Saturday, December 3, 2022

Wenger: Arsenal is more than a couple of star players

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal’s ‘self-esteem’ stems from the club’s values and not the presence of one or two big name players, even if outsiders choose to judge them on the latter.

The Gunners are currently trying to extend the contracts of star duo Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, however, even though successful negotiations would likely generate positive vibes in the press the boss insists that such matters won’t rock the foundations of the club in the eyes of those who work behind the scenes.

“Arsenal is a big club,” Wenger said on Thursday. “It is not one or two players who will make the difference to the club. The importance is that we are today in a financial position that is strong, that was not the case before.

“That means as well we are in a position where we can plan our future, and do what we want to do. What is important is always to take care of the values of the club, and the identity of the club, and not to depend too much on one or two players. The history of Arsenal is bigger than that.

“In every single club, at some stage, they have lost big players. Or they had big players without knowing. Or things like that happened everywhere. Every club is full of regrets and full of decisions. What matters is the globality of the decisions.

“The self-esteem is linked with the values that the club stands for,” the manager added.

“Of course, the self-esteem, or the identity that the press has of the club, is not exactly the same that you have inside the club.

“You could say the ‘prestige’, more than the self-esteem, is linked with the players. But I think it is more down to the consistency of the quality, or the way the team plays football.”

Obviously, he has a point. The club has survived the loss of star players before and will continue to do so in the future. That’s not to say that he doesn’t recognise the importance of keeping Ozil and Sanchez and the statement of intent it will send to other clubs and potential recruits in the future.


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Arsenal is bigger than its manager.


Well spotted.


Loooool he’s correct but because the manager is Wenger he gets thumbed down haha smh


Hi, please see our comment policy about the use of text speak –

David Kushner

If arsenal are a big club and a club in a strong financial situation then their is no reason why they should not be able to retain the services of both Sanchez and Ozil respectively. End of the story period


Agree 100%. But would still like to see Ozil and Sanchez extend as I think we are building a special team here with Xhaka, Bellerin, Mustafi as other potentially world class players.


Think this team has the potential to rival the teams of the late 90s / early 2000s, if we can keep it together

The Only Olivier is Giroud

Don’t want to be Johnny Raincloud here, but it’s starting to sound more and more like Wenger isn’t optimistic 🙁

Stewart Robson's therapist

It’s posturing. It’s part of any negotiation platform. They may sign, they may not, but what Wenger says in public shouldn’t be taken as an indication of either outcome.


Koscielny is definitely world class as well


And Cech


We are clearly in a different financial state now than during the sad days of departing stars and paying off a new stadium and the last thing Wenger will ever do is negotiate in public as that is not his style. His statement regarding both players having 18 months on their contracts is thus as much as he will offer although I personally liked that Arsene was adamant that he will not be selling them before their expiration dates. I think however if next summer goes by without extensions, and Wenger is still in charge, he might change his tune… Read more »


It is a bit worrying that there is any question over what they will do

Mein Bergkampf

Indeed we are in stronger financial position which allows us to operate like a top, top club. Let’s use that money to pay the top, top players the same money they would get at other top, top clubs. Ozil and Sanchez are one in a generation players and we’re so lucky to have them. I’d much rather us pay them the crazy money than sell them, risk it on a new high profile signing who if they succeed will ask for exactly what Ozil and Sanchez want.


i think ozil and sanchez are as concerned about them being able to win trophies at AFC. Obviously there will be negotiation on how much they get paid but i feel as if sanchez and maybe even ozil will wait until the end of the season or sometime threabouts to sign new terms. depending on our place in the PL and the fact the longer the hold out the better it would be for them

David Kushner

Another thought- what does failing to sign Ozil and Sanchez say to other potential world class signings and what kind of statement would that put out to current arsenal players.


I especially hate contract extension time, more than signing new players. While you can understand why players’ agents plant rumours and play the game of brinkmanship, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Either they sign because they want to stay, or they don’t. Our manager is right, the club is bigger than any one player, but it is also up to the club to replace players with players of the same or better ability (if it does come to that). In the current climate of stupid transfer fees and agent fees, it would cost less money to extend… Read more »


Arsenal is more WITH a couple of star players**


I’d hate for us to take a step backwards by losing them. We are pretty darn close to being so special, truly another great Arsenal team. I think they will sign.

I’ll be there next season and the season after and on and on. There you go Wenger be comforted by my continued presence. Hahhah

James Olot

Wenger is not bigger than Arsenal. He should have added that too.


Given that he’s never said that, why would he need to?


Yes, we could get massive money by selling these two, but it will cost big money in transfer fees to replace them. So big salaries or big salaries plus big transfer fees….. And who would you get to replace Alexis? With him, it’s not just amazing talent, it’s incredible will to win, which is contagious within the team. Ozil on the other hand has spent much of his time this year wandering about the field, leaving others to slot into the no.10 role temporarily; many goals have been scored with someone else leading the orchestra. It’s why his goals are… Read more »


Agree that it would probably be harder to replace Alexis. Though I feel that Ozil is the one who will be more likely to renew as he seems to be genuinely enjoying playing for arsenal. The other fact is that I don’t think any of the other European top clubs would build their team around Ozil as Wenger has done. He could get a higher wage but not a bigger role because of his lack of defensive contribution. Don’t think we would ever sell on of them to an English rival either which leaves Juventus, Real, Barca, Bayern as possible… Read more »


i am optimistic. simply because arsenal is a big club now , financially speaking. there is simply not enough clubs in the world who can afford ozil and sanchez. ozil as the guy above said is pure no10 and not many teams would be willing to change their team structure for one player. case of alexis is different . there will be a lot of teams interested in him. but i think he like it here and he will not leave , though i’ll admit i am baised. one of the reason i think so is because in teams like… Read more »


option A. Extend contract of alexis and ozil and give them 225-250k per week. As other players (giroud,wilshere,ox,ramsey and co) contract negotiations are also hoing on. They would demand comparitive wages as well. The wage bill goes up permanently much faster than the club would’ve planned to. Option B. We sell alexis and ozil or one of them. and replace them with players of the ilk of lucas.(any already top top player would demand wage approx to ozil/ , so forget like for like, as if it was even possible in current times). We keep the wage structure for giroud,… Read more »

Mustrum Ridcully

No that won’t happen because we are not like Southampton blessed with ready made replacements. Furthermore, this is financial suicide because a top club needs to be competing for trophies. Regardless what you say about the current board, they seem to want to be competitive.


We would definitely have to have a replacement waiting to come in if we were to sell one of them (Aubameyang/Morata/Benzema/James). The downside is that we would probably have to pay at least 200k/week to sign one of these so we bascially end up in the same situation as here. We could also try to replace them with younger talent but then we would have to rebuild again (knock us back 2 years) or hope that Welbeck/Lucas can transform to elite strikers and do the job and Wilshere to come back and become the player he was supposed to be… Read more »

Kostafi's Mustashi

A lot of the noice in the media is smoke screen from both sides of the negotiation table. Both sides are planting stories in the media to gain leverage. I’m not concerned about losing either Ozil or Sanchez……yet. I’ll start to panic in March if there are no rumors that the deals are done


Man he waffles a lot.


Love them both specially Alexis but players come and go and if a player doesn’t want to stay and wants more money than what they can spend they can go on and have a good life.


Give wenger a new contract if it means to retain ozil and Sanchez .. also he has earned it this time


I usually disagree with Wenger but one thing I respect him in Arsenal is fact he does not bulge to the wimps and caprices of players. In order words I feel no single player deserves all these over the top wages. With regards to Sanchez and Ozil, I do love them to pieces. However, I would not want us to pay through our noses to keep them. I believe we should up their wages but we should not empty our account to keep them. I have always believed that there is a better player out there than the best. No… Read more »

Scott P

I can feel your sentiment about not over-paying ridiculously, but suggesting they shouldn’t get any pay raise is a little harsh. When they signed they were big players, no doubt, but there’s always the issue of will they or won’t they fit into the Premier League. Both have proven they can handle it with flying colors, so we have to give them something!

Stewart Robson's therapist

He suggested no such thing.


Thanks Stewart. I did not say we should not reward them for their efforts but we should not empty our purse because we want to keep them.

Teryima Adi

Ozil, Sanchez- sign da ting.


For sure we are more than these two players but they are SO important at the moment. Not having them will be two steps backwards again (like the time we use to bleed players) That said, I think we are in a better position to retain players. Which is why I said it during the window that we will not be limitless with our spending. I estimated 3 players at 70m mark. Wenger went over at 90m with an additional two but mainly he spent on high value players this time round. Where he use to spend on one, he… Read more »


Globality. That is all.


Well played, Wenger. Using the press to help your negotiations. Not any different than an agent leaking stories to the press about Chelsea wanting Alexis or another club willing to pay £500k, etc.

Wenger is such a smart and disciplined man. He always chooses his words so carefully which is very hard to do these days.

Bergkamp 3:16

It’s Arsenal “are” not “is”


It’s not.

Clock-End Mike

It’s “Arsenal are” if you’re British, in most cases but not all; eg “Arsenal are on a good run at the moment” but “Arsenal is a club with a great history”.

It”s “Arsenal is” in both cases if you’re across the pond.

At least, that’s the impression I have. Correct me if I’m wrong.


This is either posturing or at least one of the two is off? I hope it’s the former!


Offer them what they are worth going by today’s standard if they refuse take it, we move on. No big deal…Victoria Concordia Crescit


Arsene is right, of course. But I’d worry it could take a long time, and a lot of money, to find replacements of a similar standard and to then bed them into the team.

How many seasons have we unsuccesfully tried to sign a top level striker (before moving Alexis into that role)?

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