Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Arsenal facing a tough few weeks as divisions between Wenger and the Board become public

An article yesterday caught my eye and made me take notice. It was quite remarkable in many ways. It was about comments made by Arsenal Director Danny Fizsman. I’ll let you read what he said.

“If he (Wenger) said ‘I want this guy and he’s £30 million, can I buy him?’, the answer is yes. Absolutely yes. It’s not our decision who Wenger spends money on, nor will it ever be our decision. There were great expectations and hopes that we would buy heavily this summer. We totally back Wenger, it’s his decision. If Arsene found the right player he would buy that player, but at the moment his hasn’t. There’s a dual problem for him. If we buy star names, you are talking about relatively mature players who need to be integrated into the way Arsene plays, they don’t know our style and it also impacts on the youngsters who have been brought through.”

The Gunners have lost Mathieu Flamini, Alexander Hleb, Justin Hoyte, Philippe Senderos, Traore, Lehmann and Gilberto since the end of last season and replaced them with Samir Nasri, Mikael Silvestre, Nacer Barazite and Aaron Ramsey. Whilst not being stupid enough to question the decisions of Arsene Wenger, to an outsider, that doesn’t all look like great business.

It is clear that at least one director, Danny Fizsman, was fully expecting Wenger to spend heavily over the past few weeks in order to strengthen his squad. Without a trophy for three years, many supporters had also been calling on Wenger to change his preferred methods and bring in some big names.

Nasri did cost £12 million, but the other signings have not been major purchases. At the end of last season Wenger said that he was more interested in keeping the players he already had rather than looking for new ones. Maybe he is simply satisfied that he has managed to keep Adebayor and Fabregas at The Emirates.

Wenger recently said in an interview with the Independent newspaper that he has made a decision to try to develop his first team through the youth policy at the club.

“When we decided to build the stadium I wanted to anticipate the possibility of financial restrictions, so I concentrated on youth. I also felt the best way to create an identity with the way we play football, to get players integrated into our culture, with our beliefs, our values, was to get them as young as possible and to develop them together. I felt it would be an interesting experiment to see players grow together with these qualities, and with a love for the club.”

Nobody could fail to agree with the sentiments expressed by Wenger in that interview. Nobody that is, accept very possibly, most of the Arsenal fans.

Having seen Arsenal fade away at the end of last season there is a real fear that they could fall further behind Chelsea and Manchester United this season. Whilst the fans may agree with a lot of what Wenger said, they will be much more interested in making a serious challenge for the big trophies.

Whilst Arsenal are winning games the manager can remain pretty confident about the support of his fans and the board of directors. If they lose games, and the 1-0 defeat at Fulham was an ominous sign, that support is no longer guaranteed.

In making the comments he has made, Mr Fizsman has made it clear that the decision not to buy players has been entirely Arsene Wenger’s. He has made it clear that the money was and is available and that the manager would have been fully supported if he had wanted to spend it. He also said that he realised that there had been ‘great hopes and expectations’ that the club would buy heavily. Who is he referring to? Does he mean the fans, the Board or both.

It seems to me that if Mr Fizsman is speaking for the whole Board he has issued a very thinly veiled threat to Wenger. He has made it clear that if Arsenal do not produce the goods on the pitch, it is entirely due to the decisions taken by the manager.

There are obvious rifts appearing at the club and the fact that Wenger talks of financial restrictions and Fizsman says there are none speaks volumes for the level of communication currently existing behind the scenes.

After the laboured 1-0 win over West Brom and the defeat at Fulham, the game this weekend against a somewhat resurgent Newcastle United side takes on a greater significance than a game at this stage of the season would normally have.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Graham Fisher


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Moray
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Moray

the Board have actually been saying this for a while, so I don’t think it’s great “news” as such. Wenger’s right about spending wisely and about giving youth its chance. I think the real concern for supporters is the concern over a couple of positions in the team such as CB and DM, and the persistence in playing one or two players who have shown that they’re just not good enough to play at the club. Hopefully those issues will be resolved before the window closes. It’s also a concern that we haven’t yet appointed the Exec that we’ve needed… Read more »

chengiskhan
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chengiskhan

Caca. Doodoo.

David Crosweller
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David Crosweller

What total rubbish. You have taken 2+2 and come up with an article to suit your view. There is no problem between Wenger and the Board, that is not what was said. It is half wits like you pretending to be informed writers that is dragging the internet down, down, down.

Mike
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Mike

I think you have completely misread what Danny said (and I suspect, possibly altered the wording a touch, as I don’t recall those being the exact words he used).

He was saying there were expectations from the fans regarding the purchases, not from the board.

Devorsh
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Devorsh

i think your understanding of english is limited.i think you should not make comments without fully understanding the content you are suppose to comment on.

Julian Jackson
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Julian Jackson

Tut tut. Your interpretation is not what Mr Fizsman was implying at all. You have purposefully misconstrued what he was saying in a cynical attempt to get clicks for your webs site and or to jump on the anti Arsenal media band wagon. Shame on you on both counts. Maybe when your older you can become a journalist?

dandan
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dandan

A complete load of nonsense and mischief making, Wenger has the undoubted support of the board and the majority of the long term fans.
Of course the johnny come lately and younger fans will want instant gratification, as do the press who need to generate controversy in order to advertise the product they sell
We all like to be winners, but the speed and beauty of the teams football is more important to many who endured the Graham years, than buying trophies,

Van Basten
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Van Basten

Whether there is a bit of turmoil going on behind the scenes between Wenger and the board, the truth of the matter is still that Arsenal have no won a trophy in 3 years. When they play their best football, there are not many club teams in this world that can match the attractive football they play. The only ones I can think of would be Barcelona and Man Utd at their best. Nevertheless, they seem to lack that “little bit of extra” to take them all the way. And in this case it’s not talent I think, but rather… Read more »

Henry
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Henry

Mr wenger kwns wat his doing,he kws d expectations r great 4rm both d fans and d d board.wenger wil buy players b/4 d window closes bt like he said his looking 4 d right players nt big names.

Redallover
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Redallover

As well as being mischievious this article is also factually inaccurate. Nacer Barazite has come through the youth ranks and has gone on loan to Derby. Wenger has also signed Amaury Bischoff and in reality has “gained” Carlos Vela, who has been out on loan for the last couple of years (and looked superb yesterday by the way). I haven’t yet decided whether the “author” is a Spurs fan making mischief – understandable given the dire state they’re in – or if this is just a very poorly researched piece which has twisted Fiszman’s words to manufacture a “split” between… Read more »

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