two-way street, and as you say, Gnabry didn’t want to be at Arsenal. His form improved by playing regularly, but more importantly by having more responsibility handed to him as well. It was a good move for him, as his stats show. Having a feeling of regret is silly about this player, since he probably wouldn’t have developed this way unless he left. We loaned him three times, but sometimes it takes a permanent t change for a player to get his mojo back. Let’s just be happy for a player who always gave us his all and had a trying time at our club.

Anthony

From what has been said by both Gnabry and Wenger, there was an offer on the table, and he chose not to take it.

We have to accept it, wish him well, and move on.

Would I object to us buying him back in the future after a period of successful seasons? Even if that meant us shelling out a huge fee?

Nope, sometimes that’s just how it goes, and it’s not like there was any animosity when he left.

Good luck to the lad, maybe his and Arsenal’s path will cross once more.

Heavenly Chapecoense

”We beat a demotivated Man U side”. Lot of teams including Chelsea beat a demotivated Arsenal this season. Does it make them a bad team ?

A P

Na, Dom is a sycophant for other teams. He wouldn’t think that.

A P

Oh boo! DOM is sad because he has less up votes. Ridiculous.

Lord Bendtner

If we lose to Stoke our already slim chances of the Top 4 are pretty much done.
The biggest problem for me is the kind of football that is being produced by our team on the pitch. It’s just horrible, this is not why I started supporting Arsenal. Some major work needs to be done on this team and its players in the summer, the manager(whoever so) and the coaching staff have to take it back to the drawing board this summer.

Lack of Perspective

To be fair it cant be that much of a mess if they achieve minimum requirements and a cup. If you are cold and emotionless about your perspective. it is on paper, an average season.

Which means that things are not that fucked. Statistically not at all. Fans are so emotional and the internet is an echochamber fuelled by the media so its not a suprise that there is so much negativity.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Lack of Perspective, it seems you listen too much to Wenger’s post-match press conferences.

Clins

A month ago this comment would have more upvotes than down votes. So many fickle fans amoung us that can’t make up there own mind about what they really want.

Wreh the Assasin

bremen have gnabbed themselves an absolute bargain

Sta

I know people who said If Gnabry isnt good enough for Pulis , how can he be good enough for Arsenal. Ironically they now blame Wenger for selling Gnabry even it’s pretty well known that he wanted regular playing time

a different George

Right–Gnabry wanted to play, and Wenger thought Alexis, Ozil, Giroud, Walcott, should start ahead of him. Does anyone really believe that was a mistake? Does anyone actually believe from how he had performed–not his long-term potential–that Gnabry should have started ahead of even Joel Campbell?

Anthony

Exactly this.

Joel, I thought was very good, not a standout, but very good. Had limited playing time because of the likes of Alexis, Ozil, Giroud, Walcott and that’s without factoring in players returning from injury. Additionally, there’s the acquisition of Perez, who incidentally also cannot get a game behind the aforementioned players, plus Welbeck, Ox and even Ramsey to a degree.

While Wenger may have been a fan of Gnabry’s game, given his performances to date, the injury history and his largely failed loan spells, the fact that there was a contract offer shows Wenger still admired the player greatly.

Could Arsenal offer Gnabry playing time week in week out? No. Should we have? No.

We can’t even guarantee regular football for the likes of Wilshere given the history and overall performances to date.

Some will say that both players in Gnabry and Wilshere need to play their way into form, we’ve seen it happen this season with Gnabry, not quite so much with Wilshere.

Can Arsenal as a club afford to carry such players? Given the expectation that is placed on the club I’d suggest no. Of course both players would have played a part in a fairly disappointing season, but without the ability to re-live it all, there’s no way of knowing if that would have had a positive effect on the season.

Gnabry, given all the variables, made the right decision for him. He is now showing the promise that Wenger saw in him, wish him the best of luck in the future and who knows, maybe we will see him once again in an Arsenal shirt in the future.

Araj

There is a confusion here that just keeps repeating itself in cycles.
In the current Arsenal squad, there are only 2 offensive players that are markedly at a higher level than all others and considered automatic starters: Ozil and Alexis. Giroud, by virtue of his ability in the air, is a specialist who does something no one else can in the squad. So we can understand his role.
Then comes the line of offensive players none of whom have consistently shown an ability to really turn into a higher level player. Whats worse is that these players are considered as jack of all trades by the manager so they take up squad positions in not one but two roles. Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck, Alex Iwobi, Oxlade Chamberlain, Lucas Perez and until last season Joel Campbell were all in this category. Effectively this means you will get no chances in the first team if you are coming through the youth ranks.
It makes sense to have someone like Chamberlain, Iwobi and Gnabry, due to their age, in this role of players who can potentially improve. But not the others.
So the simple truth is that instead of the current options of Alexis, Giroud, Welbeck, Walcott, Perez, Iwobi and Chamberlain for the front 3 slots, if we had a smaller selection of Alexis, Giroud and another higher quality player with Chamberlain, Iwobi and Gnabry as backup, it would be a more sensible squad and a higher quality one.
Even this off season, it makes more sense to move on 3 not-quite-good-enough players such as Welbeck, Walcott and Perez and bring in one genuinely higher quality player and one youth player to make up the numbers.
Finally, it just goes to show the absolute idiocy and misplaced self-confidence of the managerial team at Arsenal that there was no buy back clause in Gnabry’s contract.

KingofZamunda

Errm you can’t call someone an idiot when you don’t know for a fact that there is no buy back clause.

Anthony

Firstly, who says there isn’t a buy back clause? We had that option with Cesc when he went to Barca, so why not Gnabry? Just because it hasn’t been disclosed doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Secondly, why is there this assumption that the buying club have to accept the insertion of a buy back clause? That’s assuming the player would ever want to return to their old club in the event of being put on the market. Ultimately, the selling club are not the decision makers in such a clause, especially if the sale of such a player is inevitable.

There was a deal on the table from Arsenal, he chose not to take it. We sold him on. What right do we have to state that if the player is then sold again we should have first refusal. It happens, we move on as does the player.

Little Mozart

At first I felt bitter about losing Gnabry, and the low transfer sum really got me down. Howevee, having watched him play for Bremen, I don’t feel like he would have had the same opportunities at Arsenal this season, mainly down to the Premier League more than anything else. In Germany players get more space (for the most part), and the game is generally about both teams attacking.

I’m rambling here, I know, but I honestly don’t know if we will regret selling Gnabry in the longer term, though right now I’m still not over it.

Lord Bendtner

I know what you mean. Not sure if he would be able to incorporate defending(to support the fullbacks) into his attacking role, and I fear he would be bullied off quite too often. At the moment, I’m happy with having Iwobi and if one praises Gnabry’s development, one too must praise Iwobi’s development this season. In the end, yes, I do wish we had got a bit more cash for Gnabry, but really he had stellar international performances while his domestic performance was not so good (albeit on paper)

Bruce Lee

Arsenal often make the same mistakes.

Alex

Ox is English. Wenger won’t let him go as he let Gnabry go… no matter that Gnabry is much more skilled than Ox.

Onenil

Why would you ask Serge Gnabry if Wenger should stay? His opinion is irrelevant.
He may be grateful for Wenger giving him a chance, but Serge chose to leave Arsenal.

bazza_wicks

he chose to leave expected to play all the time when he was fit which was limited so glad he went dont need sulkers in the squad

Rob67

So yet another player who for whatever reason didn’t hang about – Cliche, Sagna and the rest – all insist that we need to stick with Wenger.

This is like the guy who moves to a tax haven and then tells everyone left behind that they should be grateful for what they are getting and not expect anything else.

🖕💥🖕💥 is the answer.

IndieGooner

Seems like every Tom, Dick and Harry Redknapp has an opinion on this matter.

Kutuhead

Even IF he were still here, where would he play though?

Araj

In the 4-2-3-1 we played for most of the season he would be the right wing when Giroud started in the center and the left when sanchez started in the center (with Ox on the right).
He has more league goals than the all Arsenal players except Sanchez this season playing for a team that was fighting relegation for most of the season. That is more than what Welbeck has ever scored in a single league season.

Mpls

He wouldn’t be an automatic starter by any means. He’d be competing for wing roles with Alexis, Ox, Walcott, Welbeck, Iwobi, and Perez (if we’d still bought Perez, which we may have as we were unsure of Center Striker at the time). Given Wenger’s preferences there is no guarantee he’d have got any more time than he did in the past.

Arsepedant

To be fair, though, has Welbeck ever played a full season?

Araj

Stats (as per Wikipedia) show that between 2011-12 and 2013-14 he played 30, 27 and 25 league matches. Goal return was 9, 1 and 9.
14-15 he had 25 matches for Arsenal and 4 goals.
10-11 at Sunderland was 25 matches and 6 goal

London

It’s easier to look good in Bundesliga.
Mkhitaryan case in point

Stéréo Type

De Bruyne? Sané?

Araj

Yeah. Nothing really matters until you do it on a cold wet monday night in stoke.
Now where have we heard that before?

David Hillier\'s luggage
David Hillier\'s luggage

Says a lot about coaching in this country if the highest ranked British coach (Pulis, going by the Premier League table), couldn’t see anything in a player currently in the running for the Bundesliga team of the year, does it?

Too Drunk To Be Offside
Too Drunk To Be Offside

It angers me that a fine talent like that who clearly loves the club was just shunned out of the club and forced to leave to have a proper career with first team football.

Onenil

Wenger urged him to stay. He chose to leave.

Araj

Because for the wide positions he had Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Alex Iwobi, Lucas Perez and Danny Welbeck ahead of him.
Consider the case of what has happened to Lucas Perez this season. Gnabry would have been below him in the mind of the manager.
It was his only choice.

Araj

Wenger urged him to stay in a squad that had Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Oxlade Chamberlain, Alex Iwobi, Lucas Perez and Danny Welbeck as wide options ahead of him.
And that too a year after he had been treated pathetically having been sent on load to learn under Tony Pulis of all people and only getting a single substitute appearance.

gunnerpete

There was definitely suspicion about Bayern’s involvement in that deal. That said, he’s done well at a place where he got first team football. Olympics aside, it’s hard to see him getting those minutes here, esp with Iwobi in front of him.

Stéréo Type

Funny how some here claim it’s easy to look good in Bundesliga yet they would sell their house to get Aubameyang!
It doesn’t matter where you play, if you’re good you’re good. You have Suarez and Eriksen for example who played in the Dutch Eredivisie, and Sané and de Bruyne who came from that supposedly easy Bliga aren’t doing too badly either!

a different George

The real answer is that it depends on the player, and maybe on the position. Jozy Altidore, I believe, led the Eredivie in scoring. Vincent Janssen scored 27 goals in 34 appearances for AZ just last season. On the other hand, N’Golo Kante, with one season of Ligue 1 experience, did rather well at Leicester and shows no sign of having been a flash in the pan.

Cliff Bastin

Can he play wingback?

nullvinho

I don’t think he’s defensively switched on during games, and so probably not suited to a wingback role, as-is –Ox has consciously worked on his defensive game. He and Iwobi have nearly the same skill sets (although Gnabry was more two footed than Iwobi) which is also why Gibbs is playing ahead of Iwobi on the left despite his lack of attacking qualities.

SpamB0t

So Gnabry, who put his future before the club by leaving, is saying Wenger should put his future before the club by staying.

Sounds about right.

Goonie

Leaving a contract late is one thing, but letting a technically sound and versatile player leave and at the same time letting Theo Walcott stay is even worse. I am a huge Wenger admirer and wouldn’t mind if he stays, but he has to cut ties with players who don’t perform. We need to make three signings this summer. Right back, striker and defensive midfielder.

santori

Hard to keep Gnabry. The player wanted to leave.

I would have sold Walcott and kept Gnabry but it would have also been some risk.

Move on.

Vonnie

I really like Gnabry and I was very angry when he was sent to Pulis who said he wasn’t good enough for the Premier League and everyone was saying he was lazy and overweight and had an attitude problem. When he came back Arsene said he was in better shape than he had been lead to believe and let him go to the Olympics because he didn’t really think much of him. Only when he did brilliantly well there did the manager who had believed Pulis suddenly decide that we needed to sign him up because he’s a really good young player. I think Serge was already pissed off and said he wanted to go, and I don’t blame him after being treated like that. He’s still very young and I think we’ll regret losing him.

Faisal Narrage

I think blogs also had a hand in perpetrating the notion that Gnabry was lazy.
They just kept alluding to why Pulis wouldn’t play him as “maybe he’s lazy”, rather than the fact it’s Tony Troglodyte Pulis. They unintentionally sometimes spread their opinion with no basis sometimes forgetting doing so, it sticks.

Merlin\'s Panini

I just feel the need to say “Ha! Sp*rs”
I’ve never been so pleased to see Chelsea win the league

Gooner Sam

Like many I feel compelled to say however much I respect what he has done he needs to leave and we need an overall. 1896 not 1996

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