Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Usmanov: Wenger is great coach but he’s made mistakes

Arsenal’s second largest shareholder, Alisher Usmanov, appears to have given his backing to Arsene Wenger, calling the Frenchman a ‘great coach’, but says the Arsenal manager has made mistakes the club need to strengthen to compete properly domestically and in Europe.

Speaking to CNBC, Usmanov said, “He is one of the greatest coaches not just of European, but of world football.

“But there is a Russian proverb which goes – ‘Even an old lady can have a roof falling on her’. Everybody makes mistakes. He can make mistakes and I know as you age that it is more difficult, more challenging to accept one’s mistakes.”

When pressed on whether or not it was time for Wenger to go, Usmanov said, “That is not my decision.

“He is a great man, a great coach, he had great victories and he has to have an opportunity to secure trophies, which he and his team ought to have.

“I wish them victories, because their victories are the victories of investors, including myself, and of the Arsenal fans who deserve them.”

It’s worth remembering that Usmanov’s alliance with David Dein probably makes his quite pro-Wenger, but he wants to see more investment in the playing squad.

“My opinion, and I tell it openly, is that we need to strengthen every position to play on the level of such teams in UK as Chelsea and Manchester City, in Europe like Real, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and other clubs.

“I have no plans apart from wishing lots of successes to Arsenal, but I always express my opinion. I know sport pretty well and respect everyone at the club, including Kroenke, who has a substantial experience in sport.”

So, basically he’s saying what many fans are: that the team needs to be strengthened, the manager needs to address some of his issues and that we need to be more to be competitive.

The only difference is he’s got 30% of the shares as he says it.

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mersons coke dealer

This guy looks evil as hell, but i’d take him over $ilent $tan any day.

Harish P

Stan might be silent as hell, but we know what we’re aiming for: a financially self-sustaining club. I know it’s a painstakingly long thing to have dealt with, but with the debt covered it’s just showing good signs on a business level of building up to superclub level. I like that with Stan we’ve got something like this to he proud of (and even if maybe not now then we especially shall be when we’re at that superclub level) without someone throwing money and giving that temptingly delicious sugar daddy money. We can talk about that £3m all we want… Read more »


I’m sorry, but Stan had absolutely no positive impact on Arsenal’s ambition to be a self-sustaining club…

He came in when that vision was already in place, didn’t do anything about the stadium debt to help accelerate and get over the lean years, and when those years were coming to an end, decided to take a bit of spare change for his strategic services.

So yes, we can talk about that £3m all we want.

Silent Stan's Content Mustache

Stan is treating this just like any other sports enterprise of his. It’s all about mighty $$$ for him, everything else is an afterthought.

Me So Hornsey

What zflair said.

Fireman Sam

Because he’s a businessman you mean? Yeah you’re right, I think he cares mostly about the money aspect to his investment.


He only made PHW rich and contributed not a single cent into Arsenal.

He also baulked or not responded to Usmanov’s suggestion of rights issue, which would have put $$ into Arsenal.

Usmanov over Stan anytime.


Absolutely 100% correct sir, too many fickle fans out there that would rather have everything instant ala fast food but doesn’t think of the financial problems that would occur 10 yrs down the line! No one has patience anymore, they want it all and now, I understand AW has lost the plot and definitely needs to get going, but I’m speaking financially not about the actual team itself. Once AW is outta here and we have someone more tactically astute then and only then will it all come together!


How the fuck is this hidden as it is actually thoughtful and not the usual ‘Terry is a cunt’ that everybody laps up… I know how, the computer is making decisions, which is the root of all evil… That and money… Au revoir

Follow the money

Look at Stan’s other clubs. The future looks bleak. Losers

Silent Stan's Content Mustache

The more he talks, the less shit I give what he has to say.


I wouldn’t. I’m no fan of Kroenke but I don’t want someone like Usmanov to have anything to do with Arsenal, let alone more than he currently does.
I’m sure Kroenke’s no saint, either, but there’s a difference between being a ruthless businessman and being a criminal.


Law (made by criminals)? Otherwise I’m struggling.


Usmanov is an eager participation is Putin’s corruption of Russia, in his promotion of bigotry, and in the destabilisation of Russia’s neighbours. He’s been found guilty of crimes and may well have committed other crimes and been protected from their consequences by his powerful connections. Craig Murray paints quite the picture.
As I said, Kroenke is probably no saint but one bad thing is not the same as another bad thing.


Don’t mistake me for someone who takes him to be a lovable rogue. My objection is to your statement that the categories themselves are inherently morally dichotomous.


My objection is to thinking that a shoplifter is the same as a murderer.


Exactly. Or that someone who pulls the plug on a country for financial gain (legally or otherwise) is morally equivalent to some kid who smokes a bit of weed at a party.


“there’s a difference between being a ruthless businessman and being a criminal.”

Ha! No, there isn’t.


dont worry,when we get out of the champions league and silent stan takes another £10,0000 and you cant attract world class players and you have to sell the once you have to balance the books, you then would know that a ruthless businessman who can ruthlessly get us to where we want is the answer

2014-2015 = the year we've been waiting for

For me… 2 Category A tickets + outbound train + Match Day program + 2 teas + 2 hot dogs + 1 skittles + inbound taxi… resulted in total expenditure akin to buying a brand-new Xbox One on Saturday. Considering how nauseous both my son and I felt at 2-0 down and even more stomach-discombobulating we felt leaving the stadium after the fulltime whistle, I’d have been much better off watching the match on Sky Sports at home and then playing on our new Xbox console. There is a reason ticket prices at Chelsea and Manchester City are half the… Read more »

Podolski's Hastag

I wouldn’t hold your breath on ticket prices going down. That would go against every bone of any investor / owner when the line of season ticket renewals are 100’s of miles long. What I don’t understand is why Arsenal are unwilling to adapt. These oligarchs/monarchs are legally investing in the business through loopholes and tactful sponsorships and funding. They are NOT stupid and there are systems in place for sustainable growth after the period of investments. Refer: Man City and their development plan – youth training facilities, hotel / shopping precincts. etc. & to some extent Chelsea’s commercial revenue… Read more »


Lifelong fan and father of two lovely gooners… Im with you bro


Stop buying hotdogs and you’re on your way to gaming heaven


Jabba the Hutt vs. Silent Stan. Now surely that’s a pairing straight out of Hell.


Caught between a rock and a hard place


Mistakes you say?? REALLY????

i want klopp now

Heck, I find the Wenger story a sad but pretty common one. It’s the story of standing against the tide of opinion and being right once upon a time leading to ignoring dissenting opinions from that that day forward.When Wenger came to the Premier League with his newfangled training methods, Japanese coaching pedigree and new tactical system, he was universally derided. He was right though, football was changing and he was on it’s leading edge. This fortitude, this belief that he was right carried him through that storm of criticism. Now we come to the present day, that fortitude and… Read more »


If only he didn’t look like Jabba the hutt.


In other stating the bleeding obvious news….

Two and a half more years and counting.

Man Manny

If I were a United fan, I would be more worried about the display than happy about the result. The forward line was complete except Falcao. Di-Maria was almost non existent as an attacking force. The less said about Van Persie, the better. History has shown that you don’t get away with such displays often enough to get a satisfying season. On the other hand, Arsenal’s display showed a great improvement from the beginning of the season and the anger and frustration of playing so well yet losing may just be the catalyst for the rest of the season –… Read more »


worried, why should i be worried, they have a manager who is clearly not set in his ways, who does not go into every game with just plan a, this is a man who is trying all kinds of formation to find the right one, i would be patient with him till he finds the right formula, with wenger hell no, every game is like lottery, just play the same formation and hope for gud luck

kampala gooner

How comes he always waits for when things are on a doward spiral to open his snort

fresh prince

So basically all the time since about 2005?

Virginia Goon

So we are all within earshot of hearing it. Then the mugs who attend the next match have one more thing to clamor on about. rightfully so, we’ve been abysmal. It’s almost as if every attempt is being made to just bring this great club down.

Dan D

Because it’s when he’s at his strongest.

He wants in, the Club don’t appear to want that. So he strikes while his iron his hot.

Total common sense from his point of view.

Steve F

Bang on man. The only time we hear from this guy is when he feels there is a chance to put a nail in the coffin and spin out something he feels that the fans want to hear. Complete bulshitter

Wise Old Man of the Steppes

Other famous proverbs include:
“Even man with no legs can be ravaged by mink.”
“Even nail varnish remover will taste good if you drink enough of it”.
“Even economy with no agricultural reforms since 1945 can prosper when oil is over $100 a barrel”


wenger has lost the plot , its a matter of time and all the fans are up against him. This time its hard to snub the fans. #wengerout

Gutbukket Deffrolla

Who are you to think you can speak for me, and “all” Arsenal fans?


What, and turn out like all the other clubs with problems?
No thanks


We all know the board will never sack him as long as we keep getting 4th! And he has made them shitloads of dosh in transfers. Being a tad stubborn he wont walk and will probably see out his contract. Unless things get totally fucked up and nobody wants that surely… Top4?


Trust this horrible fat floater to “pop up” now. In times of crisis, the greasy Uzbek teste appears.


Because thats what you do as a business magnate. You wait for the opportune moment and go to the press backing the manager, while letting the fans know you are lurking around in the background just in case Kroenke decides to sell up.


What moderate-able word have I used? Teste? Uzbek?

El Capitano

Unfortunately thats the mordern game.
Unless we match our competitors financially then we aren’t ever going to move forward, with Arsene, or without him.
It doesnt matter if we have Klopp, or Pep or anyone else as Arsenal manager.
Without the investment in the team, we aren’t going anywhere fast.
League title’s are now won and lost in the transfer market.

Az Ahmed

Ridiculous. We don’t need to invest loads. I would go as far as to say we have a better squad than Chelsea except we are missing 3 or 4 players in key positions. We need 2 CBs and 2 DMs. Someone like Pep could easily come in and turn things around with our squad. It is the ineptitude of the manager of a. not buying players in key positions b. not doing a. at the right time, c. not adjusting tactics based on the opposition d. not training the players for key situations – set pieces, finishing, defending.


That is a quite Arsenal tainted glass you are wearing there my friend, but I respect your opinion. We are no way near chelsea’s squad and we can also thank Arsene for letting them have a free run at Cesc (Who we clearly don’t need, despite the fact we are doing the square root of fuck all creatively.)

Az Ahmed

Let me put it this way, would Fergie be able to win things with this Arsenal squad?

Red Four

He did it with that United squad


And that United squad is massively worse than ours. Compare the performances on Saturday, then consider that United have just had £150M worth of investment over the summer.

(formerly known as) El Capitano

I honestly would love to agree with you, but I dont think our team is as good as Chelsea’s. The table doesn’t lie unfortunately, we dont have the same fire power as them up front, nor do we have the defensive stability. I think if AW had sorted out a quality holding midfielder and some decent defensive cover, then we potentially might of been able to mount some sort of title challenge, whether or not it would be successful would be anyone’s guess. But AW isnt a crap manager, its proven what he can do when he has a group… Read more »

Az Ahmed

Our squad is better than Chelseas or least at a level of being able to win the title, based on everyone being fit, in my opinion. Sanchez is on a par with Costa. Debuchy, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Theo, Ozil, Sanchez, Welbeck – and the subs – Ox, Ramsey, Santi, Roz, Poldi etc. Are you saying Fergie, Mourinho, Pep or such would not be able to win the title with this set of players? Even if not, replace Arteta with Bender/Khedira/De Jong/Mascherano or another world class DM, and replace Mertesacker with Hummels or even a half decent back up… Read more »

A Gunner

First comment ever posted on Arseblog, long time reader. Your comment is what’s ridiculous, it takes the biscuit as one of the most ridiculous things I have ever read here.

A better squad than Chelsea? Get a grip, man!

This is the problem, some Arsenal “supporters” (internerd keyboard artists) would sniff a dog turd and prefer to believe it’s actually the aroma of hot chocolate wafting up their nostrils! Denile ain’t a river in Egypt!


This. i guess it makes them they’re “real fans”

Az Ahmed

At least get the joke right…..

Chelsea have a weak SQUAD, although a strong first team. Costa/Fabregas/Terry get injured – they’re screwed. We have about 10 players ready to play in midfield. Our weakness is defence when we have players out. Our first team defence did pretty well last season. The problem is with Wenger not signing players to compete for each position. You need 2 players for each position to have a strong squad. Chelsea don’t have that.


Deluded fan you are. bet you also think we have better strikers than costa too

Az Ahmed

Sanchez is on a par with Costa


Dont kid yourself, this squad in not better than Chelseas

Red Ed

We haven’t got a better squad than those blue cunts. We might have more attacking players, although that is debatable, but they have a much better balanced team and squad, the filthy blue cunts.

alexis' shorts

Can people just can it about bringing Pep to the Arsenal? What we really need to do is sign Messi and that Mauro Icardi wunderkind

… ffs

Was born a Gooner

I like this guy… And I like his Ideas…
But I dont want to be anything like the Chavs or the Sheiks…
Dont want to be spending 50million on the Torres’ of the world…


I’m probably a bit too sceptical to like his ideas.
The way he plays his cards seems too underhanded to be honest.

Dan D

Respect your opinion Ben but for me he couldn’t be any more transparent.

Lots of negativity floating around at the moment so he strikes in the press.

He wants to own the club and probably bring Dein back with him.

Don’t know enough about him to pass any further comment however.


Yeah fair play! And likewise…
Just working on gut feeling.


43 million for Ozil, whats the difference


About 7million and he’s been injured for a bit now. Shame he would have that back three to shreds on Saturday even playing out wide.

Glory Hunter

For a long time, a lot of fans were saying Wenger out, but a lot of fans myself included believed that we needed to be a bit more patient.
I accept I was wrong & that the fans calling for Arsene’s head were right.

Likewise the people against Usmanov really need to reconsider their stance, once bitten twice shy.

bims lay

iArsenal clearly needs to do something, the present situation is simply not good enough!…..This means more investment. I dont see anything wrong with Usmanov’s money anymore, if nobody else “better” is giving, then his money is good enough for me…..everybody else is doing it, FFS, why cant we? When Chelsea or Mancity win premier league titles because of massive capital injections from their billionaire owners, i dont see anybody whingeing about where the money came from the bottom line is personally?….i dont give a rat’s ass where the money comes from, as long as it affords us the financial clout… Read more »


If humanity lived with that level of integrity we’d be fucked.

Arsenal Mad Since 2009

Wish it was Kroenke instead of that sick Americano!


What infuriates the fans is not that we dont spend 50,60 million a pop on players. But rather the lack of sensible investment in our teams. I swear, I think we might be the only club that goes into transfer negotiations with other clubs for players with a set non negotiable asking price. It’s like we try to dictate the price of the player for the selling club! We like that player. We are offering 15 million and thats it. Not another penny more. Now sell him to us. Who in their right mind would want to sell anything like… Read more »

Gutbukket Deffrolla

I’m sure it’s nice to have technically limited but hard working players that become an essential cog in a team’s system, but how do you identify that person when you’re in the market for a new player? “Essential cog” players only become that in the context of the team they are in and their interactions with the other team members. You can’t just go out and buy somebody else’s essential cog, because you’re not going to be able to buy all the other players that allow/help him to be the essential cog. It’s the old “Messi is a great player,… Read more »


Exactly. We dont address the fundamental flaws in our team because Arsene has this tendency to always want the fabled top top quality players. I think we might be the only club who have a hard time filling up the 25 man squad quota for the premier league because we havnt addressed it for nearly a decade now. We dont have a sugar daddy like Chelsea to have 25 players on the highest wages. But Im sure we can find adequate players that can contribute to our team. The problem is we dont. Someone like Manolas or Jedinak even though… Read more »

mlog oghale

he is a funny man


Until every department is adequately addressed, nothing is forthcoming

Shere Willpower

Usmanov in would be a good way to compete. Wenger to become a board member and a dynamic and tested manager like Jürgen klopp or pep guardiola would do our club wonders.


What we need now is two quality CB and hard working AM. (Attacking M) and one best striker

Little Swede In The No.14 Shirt

when the going gets tough the Hutt gets going


its becoming ridiculously difficult to defend Wenger, i wont go into details about how he failed to buy in the summer or what players i think he should have bought. i have my own favourite players i’d like to see at Arsenal, just like the next Arsenal fan wants his favourites at Arsenal but at least we all agree on the type of players that we need, just not the names. we played really well on saturday, unfortunately when you lose a game it becomes a little difficult to argue that fact but i thought that was our best performance… Read more »


Interesting that the usual invective aimed at Usmanov is missing from Arseblog’s post….
A ‘softening’ I wonder? Bloody hell, we must be in trouble!!


Who actually cares what Usmanov thinks? He has absolutely no power at the club, despite his 30% share ownership. And he’s wrong about Wenger: this is not just a case of a good manager making a few bad decisions; Wenger has lost the plot and should go now. Fundamental failures in the management of our club has taken us to this crisis position. Even Arseblog, who seems to be in love with Arsene, acknowledges today that Wenger screwed up big-time in the transfer market last summer. “But who should replace him?” Steve Bould should be caretaker manager until the end… Read more »


I’m in 100% agreement with you Fat Gooner. To be fair yo you, you have been saying this for the last 4 years on here.


What credentials have Steve Bould got to manage this club?
It might work but I don’t see that as a better option to what we’re already doing.


He said caretaker manager. And I agree with him. It will not be hard for Arsenal to finish top 4. Wenger can do that as well of course but the problem is he will view that as an accomplishment when it bloody well isn’t. So ideally he should leave now and that would give the board plenty of time to find a true replacement for next season.
Won’t happen though…


No offence to Bould, I rate him highly.
But do you really think he’s going to do a better job of getting us into the top 4 than Wenger – who’s done it consistently for 17 years?

Aside from anything else, Wenger’s not far off smashing fergusons record which I would personally rather see.
Another one for him to make us proud of!


Fat gooner is spot on. How Wenger even for a second can think that he does what is best for the club is absolutely rubbish. He is so stubborn, and strangely enough that FA Cup win is to blame most likely. As that was what gave the old man inspiration to carry on for another 3 years.

I am tired of this bollocks week in and week out, we want a change NOW..

bims lay

lets not overreact……Its never easy to achieve fourth place in this league, try asking Tottenham about it, or Everton, or even Aston Villa…….they’ve been trying to do just that, for as long as i can remember!


Some Arsenal fans are really ignorant and stupid. Any fan that would prefer Kroenke over Usmanov imo is not a true fan. The man says it as he sees it. He is no business man, he is like us a fan that wants to challenge and win trophies. Kroenke is after profits and only looks at the bank statement at the end of every season. He doesn’t give a rats ass whether we win anything or get smashed by top teams. Only fool will praise his financial impact on Arsenal because at the end of the day whatever profit is… Read more »


It’s not because he’s Uzbeck. It’s because of trust.

Once you sell that club it’s gone.
I’d rather they made the right decision, and nothing about this man has thusfar made me trust him.

Man Manny

Tell us what we don’t know.


Usmanov is a genious. He bought shares at decent prices, has seen them grown in value thanks to the “self-sustained” model where fans put all the money and have zero saying on the club’s direction, unlike Abramovic and the Abu Dabi royal family who have lost millions from their football ventures. Unlike them, he has to take none of the heat for the team’s prolonged mediocrity. He can even come out from time to time and have some fun poking Kroenke by advising further investment, knowing that the chances of the money coming out of his pocket are about as… Read more »


listen if he wanted Arsenal that badly he would make a boig offer to take stans shares. if he ‘loved’ the club as much as he has previously said, he would throw in some cash. he’s a huge shareholder anyway, win/win. but all he does is come out and speak when the club is under pressure. PR.


In theory, when Wenger steps down (the board won’t fire him), do we think he should retain a place at the club? I starting to think we shouldn’t. Let the next manager start with a clean plate. Those images of Fergie looking right fecked off at the United games last season springs to mind.


Except for that Russian proverb, what he says makes a lot of sense. However, it’s way too obvious to earn him any fans. Speaking of which, I’m not sure why so much hate is directed at this guy, and more (albeit tacit) love directed towards Silent Stan. A lot of the hate seems really superficial. So he’s fat, and he’s Russian. But he speaks with far more passion that Stan has and ever will for Arsenal. I think if you’re a complacent fan that’s ok with a top 4 finish, then sticking with Kroenke is wise. I think both he… Read more »


He may not be the nicest of people, but Usmanov is right here. How can Ivan Gazidis honestly say we have the ambition to be one of the Bayern Munich’s or Real Madrid’s of Europe in the future if we cannot even address obvious mistakes in the now?
If there is something more going on behind the scenes that we do not know about, I feel as paying fans who contribute to everything in this club, we deserve the right to know, good or bad.


I don’t think we need to spend a crazy amount to catch up to the other big teams in Europe. Players staying healthy would help, but I think the entire world knows what we need: a CB, holding midfielder, and perhaps a keeper upgrade. I really think letting Sagna go (and loaning Jenks out all year) have really come back to hurt us.


It is getting increasingly frustrating to watch Arsenal games. I mean for sure we all love Arsene Wenger for what he has done for the club. He gave us the stadium, the invincibles and made us to what we are today. We all love him for that. We pay the highest ticket prices in world football, we pay for premium football and get shambes in return. It is increasingly depressing to go in to big games with the feeling that we are not going to win. I am never optimistic against the top-teams anymore. We don’t adapt to any opposition,… Read more »

Angry goon

FFS! Just sign the players we really need and there wouldn’t be any need for this shit talk grrrr!


No serious big club Europe will play average/zero international caps, natural no 8 ex-everton average player as their DM. Then have another average AC Milan reject 5’7 as back up, it is scandalous, for a man getting £8 million a year. 1 win in 15 vs ManU, couldnt evev beat David Moyes’s manu, never beaten Morinho in over a dozen matches, 8-2 at OT, ……….too numerous to list here, the man has to go, unless he makes 4 solid signings 2x CB/DM……..Terry/Kompany or Vierra/Yaya like…..


John *cunt* Terry, No Thanks.

Regardless if he got those players we would probably struggle. I think the main issue is his tactics.


Remember what happened when we poached the manager of the mighty millwall…


Arsenal needs a new manager. Everyone love wenger for what he previously accomplished, but a change is needed..

Yank Me

Just saw some news about Mr Kroenke. He has extracted a nice check from the town of Florissant, MO to build a Walmart. He had to work for it this time, and I get the impression that he is very competent at theiving fom the municipal tax pool. Kroenke is an oligarch just the same as this Usmanov fellow. Don’t be fooled by his western name — yes, we English speakers are taught that Easterners practice oligarchy while we do “business.” Kroenke is the epitomy of the American financial oligarchy who have made America one of the most unequal countries… Read more »


It’s too late now, he pretty much owns it!
Interesting info… cheers.


Who knows if this is the right article to post this comment (I’m tired of reading the same thing over and over again), but all I have read for the last 3 days is that Wenger only knows one way to play… Did any of you see the FA Cup final in 2005?


Le Prof knew how to park the bus before that twat decided to tell the world he invented Catenaccio.


I like how the rats come out of their hole when the clubs goes through a difficult time.
Usmanov is so predictable.

Diaby's Hamstring

I don’t care that Usmanov looks evil, too fat and too fucking Russian. He talks some sense and shows he cares. Unlike Silent Stan who just stays, erm, silent. On top of that he looks like Avi from Snatch. I don’t trust that man.

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