The cupboard is quite bare when it comes to inspiration for writing but I would like to comment on some of the trends seen in current Tweets and on social media in general. These range from the ongoing split in the AW for and against camps to rumours and suggestions on possible transfers.
The “Go” or “Stay” debate is going to continue long after the Brexit has been decided and to some of our fans, believe it or not, it is more important. It must give great comfort to Spurs, Utd, Chelsea and City to see the turmoil at Arsenal, and some concerned fans are suggesting that there should be an attempt at mediation to try to bring the divided fans together again. I can only guess what the players make of this situation and it must make it more difficult for the club (whether it is Wenger or not) to entice top players to join us.
The quality of players we would be looking for are those who will make an instant improvement to our team and hopefully it would include an on-field general. The problem is that these players are the same targets for all the top teams. If we do find one or two, what do we have that would convince them that their future is with us? What are the prospects of winning the top prizes? Our history confirms that we are a safe bet to qualify for the Champion’s League but it is equally safe to bet that we will be a last 16 team. We are a perpetual top 4 Premiership team. We may pick up an FA Cup or League Cup but we will not win the Premiership.
We have a great travelling support but a vocal protesting element at The Emirates which includes very auspicious banners displaying “Wenger Out” or similar messages. Our main shareholder is an absentee owner who is not interested in winning trophies so all- in- all our CV is not very attractive to an A list footballer. Next season will be harder for us to make top 4 because the, until this season, usual suspects, United, City and Chelsea will be spending hugely to reinforce their squads. United are showing distinct signs of establishing the foundation of a good team and City will have a clear out of players who will be replaced by those on Pep Guardiola’s shopping list. They will pay more than us and Pep is a proven winner. Chelsea will have a harder task because many of their players are old and there is still a clique element there perhaps. However Spurs will be a bigger threat and they have a young vibrant squad, it pains me to say, that is still improving. Klopp is reviving Liverpool so we are competing with 4 teams for two (possibly three) places unless we can get the players we need to get us there. The top two places will be beyond us.
The current squad will not do it and for whatever the reason is, we have to cater for being without key players for substantial spells due to injuries. No other club has that problem season after season but it would be foolish to repeat this year’s mistakes and not make plans for that event. We cannot drop points the way we did this year because it will open the door for some of the above teams to beat us to qualifying.
That is the task for next year. This season Wenger and Usminov were confident that we would challenge for the title. We had the squad, we also had the money to reinforce it and so it appeared that there was to be a golden dawn ahead of us. We had heard promises before but this time there was good reason to believe that Wenger`s promises were genuine. Those promises which we swallowed, taste like salt in our mouths now and many of us have had enough of false promises and false dawns.
All the signs are that Wenger will see out the final year of his contract. If he is to try to sign top class players he will have to convince them that if and when he leaves it will be an amicable departure and that it will not disturb the smooth running of the club otherwise those players will probably decide that there are better options elsewhere. Arsene himself should assist with the selection of his successor to ensure that the transition is smooth and that there is no serious culture shock to delay the advance of this club into becoming one of the giants of Europe. If we don`t get there in two years it will be a great deal harder thereafter. Spurs will have a 65,000 seater stadium and West Ham will be settled into an even larger stadium. The advantages of being the largest club in the Capital City will be gone and we shall be competing with two teams within London.
We need the support of all the fans and to that end some kind of mediation needs to take place. Mr. Kroenke, kindly take note, for the reasons stated above it is in “The Brand” interest to promote a vibrant enthusiastic fan base to make the atmosphere within the stadium. It affects the performance of the players and it elevates the image of the club. The financial contribution from the gate may not be as important as it once was, but the TV cameras love the atmosphere. The TV audience is worldwide now. The Premiership is followed avidly from America to Europe, Africa and Asia. To maintain that level of interest we need a united support. Get your finger out Mr. Kroenke. Make the manager accountable. Introduce an input for a representative of the fans onto the Board. Make a team of the management and the fans.
This year could well turn out to be the most important year in the history of this club but we need serious action from you Mr. Kroenke as well as the manager of the club and we need more input from football people. We cannot operate in the modern world of premiership football with a non-accountable Oligarch.
A sophisticated, articulate Arsenal Man of Mystery. Aged 70 and a bit.