Wenger reveals campaign aims and talks Wilshere, Kroenke & Ferguson

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Arsene Wenger believes that a top four finish for Arsenal will represent an ‘acceptable’ campaign as the Gunners gear up for their first Premier League game of the season.

Without a trophy since 2005, the Frenchman is under extreme pressure from fans to end the trophy drought at the Emirates as soon as possible. Nevertheless, despite making clear that the ultimate aim is to win either the Champions League or Premier League, he appears happy enough to play down expectations by defining success in broader terms.

In an interview filmed ahead of the Emirates Cup for Barclays Premier League World and screened for the first time this evening on ESPN, Wenger was quizzed on what he felt would be a successful season for his young squad.

“I basically think if we win the Premier League or Champions League that will be a huge success, if we finish in the top three or four it will be acceptable, anything outside of the top four will be a bad season.”

While the Gunners have successfully qualified for the Champions League for 14 consecutive seasons, an enviable record in anybody’s book, the lack of silverware has caused a great deal of frustration amongst supporters who feel the club have lost huge ground on traditional title-rivals Manchester United.

While the rivalry between the two clubs hit its peak in the late nineties and early noughties the once fiery relationship between Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson has since mellowed, with the Gallic tactician happy to congratulate the Scot for keeping the Red Devils at the top of the Premier League pile.

“You have of course to congratulate him for everything he has done. They have won the last two titles at home, at Old Trafford, not away.

“They were a normal team away from home last year and two years ago as well. At home; that’s where they managed to get more points than any other team. His achievement…you can only stand up and say ‘well done’.”

If Arsenal are to challenge for honours in the coming years, then 19-year-old midfielder Jack Wilshere will no doubt be an integral part of the Gunners squad. The Academy graduate enjoyed a breakthrough season last term, impressing domestically, in Europe and on England international duty before being crowned PFA Young Player of the Year.

Adding to the plaudits already lavished on his protégé, Wenger again reasserted his belief that Wilshere has everything in his locker to become one of the world’s best.

“Basically Jack Wilshere can be the complete midfielder; that means he can defend, give the final ball and score,” said Wenger.

“You want him to improve on his defensive side because he is naturally an offensive player. I believe that with the experience he has gained he will be giving more final balls and he will score a few goals.”

While the North Bank and Clock End will be praying that Wilshere can help spearhead a revival of fortunes on the pitch, Wenger has also backed new Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke to become a more prominent figure off the field. Nicknamed ‘Silent Stan’ for his low-profile and refusal to speak to the media, many questions have been asked of the American businessman and his intentions in North London. Eager to reassure supporters of Kroenke’s passion for investing in major sports franchises, Wenger said of his new boss:

“He is a man who loves sport. No matter how rich you are, if you own four different sports clubs it shows you that he is deeply passionate about sport.

“Until now I think he lets people who are responsible inside the club work, which is a credit to him.  On his personal side I don’t know him well enough to speak about him.

“I think you will know him better, he will turn up [to matchs] much more than he has done until now and we will learn to know him.”

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Dennis

I fear the ‘top four is acceptable’ thing is going to be jumped on big time by some of the fans. (ducks for cover)

rectum spectrum

i thought the same. but again he’s stating nothing shocking or bad: for the top european clubs the bare minimum of a ‘successful’ season is to qualify for the money-pot of the champs league.

to win the league, or champs league would be huge, as he says. In an ever more competitive league, and coming from the kind of summer we’ve just had, he’s spot on.

Nik

I think this article is on Arseblog News but it doesn’t contain any swearing or silliness so I’m not sure any more

sJ

depends who its done by; look at the top it says by andrew allen, not arseblog

Genius

Spot on! haha

dan

top four will be a bloody miracle!!!

Spooner

Can’t believe he’s bought a 17 year old winger and not a centre-half, the cunt.

rectum spectrum

i think he still has a few more transfer tokens left…..

Spooner

🙂

Chris

Yeah, Scott Dann…

Great!

RedandDread

The fact that the 17 year winger happens to be one of the most sought after youngsters in the game….hmmm. And how do we know he isn’t going to buy a centre back before the window is closed-so why call him a cunt. If MANU had signed Alex you probably would have called Wenger a cunt for letting him slip though our grasp. We have Vermaelen back, so already we are one up on last year in terms of quality-what most people want is us to improve on Squillaci, our 4th chocie CB and add some height & physicality in… Read more »

yozza

loser!

Den

Well said

Craig

Don’t worry I get the joke in the comment. It’s pure win!

rogman

is he really a cunt?

James

Made me laugh, Spooner. Guess some of the other commenters haven’t been reading the articles so much!

Spooner

Cheers C & J – expected some sort of tirade from someone who didn’t get it.. Have to agree with Robin below, though!

NorthernGoon

I still chuckle when I read this

Sabrina

I understand it. We have to be realistic it will be a difficult task to win the PL this year especially with City now in the race. I may sound like a doomer but I’m not getting my hopes up. We can’t expect to win every year. And is sucks to hear that from the manager for sure, that top four is acceptable. Anything less is truly unacceptable and everyone would agree with that. Winning is awesome and is the aim but top four is an acceptable result, it keeps us within reach to try again, and shows that we’re… Read more »

Up The Arsenal

Agree Sabrina! It’s too easy to admit defeat at this stage of the season, let’s see where we are next may

yozza

Is that not what AW said…..”judge me in May”…..we did, your shit!

rains

you judged his shit? urggh. each to their own i guess

yozza

We can’t expect to win every year!!!!What….When was the last time we did win anything!Delusional,just like our Manager…

Up The Arsenal

In some ways you have to give Wenger credit for having the balls to stick with the ‘Finishing in the top four is success’ line. He doesn’t do himself any favours but he also doesn’t shy away from the honesty if it all. Finishing in the top four isn’t unacceptable, it’s just that ideally you need to be as high as possible in that particular tree, not falling out of it with great speed come the business end of the season. Of course we all want to win the league but the sad truth is only one team can &… Read more »

Ymylei

No matter how you look at it, a top 4 finish is not horrible by any stretch of the mind. Of the current top 4 I see ourselves and city as the only two teams that could finish outside of it and not completely implode.

On that note:
I heard we were going to sign Dann Samba Cahill, a 315 tall, 300 st CB from monster island. I heard he has yet to give up a goal in the MPL (monster premier league)

Oz

That’s it Arsene, we can draw this!

bucky

The title is won in the transfer market. A top four finish with players we have grown to love and possibly a cup trophy is all we can hope for. If you are going in with unrealistic expectations, then we fail to meet YOUR expectations , it is not the club’s fault, it is yours. He has told you what to expect.

George

Fair enough, especially when you consider the dollar we have to compete with. top four for me is acceptable

yozza

Another Loser!

Chris

We are rich! When you take into account the £110mil sitting in a reserve account, and the fact that we have made huge profits from player trading alone (a sepreate account on the balance sheet), and you also consider the money from the Fabregas, Clichy, Nasri and Bendtner deals….

Lets not get this twisted, WE ARE MEGA RICH AND WENGER HAS ACCESS TO VARIOUS STREAMS OF FUNDS.

Add to that also the extra revenue generated from the 6.5% season ticket hike also.

Baz

So just to get this clear in my mind, if we fail to finish inside the top 4 then he’s failed and therefore should and will step down???

rectum spectrum

the only thing worse than finishing 5th next year would be losing arsene wenger.

beeeeeeeeelieeeeeeeeeeeevvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeee

MikeyG

It’s realistic what he has said and personally I like his honesty but I think wenger is putting unnessicary pressure on himself. Mind you thinking about it wenger taking the pressure off the team and on to him could be his plan

rectum spectrum

the one thing i remember being said over and over last year in the big games: we’re missing one or two more proven, battle hardened winners to drive the team in those tough moments. so far this summer we haven’t gained any of the above, and are about to lose one: cesc.

maybe he is trying to take pressure off the team. As this team so far will prob be even more unstable under the cosh.

who knows, they could explode out of the blocks and win the first 10 games.

MJG

Obviously what he has to do is make the team are prepared to cope with the entirety of season. I just hope the publick view of the club being at a tipping point is untrue and that they players are ready (although the early appearance of injuries has me worried that it could be a rocky one). The depth just cannot be as shallow as it has been the last few years.

Nope.

No ambition.

John B.

Totally. I mean saying winning the PL and CL would be a huge success is just stupid. Could you imagine Ferguson or Guardiola saying that winning both domestic and European trophies would represent success? WHAT A TOTALLY CUNTISH THING TO SAY! NO AMBITION! FERGIE OUT! WENGER OUT! OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!

John B.

I can’t wait to “learn to know” Stan. I have my tea and biscuits already laid out so that we can sit silently across from each other while I learn that knowing Stan is to know he is silent, and now I’m also learning how to be silent. We are both silent. Eating biscuits, sipping tea.

rectum spectrum

major LOL. good times.

MJG

It sounds to me as though you’d much prefer to engage the silent one in mutual masturbation.

rectum spectrum

Thats impossible. Stan Kroenke has no penis.

Wes Johnston

But that wouldn’t be silent, would it? I mean, I grunt a lot at the end. A LOT.

No, I think it’s tea and biscuits.

Mooro

What he said could be repeated by the manager of any of the top 5 managers. So no drama.

By he I mean Wenger and the top 4 thing. Not the alleged Kroenke’ll penis issue.

Mooro

Fuckadoodledoo. Managers of the top 5 clubs, not managers.

Anyone wanna buy an iPhone?

aaberg

Mooro, you gotta keep your iphone. You corrrecting yourself is sometimes the highlight of my day

Mooro

Cheepy cunt. Ah fuck it…(Smiley Face. No idea how you do those).

Dan Martineau

Argh! Wenger! Why do you persist in baiting people with that 4th place thing. I love what you have done and are doing for the club but when you say that it drives people insane. PR lessons please!

rectum spectrum

LOLzers.

Jo Fronst is fucking mental. plus the fat ginger cunt wipe that was used as the photo for paul scholes on here recently is on chanel 4+1 now.

rectum spectrum

count how many times she says ‘follow through’

rectum spectrum

*Frost, fuck you Mooro 🙂

Bring Back Brady

Q: How can fourth place in the English league be acceptable for the third most valuable football club in the world and with the fifth highest revenue in the world (on latest figures)? From a financial point of view, AFC is up there with ‘the best of the best’. Footballistically, however, it is an also-ran, and will remain so as long as such ambitions are regarded as acceptable. I think *that’s* what makes Wenger’s endless ‘poor mouth’ comments so tiresome. It’s like the wealthy lord trying to pass himself off as a humble peasant in order to get away with… Read more »

rectum spectrum

yes but how does our virtual fantasy land valuation by the bankers corrolate with the actual cash we have to invest in our squad. if we were a race car team wenger would be knocking round a second hand car dealership out in the arse end of nowhere looking for an old 635i BMW coupe while mancini, doglead, and sir alex and jose 2 are sauntering ropund the ferrari dealerships picking interior colours. the only way we win the race is if they buy monday or friday ferraris and we get that wee guy from the movie cars to change… Read more »

Bring Back Brady

Not exactly. To use your analogy, those buying the Ferraris are doing so with credit cards: they don’t actually have the cash and American Express will be after them soon enough followed by the odd repossessed 308GTB. AW, however, appears not to have ever heard about the existence of credit cards, nor recognised that the wealthy you are, the more credit you can get.

And far as the Forbes listings are concerned, I doubt whether Silent Stan acted on the basis of a fantasy valuation: if he did, then AFC is well-and-truly scuppered …

Jasonisimo

Credit? They aren’t buying with credit. Clubs like Man City and Chelsea for years have bought with cash gifts from their sugar daddy! That is, it’s not the club’s income providing the cash, and the clubs likely will never be made to pay it back. Arsenal just can’t compete with that kind of spending.

rectum spectrum

those that use credit cards are building clubs onn foundations of cardboard. (chinese proverb)

arsenal wioll be debt free in the near future and have more money than all these clubs.

Bring Back Brady

Jasonismo: “We can’t compete with that kind of spending” is classic Wenger-speak, as you forget to mention the one club that has not hocked its very existence to the whims and fancies of a sugar-daddy, and that seems to do pretty well in competing against them. If Ferguson’s Manchester Regime can do it, then why not AFC and AW? And, *despite* the debt-servicing of Glazernomics? AFC are in a *much* healthier position than MUFC yet are constantly poor-mouthing and making lame excuses for having become also-rans. And will soon only be *aspiring* also-rans unless there is an overhaul of the… Read more »

Jasonissimo

If you are seriously asking, Man. U. was already a massive club before Wenger came to Arsenal and still is worth more as a club, has more commercial income, and pays far higher wages than Arsenal. The only clubs that can “afford” equivalent wages are financed by sugar daddies. I have much respect for Man. U.’s overall success as a club. However, do not overlook the fact that a couple of years ago, Man. U.’s finances seemed to be teetering on the brink of the abyss. The Glazers’ other business were heavily dependent on the real estate market in the… Read more »

Robin

Yozza is a cunt

Highbury_Squirrel

Looks like the Cesc saga is coming to an end. BBC and Dan Roan are reporting a new bid of around £35 million has been accepted. Arsenal Siily Season has a good piece on it. Links in a mo….

rectum spectrum

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/14482418.stm

Dan Roan’s comments in the little grey box are pretty much bang on.

Mooro

Spot on. Get shot of Na$ri and let’s take our chances with a team of players who want to play for us.

Sam

God, I hope not… 35 mil is awful business. Cesc the same price as Andy Carroll? We have no need to sell him if they don’t pay what he’s worth… 35 mil is at least 10 short, at LEAST

rectum spectrum

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxv6R9fUO74&feature=related

this woman is breast feeding her 8 year old daughter. what. the. fuck.

spurs fan. deffo.

TomC

Top 4 all well and good but does Arsene like cones?

no legs

dont call wenger a cunt you mugs i dont like him really but he has done a lot for the club although i do agree this could be his last season unless he sorts it out in the next 3 weeks, cesc and nasri are leaving bendtner eventually leaving eboue possibly leaving and almunia why cant the rioters take him away from the emirates ? but seriously thats about 65 million pounds we would make off the sale of the 3 which also meens wenger can still spend and keep the wage bill sound , the biq question is will… Read more »

Highbury_Squirrel

TOMC Wenger loves cones; they’re small, cheap and can be easily stollen from another clubs youth team….

Dannyboy

Great. So how the fuck are we gonna win anything? Forget a trophy this season. Oh that’s alright then. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

TomC

Squirrel: heh!

Merseisagod

Why has Arseblog not posted anything on the supposed done deal for cesc. Balague says 29million euros plus 5 million euros from cesc taking a pay cut (1 million each year) and a further 6 million euros based on adds on (games played barca winning la liga champs league etc). Our board are meeting tomorrow to decide but looks like it is all done.

Gutted we couldn’t hold out for what he is worth!! Barca = Cunts!!

Goontown

hahahaha. There goes that cunt again. The frustrating thing about Wenger is that the obvious needs of the team have always been blindly (if not arrogantly) left unattended and then we (fans) are left frustrated by that arrogance. Of cousre finishing in the top four will be “acceptable,” by most clubs standards but not for an Arsenal team who with a couple of additions in needed areas can really challenge for the top. That’s the problems most fans have. If we kept last season’s team and added two quality center backs, Mata, and a striker, then yes, we wouldn’t mind… Read more »

Alex Fisher

That’s the thing. A team of undoubted ability but next to no mental strength can accomplish at best, a Champions League spot. As we’re about to lose our captain to Barca for less than he’s worth, it’s essential we bring in a leadership personality as well as a good defender/midfielder etc.

Whatever anyone thinks of Scott Parker joining us, we’re crying out for a presence like his in the dressing room. We’ve severely lacked this for years.

Merseisagod

Arshavin injured tonight for Russia!!
Does this mean AOC to make his debut on sat at Newcastle???

Rodders1971

Top 4 ‘acceptable’?
ACCEPTABLE???
It is not,EVER, ‘acceptable’ to finish behind the shit we finished behind last season.
Even 2nd place is 1st of the losers.
Time to go Arsene while some still respect you…

TomC

Rodders1971, clearly your parents were born in 1971 judging by the maturity, originality and sheer wrongness of your comment

hf

*applause*

Highbury_Squirrel

The BBC article on Cesc says an unidentified boardroom member has said all the money will be reinvested in new players. If true then I think this saga could still have a happy ending.

Oz

3 good, experienced players or 8 17-year-old, inexperienced, never-heard-of-before bargain bin players?

Matt

Hell, for 55m, we could buy at least 30 or 40 unknown 17-year-olds, maybe even over 55 of them! If we’re paying more than 1m each, we’ve lost the plot.

Right?

Rich

Cesc +Nasri are still arsenal players, we have been hearing this rubbish all summer, il believe it when I see it on arsenal.com
Selling both of them and replacing them with inferior players defeats the point, we should be adding to the squad not seriously depleating it, 25mill+ add on’s 4 Cesc ??? Surely it would be better2 strip him of the armband and tell him he’s staying, or just put him on the open market and get more than double that amount

Arsetroll

Spot on! Offer Fabregas to Real Madrid and they will pay.

Jasonisimo

There is no “open market” for any player, and most definitely not for Cesc Fabregas, who has repeatedly said he would only leave Arsenal for Barca. Not Real Madrid. Barca.

rains

What they should do is play up to the “kidnap” thing and hold him at gunpoint whilst they seal the deal.
Ivan: Give me £50 million or he gets it! There’ll be Barca DNA all over your fackin’ office! You think I’m kidding? I’m a fackin’ LONDONAAAH! Quick, Arsene, now loot the fackin’ trophy cabinet!

Jasonissimo

In this scenario, would Gazidis be holding a modified starter’s pistol or a real gun?

Highbury_Squirrel

Merseisagod, what’s happened to Arshavin? Was he injured when someone thought he was a Russia doll and tried to prize him open?

Can you imagine that? Inside Arshavin is another smaller version. Awesome.

rectum spectrum

its that smaller version we want. smaller, thinner, more agile. holy shit! inside arshavin is a russian messi!

d-holio

Both the Guardian and BBC Sport web pages are leading off with how one of the Barca hierarchy has let slip that the deal for Cesc will be done before the weekend ends. The money sounds well short of our 40 million pound evaluation with an initial fee of 25 million euros + another 5-7 million euros of add ons and performance related stuff. They say that Cesc will forgo the 4 million pounds that Arsenal would have to pay him for releasing him while still under contract. So that 4 million squid which never really changes hands becomes like… Read more »

Truegooner

I don’t mind Cesc leaving (well I do), what I really hate is that we capitulated. The whole point of this thing was to get what we deserve for a top class player. Selling for less than the price we quoted sends a terrible message. I’d rather we sit Fab on the bench until 2015 than sell him below market value. Why wouldn’t Nasri leave knowing we’ll just cave?

Midfield Corporal

It amazes me how some fans are selective with their memory to suit their own agenda. This current hysteria about a centreback for example, I think some fans think. AW has said fuck it, I’m not concerned about this area for the past two years. They ignore he bought the verminator, and a further two CB’s last summer. Yes one turned out to be somewhat of a let down but he had a good pedigree and was only ever meant to be third or fourth choice. I think some fans genuinely think we could have 4 world class CB’s all… Read more »

Highbury_Squirrel

Not sure we’ll ever know the real fee if Cesc goes, especially if it’s not as much as Arsenal want. BBC says approx £35 million. That’s very different from 25 million euros some places are suggesting, even with add ons. In fact that’s smaller than their initial bid reported to be £26 million. Even SSN are getting involved now, something is definitely happening.

boris

for all the doom and gloom fans here’s some good Arsenal-related news…
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-14477368

Arseprof

It can’t help but feel disappointed. Even in my heart looking at the team, I knew 4th would be the best we could do. But hearing it from Wenger himself just confirms the fact we have little ambition to move for ‘super quality’ players we need. We seem to be losing our best players

Arseprof

While others are improving around us. How can we look to the future, when our players get to an age where they have developed, we seem to sale them. We have clearly become a selling/feeder club for teams that seem to have left us in their wake. I guess it time to look at the great teams of the late 90s- early 00s era and be proud, because with still in charge all we can do is watch while the club develops it’s next big pay day

Oz

Hmmm. Until we sign some proper experienced talent, might be getting my Thierry, Ian Wright, Arse’s 101 Greatest Goals etc DVDs out this season and crying into my beer.

Gunner73

Barcelona are cunts, wenger is an Arsenal legend and we are going to win the league.

That is all

Gunner73

Actually, one more thing regarding Cesc. He has a contract with Arsenal, He should stop whining about going back to Barca get his head down and act like a fucking captain. As I see it, he has unfinished business with us until he wins something and if he leaves then he should consider his Arsenal career a failiure. How can he say he wants to leave but only to one club? If he was available on the open market we would have had about £50 illion for him by now. Anyone looking for someone to blame for our slow transfer… Read more »

Jimmy

Wenger is a cunt

e

I’d agree with Gunner73, as an American with relatively useless American insight, Cesc is doing quite a bit of work to turn this saga into his own LeBron-eque “Decision” circus festival…and the parallels are there, which makes my stomach churn even worse given that if this goes through, that’ll be two Decision-esque events in sport to go down in my life in the span of a year. That being said, if Cesc hates the Arsenal badge enough to pay £4m out of his own back pocket, then I say “good riddance,” he was never fit to honorably wear the badge… Read more »

e

Mind you, he not only has worn the Arsenal badge for awhile, but also the captain’s armband. See out your contract, Cesc…or not, and move on already, we have plenty of Arsenal blood waiting to do the captain’s armband right.

Spooner

There’s probably not much of a point here, but Cesc was poached from his local team by Barca at the age of 10 (his coach there wouldn’t play him if he knew a Barca scout was around), where he stayed until he was 16. 6 years with a club that poached him versus 8 with us – it’s tiresome all this ‘going home’ shit.. It’s rare that people get to play for their favourite club, and more often than not, money money does a lot of the talking (Ashley Young, an Arsenal fan, going to Utd for instance). If he… Read more »

Rodders1971

TOMC-you are clearly of the deluded ‘AKB’ camp,open your eyes to what is really going on at the club…and by the way,1971 was when I first went to Highbury,so leave my parents out of it,there’s a good boy.

TheRealRVP

Really disappointed with Cesc if he goes. Had the chance to be a true Ars legend by helping seeing us thru the difficult change from Highbury-Emirates and coming out the other side by finally winning some trophies again. Instead he a fucking quitter! Go and be a just another fish in the c**t bowl that is Barcalona. Good riddance. In Wenger we (still just about) trust!!!!!!!!!