Arsenal Fans – Is the Club Respecting your Loyalty or Simply Exploiting it?


I have read the excellent articles by Petits PonytailAlex Baguzin and Timothy Hargreaves and this contribution is designed to augment them rather than to try to improve upon them.

The one by Timothy was predictive and was written pre the Liverpool match and that is the cue for my lead in. Just before the game with Viking, I tweeted that our full team when all players were available still did not fill me with confidence because at that time, we had still not signed a centre forward capable of replacing Giroud or partnering him. Such a player would also have the advantage of providing Giroud with competition so that he would know that he had to maintain a good level of performance.

Chambers must go.

Chambers must go.

At the time I wrote, the Euros were in full flow and Xhaka was making a big impression. Sanchez was dazzling for Chile and Elneny had already proved that he was a good addition to midfield and that he provided a consistent and speedy solution to the link between attack and midfield. The most glaringly obvious weakness we had however had not been addressed. Mertesecker is past it and despite the affection the fans have for him, he is perceived by the other Premier teams as a weak link. Gabriel has not been able to master the English language and his game has not progressed since he signed for us. In my opinion, it is clear that he is not going to stabilise the centre of our defence and he should go. Chambers has also failed to advance and indeed, I believe that it is Wenger`s fault because he came to us as being generally regarded as the best of Southampton`s transferees who left to join other clubs. He has been used in a number of positions i.e. fullback on both wings and Centre Back when he clearly had not mastered the role of any of the positions. That has led to a loss of confidence and it shows by inaccurate and hurried passes and poor positional play.

Clearly, when Koscelny is not available we do not have any capable replacement. We do have a wealth of clever midfield players and we have Adelaide, Iwobi and others on the fringe of breaking through. I said in my Tweet, that this team would just as easily win a game 4-0 or lose it 4-0. In this one game against Liverpool, that opinion has been vindicated. We scored 3 and it should have been 4 if we had scored our penalty, but Liverpool scored 4 as well.

Hey Wenger - are you gonna buy me or not?!

Hey Wenger – are you gonna buy me or not?!

We have signed young Holding who has played well to be fair as has young Beilik, but one would not say that they are ready to contest against the top 6 in the Premiership. Wenger has known for months, that our first game was on the 16th August and he had all that time to remedy the situation. The truth is that we appear to have come close to signing Mustafi but once again a few million quid separated Valencia and Wenger ( or Kronke ) and we are now chasing a 3 point deficit with our main rivals. We have not won a single first game of the season in 7 years. Who is that down to? If Wenger saw Mustafi as his first choice for Centre Back, then firstly, he should have paid the price that all the other top Premiership managers are paying and secondly, he should have done it in time to have him in the team against Liverpool. Now I hear he is after Tobrak of Bayern Munich or Kjaer ( I believe of Fenerbache ). I don`t know either of them so I cannot comment on their quality, but clearly their names are not at the top of most peoples Data bank.

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I saw Koscielny sitting in the stands at the match and we are not going to have a solid Centre Back for the Leicester game. Well I watched Andy Murray reach the point of exhaustion after playing for 4 hours in stifling heat to win his Gold medal and he will be playing tomorrow in Cincinatti. It is over 5 weeks since Koscelny played in the Euro cup final and in the circumstances we were in on Sunday, he should have played. Alex Ferguson, Bill Shankly, Brian Clough and Mourinho; any one of them would have played him. The club`s needs come first. Some of Liverpool`s players had played in the Euros and they were on the pitch on Sunday. Please explain Mr. Wenger?

Once again he had been outsmarted by another manager. Klopp kept his tactics simple and used his full backs to reinforce our midfield so that we were outgunned in that department. They simply overran them and knocked in 4 goals before Wenger introduced some steel into the team. I won`t go into the details as Alex and Timothy have but clearly, his team selection was wrong and his criminal neglect again to obtain a Centre Forward and a Centre Back has piled pressure on our existing players who are not experienced or good enough at this level.

Yes, Arséne - we've lost 3 of the last 4 season openers...

Yes, Arséne – we’ve lost 3 of the last 4 season openers…

Finally, I resolved not to criticise Wenger until the end of the transfer window, but the season has started. All the other clubs have made their purchases and have them ready for the first match but once again Cinderella is late for the ball thanks to the scrooge of a manager and owner of this once great club. I say “once great” because when I see the numbers of players who decline to come here, it is clear that many players do not regard us as top flight no matter what we might think. If Wenger, Gazidis, and Kronke really do that they are associated by a great club, then act like we are and spend the money.

That brings me to what might be the most important matter of all – the division of the fans. I walked away when the whistle went so I did not hear the boos that I have subsequently heard followed the result. Clearly Wenger has not learnt the lessons of last season as I thought he had and consequently we are in for a season of more revolt and more recriminations between people on both sides of the fans divide. I will concede that it is up to every individual how he behaves in this matter, but what is indisputable is that it is the repeated failure of the management to pay proper respect to the fans. Wenger is once more repeating the mistakes he has made for at least 7 years and the club still regurgitates the same turgid nonsense we hear every year.

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It looks like we are in for more of the same. I was appalled at the bitterness which manifested itself at the end of last season. Some of the abuse I read was vile and disgraceful but in my view the quantity of the criticism if not the quality was directed at the WOB side. I am in the front of the queue to condemn the personal abuse WOB people used. I disagree with many decent honourable scribes and fans of the club as they well know, but if I was to resort to such behaviour, I would consider that I had already lost the argument. I would argue however to those of you who value loyalty to “The Club” or to “Le professeur”, if you consent to endless years of meanness, when we are told the club is awash with money; If you accept the disgraceful statements of optimism released by the club without criticism then you perpetuate the mediocrity and self serving of the management. In those circumstances, is your loyalty being abused? Is the club respecting your loyalty or simply exploiting it? With the best of intentions, are you not simply participating in the fraud being perpetrated upon the fans who long go reached the stage where they felt that they were entitled to more. What has happened to David Dein`s Arsenal? This dissension did not exist when he was here. To my mind the seeds of this unrest were sowed when he was forced out.

Where do we go now?

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10 Responses to Arsenal Fans – Is the Club Respecting your Loyalty or Simply Exploiting it?

  1. Mike August 17, 2016 at 10:09 am #

    Naïve in the extreme. There are far too many poor and unsubstantiated opinions and assumptions to go through let’s suffice to say that your logic is demonstrated in the first few sentences, “I said in my Tweet, that this team would just as easily win a game 4-0 or lose it 4-0. In this one game against Liverpool, that opinion has been vindicated.”

    How the hell was you opinion vindicated? was it a 4-0 defeat or a 4-0 win? Just because one team scored 4 you seem to think that vindicates you???? So if it had been 10-4 that would have vindicated you too but 5-1 wouldn’t. Oh please! With logic like that, there’s no wonder the rest of the article falls apart at the merest application of rational analysis.

    Just one example of blind rhetoric, “Alex Ferguson, Bill Shankly, Brian Clough and Mourinho; any one of them would have played him.” Prove it! You can’t. You’re just making stuff up to make your argument look good. It’s fine for people to have opinions but don’t try to start kidding people that they’re facts. It’s this sort of nonsense that gets impressionable people turning against the club without applying any common sense to their thinking. A bit like believing what you read in the tabloids!!!

    • Kevvy August 17, 2016 at 10:52 am #

      Ok Mike, good answer, you have point by point picked holes in the articles arguments, just like a lawyer would do. However, we all know that there is a seperation between what is legal and obvious or common sense. Sadly we can’t ask Clough or Shankly what they would have done, and we can’t bother Mourinho or Ferguson to check what they would have done in every single situation to which they are referenced. However, ‘my opinion’ and I’m sure the opinion of many others (Sky pundits included) is that they would have recalled Koscielny for this match. As it happens I don’t agree with the Murray comparison because the type of fitness is unrelated.
      As far as the other points made, I don’t like the vitriole that Wenger has created, but he has devided the fans. Much of the bad atmosphere within the Emirates has been caused by him failing to create a sense of optimism but instead leaving obvious issues not sorted. His offer for Vardy proved he wanted to buy a striker, but it highlighted that Arsenal aren’t the draw they once were, and, that he had no alternative target when the transfer came to nothing. It was a widely held view that the centre of defence needed strengthening even before Mertesacker and Gabrielle got injured, so has this been left so late? Even if Mustafi was to be signed this week, where is he in terms of pre season fitness?
      The article cited four great managers, and at the risk of being hauled over the coals for making statements I cannot prove, I will state that none of them would have stayed or would stay at a club that didn’t do its best to provide them with the resources to be successful. All of their clubs spent and spent big when the need or opportunity arose. Wenger on the other hand sees himself as the custodian of Stan Kroenke’s billions and some kind of economic guru. We all know there are different views of how finance and economics work, but Wenger thinks in terms of spending not investing. If we had invested in Higuan three years ago we’d have had a top class striker for three years, now worth more than we paid for him.
      To all the AKB supporters, sorry, but I don’t agree any more, he’s old and out of touch, and has become devisive, I don’t trust him any more, but before you hammer me for being disloyal, I’d been a fan for many many years before he arrived, and I’ll be a fan for many many years after he’s gone. The club may be owned by Kroenke, but it belongs to the fans, like me and my sort.

      • Victor Thompson August 17, 2016 at 3:47 pm #

        My apologies Kevvy, my reply attached to yours was meant for Mike and I noticed that you have done a decent job of replying to him. I agree with your point that none of the 4 managers mentioned would have stayed with a club which was not prepared to back him.

    • Victor Thompson August 17, 2016 at 3:42 pm #

      Sorry that a simple statement is too difficult for you to understand. The point I made was that the team was just as likely to concede 4 as they were to score 4. I was absolutely correct! Fortunately I am old enough to have known Ferguson Shankly and Clough. None of them would have put the player before the needs of the club, nor indeed would Mourinho. None of them were known as pleasant people but they made the right decisions and got results.

  2. emmanuel August 17, 2016 at 10:23 am #

    I strongly believe the board of arsenal f c has little or no respect for its fans and that is the reason they take them for granted. The only way this board can sack arsene Wenger is to be strongly hit by a strong and radical reaction from the arsenal fans, a reaction that will rouse this board from their dream.

    • Victor Thompson August 17, 2016 at 3:55 pm #

      Thank you for your comment Emmanuel. If you are advocating “a strong and radical reaction” along the lines of abusing Wenger and fellow supporters as happened last season, I am not with you on that. I am acutely aware of the damage which the Wenger/Kroenke/Gazidis axis has done to this club and I am very much opposed to them. However, even if Arsenal`s status under them appears to have declined, in my mind Arsenal is still “The Arsenal”, and to see the opposing factions fighting in public only helps to damage us in the eyes of other fans and indeed, players.

  3. Tolsem August 17, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    Simple. Lets see how to remove Stan Kroenke then everything will be fine.

    • Victor Thompson August 17, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

      Thank you Tolkem, the only way to remove Kroenke is to buy him out or find a way for Usmanov to acquire the shares he needs to out vote him. By the way, I don`t know if you are aware that it was Wenger who proposed Kroenke to the club.

      • Kevvy August 17, 2016 at 5:38 pm #

        Victor, not sure if you read today that Alisher is thinking of bailing out of Arsenal altogether and linking up with Moshiri at Everton. It would be worrying what their combined wealth could do there. What does intrigue me however is Wenger’s relationship with David Dein, they are supposed to be great friends and neighbours, yet Wenger seems to operate in a manner that is totally opposed to Dein’s (both Dein as a fan and a negotiator).

        • Victor Thompson August 18, 2016 at 8:47 am #

          Thank you Kevvy, I did read about Usminov and I am disappointed that he is contemplating going to Everton. Of course if he does, he will probably sell his Arsenal shares and the likely purchaser will be Kroenke. The fans will be well and truly stuffed then.

          As for Wenger and Dein, I understand that they are still neighbours but I`m not so sure that they are still as close friends as they used to be. One thing is certain Kroenke is a deadly enemy of Dein and as long as he is in charge, there is no prospect of Dein coming back. To me Dein was the personification of the Arsenal fan. Arsenal was his life and we have not been as successful in the transfer market or on the pitch as they were before he left. He is a great loss to Arsenal.

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