Wenger: Our legends had their weaknesses too

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Last week Mesut Ozil made a post on Instagram hitting out at club legends for being critical of him and the team, rather than showing their support.

The German international was marking the 4th anniversary of his signing for the club, and while you can understand him being annoyed by criticism – who likes to be criticised after all? – it ignored the fact that they were paid to analyse the performances of the team, not to be Arsenal cheerleaders.

The manager was asked for his opinion of Ozil’s post, and the reaction of someone like Ian Wright, who didn’t hold back on what it was Ozil said despite being a huge fan of him as a player.

“I always have problems understanding what a legend and what a legend isn’t,” said Wenger.

“I have had all the players here and we speak today, but they all had their weaknesses as well. Don’t worry about that. They had their weak games as well, and their weak behaviours as well. Nobody was perfect.

“We have to take a distance with that as well, focus on our performance and not be dragged into any animosity.

“We are all grateful for what they have done for the club, but what matters is always the players on the pitch who can defend the pride of the club.”

Let’s hope they can defend it a lot better than they did in the last game. They certainly owe us a performance after Anfield.

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65 Comments on "Wenger: Our legends had their weaknesses too"

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John C

A legend know’s when to leave

COYG

Ozil and Sanchez have one enormous weakness that I see…..Wenger as their Manager.

Loo Roll Messi

change the tune.

Little Mozart

Wenger made Alexis the star he is today. At Udinese he was a promising young talent. At Barcelona he was a super-sub.

Lack of Perspective

Some perspective at last.

ZakGooner

Alexis arrived at this club with hunger and desire, he will leave with a greater hunger and desire didn’t to his ambition not being met. Wenger has had fuck all to do with developing Sanchez Andy his success at our club, the man is a winner with a winners mentality.

Alex

There’s one thing to be paid to be a pundit and another thing to always spit on your former club and its actual players. Wright, Petit, Henry… have no restraint when it comes to attack Arsenal and to play the ugly game of the media generally and of their pundits’ colleagues. Yes, Özil is right: one can expect a legend to behave like a legend. And after 4 years of constant attacks, Özil has all right to be unhappy. Like him or not, respect is the key and the Arsenal legends seem to ignore what it is.

TR7

Over in the USA we have to listen to Lee Dixon. He really grates.

Brendan from NY

Totally. His men against boys comment in the NLD last year still grinds my gears

420Goonerblayzeit

He is the absolute worst. Not just how he speaks about Arsenal but his commentary in general. Everything is negative with him. Poor defending, poor work rate, poor technique. That’s on top of his non-stop “back in my day” nonsense. I’ll never understand how NBC lets him do games. I guess they see him as the bad cop to Arlo White’s good cop. An admirer of the game and a positive person like Arlo will always make for more exciting commentary than a total downer like Lee Dixon

Tommy Rocky Rosicky

Lee Dixon match commentary is just so annoying.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Ozil needed to respond to them on the pitch not in social media. It was all damage control from Ozil to keep his money value in the football market very high. Haven’t heard Henry say any terrible thing about Arsenal. He said Giroud couldn’t carry us to winning the league, Wenger came to same conclusion by putting Sanchez as a CF then buying Lacazette. He said something bad is going on at Arsenal at the present time. Who can say otherwise with the two best players refusing to sign extension and we are losing games? Many times, Souness had to tell Henry he was being too cautious in what he had to say about his former team.

Dennis Elbow.

Legends win more than a few F.A Cups and don’t normally buckle under pressure.
Sorry Mezut, I lovd you and all but I think you’re wrong on this one and so is Arsene.

Eris

Alan Shearer is a Newcastle legend….

ClockEndRider

Not a terribly high bar.

Oberon

How much did Liam Brady win with us?

Yoyo goon

Wenger speaking on so many issues today.I just hope something positive comes out of it all

7dxb78

I thought he spoke well and made a lot of sense. Some of those journalists really try to wind it all up. Go to see him having a go back in a calculated and calm manner.

Rich

Robert Pires may have started slowly? But I can’t think of any other weaknesses he may have had?
He was an absolute joy to watch, and possibly the best player on the planet before he did his cruciate towards the end of 2001/02 season.
Not sure Keown had any weaknesses either? Apart from getting old which is something that happens to the best of us.

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

To be fair, Arsenal were hammered in the press about being ‘soft’ during the early 2000s with the whole rhetoric of “not liking it up ’em”. Yes we had a much better side then, but I went to plenty games where fans would scream bloody murder at Wiltord for running in circles or Henry for smacking free kicks into row Z.

Eris

What? You think Pires never had poor games? I recall errors (loss of possession resulting in goals against us and misplaced passes by Henry). Go back and watch “classic games” and see that the ‘legends’ were human too, losing heavily at times (Liverpool 4-0 in ’98 and ’00, anybody?). I have seen a game with Keown, Palour, Vieira and Henry where we lost badly. No disrespect to them but these things happen. The fact their employers prefer it when they bash Arsenal doesn’t mean they can’t be called to order.

Easy tiger

To be fair arsenal won the league the game prior to that 4-0 loss to LFC. But stil, i get your ponit.

Eris

Indeed. So, the other point is any team can get hit 4-0 and come back to win the title! 😉

PS: ’98, yes; we didn’t win it in 2000, though.

Heavenly Chapecoense

Our great Robert Pires was suspected to have leaked dressing room issues from national team to media. Henry and him even got into a fight training with national team while both were playing for Arsenal.

Oberon

Also 99 when we could’ve had back to back doubles we bottled it in the league and Cup. I remember bergkamp missing a penalty and I’m sick of seeing Viera’s errant pass that let Giggs go on the run that has to be the most over played goal in history.

Lucas Sam

Pires had that weird penalty with henry

QMantis

The past legends all seem to agree that the club’s not functioning properly, some blame wenger and board some certain players. It all goes round and round and wont stop until the team start winning games or someone from within the club decides to talk. At the moment we are riddled with problems. Maybe a win at the weekend will lift some doom.

ronaldo

maybe they did, but they weren,t shit like him

Sam

Not sure I agree. I think Ian Wright made a good point. The Arsenal team we used to love played with pride. Which transferred to the fans. If they lost it was by a goal, maybe 2. Not the 4,5,6 goals that this lot regularly succumb to. That includes Wenger. Stop talking and show some pride – or step aside.

Eris

It’s like washing our dirty linens in public but some of us need to reflect. Try 25th Feb, 2001; United 6-1 Arsenal. We lost plenty of games, my friend.

Sam Joseph Mohammadi

Maybe that’s how far back it goes. I remember that game now. Igor Stephenops. Jesus.

Sam Joseph Mohammadi

Igors Stepanovs – sorry.

Eris

Yeah. But don’t forget the “legends” who played alongside him.

Sam

Eris man. Are you just on here to troll people with an opinion? Some of our legends date back pre-viera/henry/nike. Personally the days I remember best were the 90’s. I assure you there was no lack of heart. Far less exciting football. Admittedly lower expectations. Anyway I’m sounding old so time for bed. Night gooners. Sleep well Eris. We’re on the same team brother. Onwards and upwards!

260589

The only weakness I can think of was when Legend#1 missed that penalty in 1999

Gonzogunner

Talk about events that changed the world. No united treble, possibly no united comeback against Bayern as a result. A man can dream.

Cliff Bastin

Bergkamp had a weakness for absolutely perfectly weighted passes.

SpamB0t

Yeah, they also had weaknesses, shit coaching being one. They were good enough to make it work regardless.

Take the legends away and shit coaching is all you’re left with.

Loo Roll Messi

Your a cheerful fella aren’t you. Why would you put yourself though it all?

Oberon

And you’re still a cunt.

Lula

A legend is the player who does great things for the club. They may have weaknesses but more often than not they overcome them when they have to.

Managers have their weaknesses too. Its up to them to constantly try to improve. And when they are unsuccessful for so long in overcoming their own weaknesses, then it’s on them to step down to protect the pride of the club.

Arsene, more and more you just talk crap.

A P

Yea, you just crap all the time.

Eris

I don’t get it. You don’t think winning the FA cup 3 times in 4 years is “improvement”, just because Wenger hasn’t won the league in 12years? How many managers have achieved 7 FA cups? Only Wenger is the answer. I am sorry for you if you think that’s not the stuff of legends.

Lula

Apology accepted.

Oberon

Bell end

santori

Time and distance cloud the memories and thought process of many.

They rile over Granit getting 2 red cards and don’t remember Koscielny’s first season for us which was littered with reds, penalties conceded and own goals.

For that matter Viera when he used to receive reds was a bit of a liability at times for us but now its labeled as being ‘competitive’.

Same goes for people like David Dein. Never mind he was the one who actually set us on the path of austerity, some choose to remember our better signings during his tenure (neglecting any hand Wenger had in it) and avoid the poor signings.

Its the same with George Graham. One minor cup on the continent and suddenly some prefer to think we were a European power house back in the day.

Granted there are problems at the club but they are persistantly amplified out of proportion by an all too eager press willing to lap out nonsense from the less than helpful (and frankly short sighted) legends like Ian Wright or even Henry.

None of whom have ever managed a club to say the least or worked in transfers…unlike a Gary Neville who at least put his money where his mouth was (and found it more difficult in practise than from the sidelines sniping away in theory)

😉

Fletcher

Well articulated 👍

santori

Apart from Wenger’s invincible season, we have lost games with Viera and Henry on the pitch too.

We have been frustrating to watch before.

The only problem now is the league is much stronger and many teams have shed their allergy (xenophobia) to foreign players. The redistribution of money means teams like the Stoke can pay for players like Shaqiri.

Arsenal now has lost a bit of the technical edge Arsene enjoyed when he first constructed his title winning teams.

IMO, we need to start bringin in top players who can provide us that technicality again. Which is why I would be elated if we brought in the likes of a Draxler or Mahrez or Pastore or for the mater all 3 should we lose an Alexis (or Ozil)

Eris

Well said, Santori.

Fletcher

We kept saying time and again that the English football landscape has changed dramatically,no team will be granted success no matter how they spend, we have atleast six top team that are capable of winning anything but ultimately one has to do it.

Eris

Even in the invincibles season, we lost games in the cups; some rather embarrassingly. But, good on them, we held sway in the league.

Brendan from NY

Our club dominates the headlines, even when we are terrible. The press give more time and attention covering our flaws than they do talking about the greatness or preparedness of other clubs going into this season. The Arsenal story, as tragic as it seems, is incredibly interesting to the curious mind. Chelski, Citeh, ManU all spent big, bought big names, bla, bla, bla. Mourinho, bla, bla, bla. The press knows what sells, and bottom line, it is way more interesting to look at AFC’s situation than it is to look at the other clubs. Of course, I wish we could give the press something more positive to discuss. Sometimes, I think the easiest way to perform is when expectations from everyone are low, and you have a chip on your shoulder to prove them all wrong. If Arsene can cause this group to unite and fight for each other ON A SUSTAINED BASIS, then we will really learn something about his quality as a manager

Eris

I cannot but agree with you. When we start to perform, watch them all go silent and start trying to justify it some way or another (maybe, the CL starting Andrew being tougher than the EL; or it is more the players, not Wenger, maybe, even the favourable weather conditions, etc.).

Important to win tomorrow and midweek; even at Chelsea.

Bruce666

Well said by Wenger. Hate him as much as you want, but he’s right on this one.

The arsenaut

I’m a bit curious as to what those weaknesses are with these legends. If anything I see the weaknesses being in the club structure itself. I feel that for the size and importance of Arsenal there have not been enough big names to retire at the club, certainly not from the best era, that must be indicative of something..

Eris

The arsenaut, do you wish to do a club by club analysis to prove that comment? Note that Arsenal does have a thing about keeping players over 30 long contracts, but still, want to see how we fair against others?

He\'s got no hair but we don\'t care...
He\'s got no hair but we don\'t care...

There’s a big difference and that’s the supporting cast of characters such as Ray Parlour, were hard work class acts who picked up the slack when, on the very rare occasions, our legends showed weakness. Who picks up the slack now?

Ausdrexler

The easy access to footage and analaysis on the internet means todays players flaws are more easily identified. 20 years ago, it wasnt so much.

Different world today, everyone has an opinion and 99% of the time its a negative one.

Eris

Very sad state of affairs really, but one we’ll have to live with. It is easy to start a narrative about anything or anyone and gain following.

Zam

If any of the legends he’s probably talking about had kept failing again and again in the same way on the pitch in (like his recent teams have) he’d have dispensed with them. I think he should just stop talking quite so much now.

Eris

Failing? Isn’t that relative? Ordinarily, would you call a club that’s won the number of trophies won by this club, in the last 4 years, failed?
Okay, so you were always top of the class and have met all of your goals? Well done!

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