Unfortunately, life at work has been a little slow for the last couple of weeks for me; unfortunate because temptation got the better of me and I opened up Twitter – a platform I’ve avoided majorly for the best part of almost 10 months! Surprisingly, or unsurprisingly, nothing has really changed:
Wenger in, Wenger out!
We need to buy…
Spend some money Wenger!
But where will we fit *insert name of latest player rumoured to be moving to Arsenal* him if he comes in? Do we need him? We need…
Wenger has no ambition, the board has no ambition, it’s all about profits!
Et cetera, et cetera…
The negative energy on social media is quite unbelievable, and it’s round-the-clock! Hence I just had to disconnect. It also means I have no written for this long either so I’m a bit rusty, so bear with me…or don’t…
Anyway, I wanted to go back to simply just watching football, just watching it, nothing more nothing less. I wanted to go back to looking forward to the weekend to watch Arsenal play; maybe read the odd news story related to the Arsenal during the week, but it was always about the weekend – or midweek in case of UCL of course.
And that’s what I did. It served as a reminder that I looked forward to the weekend because I was guaranteed to watch good football albeit frustrating at times. It served as a reminder that the quality is there. It served as a reminder that the effort is there. It served as a reminder that you can’t have everything your way. It served as a reminder that, well, I’m a supporter at the end of the day and have very little control over how footballing events will transpire.
So, why fret so much?
As a supporter, surely you want the Arsenal to win trophies? some of you may be asking. Yes, I do. Then how can you not be fuming at the state of the club right now?
The state of the club. A club with a board with no idea of football. A club with a manager who is out of ideas, who is miserly, who is happy earning a fat wage with no accountability. A club only interested in making money. A club, or the manager for that matter, that has become disconnected with the fans. A club that cannot attract top players. A club sinking deep into mediocrity.
So is the club making money from lack of ambition? From poor football? No! They’re making money by charging the highest ticket prices, the TV money, and sponsorship deals…and by consecutive top-four finished and appearances in the Champions League. Is the club able to charge such premium fees because sixty thousand odd plus the thousands in-waiting for season tickets are willing to pay so much to watch lack of ambition and dull football? Are most Arsenal games covered by television channels because there are millions of fans globally that want to watch lack of ambition, pathetic players, and poor football? The state of the club.
The board has no ambition, both the board and manager are happy with a fourth-placed finish. They’re fine with mediocrity and Wenger is not accountable. So, how do you prepare for that in pre-season? Or even before each game week-in-week-out? Strategically calculate which games to f*** up in and which to play well in? Also strategically calculate how other results might turn out so you can comfortably finish top-four? Why bother playing football in a certain way? No accountability may have had us relegated by now, why bother with anything if I’m getting a fat wage and I’m not accountable? The state of the club.
Investment in youth and facilities because…well…that will further cement the lack of ambition, mediocrity, and will bring in money somehow. The state of the club.
Big players don’t want to come to the club. That really is tragic, we would have guaranteed success otherwise because you know – success in one league means success elsewhere, fitting-in with the culture of the club is not a concept, nor is fitting-in with the style of play. The state of the club.
The club is disconnected from the fans. It is taking advantage of the loyalty of its supporters. Is that because the club is not adhering to the simple task of aligning itself to the hundreds of different views of supporters? The state of the club.
The state of the club has resulted in the horrific start to the season – one point in all of two games. It would be interesting to know what the thoughts of supporters were at half time versus ‘Pool and then compare them to when we were 4-1 down. It was horrific and incomprehensible. Three goals came from our left-flank, an area that Monreal had pretty much sealed tight last season. Who’d have thought? The state of the club.
We dropped points to the Champions despite being the only team to beaten them twice last season. We are desperately short on players, though the introduction of our returnees from the Euros certainly lifted our game. But we’re desperately short, and we must sign sign sign! We’ll end up signing mediocre players though because you know, no one talks about them. The state of the club.
Yet the state of the club tells me to let those who are hired for their respective jobs do what they do because well, I’m not hired by the club. The state of the club does not have me panic – sure, the football on the pitch at times certainly does have me panic! With Arsenal there’s always a possibility, or always has been for the last twenty years or so.
If there’s anything that the latter half of Wenger’s era has taught me then it’s that he has been able to get the team out of crises one way or the other. Yes, it can be argued that those crises may not have ever occurred for xyz reasons; but, they occurred nonetheless. It’s also taught me that football will get you through it. Big players may have rarely been bought but the right players for playing that football were bought and it has ensured Arsenal compete. Has the level of competitiveness left a lot to be desired? Yes. Like I said earlier though, you can’t have everything you want.
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It’s Wenger’s last season, at least on paper it is, so I’m not going to panic and I’m just going to enjoy the football or bury my face in my hands at times. I’d rather try to understand the happenings on the pitch rather than fret over elements which are completely out of my control.
I’ll end this here, this was my first post after many months and further posts probably won’t be of this nature! I’ll go back to tactical analyses when appropriate, or ponder over psychological aspects of the game, or delve into statistics when necessary – and by delve, I mean really dig deep to bring some meaning to numbers!
‘Till next time!
Started supporting the club under dubious circumstances in ’97 but have never looked back since. I’ve only seen the Wenger era but continuously try to learn more about the history of the club. The Gunners’ results have affected my mood for every weekend for years now, I won’t go into details, but let’s just say I didn’t want to sleep the night we beat Barca! I reminisce about Henry every few weeks while Cesc’s wonderful passes play through my head every now and then! Hleb’s dribbles to Overmars’ speed always bring a smile, and I hope our current crop will stay a while.
Being a business major and a marketing professional, I believe there are always more than one way to look at things and that’s what you can expect from some of my blogs. Playing football for a number of years in various positions has helped evolve my understanding of the game though I still strive to learn more. I’m based in Karachi, Pakistan but dream of moving to London one day to be a ST holder!