Clutching at Arsenal Straws – “We must accept finite disappointments but never lose infinite hope”


There was a sense of despondency and largely a kind of mixed feelings after the 2007/2008 season. Not many people including pundits, media and opposition fans gave us any chance of competing. Even most Arsenal fans, myself included, thought we were not gonna mount any serious title bid. Our expectations were not that high. We started the season well, went on a 21 game unbeaten ran, but eventually dropped off at the latter stages of the season. I felt hugely disenchanted even though I had no hope for the title prior to the start of the season, a tad strange really. It is one of the seasons I regretted most and of course this season.

Can’t remember ever being so depressed and frustrated by Arsenal like this season. I mean how low again can we go as a top club. Is been a catastrophe. Arsenal this season is a classic case of an organization with an anarchical outlook. There is no sense of direction or responsibility whatsoever. No one seems to have any clue of what’s going on at the club. You wish you could just sim this season like in FIFA.

A perspective look on the season however, could suggest that it is not all doom and gloom for Arsenal, that is going forward. There could still be some positives to be taken from this season.

Our season has been a bit of a disaster, there are lots of things that can derail one’s confidence and enthusiasm regarding Arsenal. We’ve had humiliating moments this season, painful results and excruciatingly tormenting experiences as regards some of the performances of our team this season. But for some time now, I always thought the club needed a kick-up the ass to get very serious and ambitious gain. What we are witnessing can only get us to hit rock bottom, and I wager it is a positive thing in a way because, “there would not be cloud nine days without rock bottom moments left below” and when you need to hit rock bottom, humiliation is part of the deal.

At least one of the positives we can take from this season is that there’s been a collective concession that drastic changes are needed in the club, be it structural, managerial, board level, players or even the owner. Not that this need for change has just been realized, but there has never been a huge outcry or concession for it like is happening now. Whether these changes include Wenger going or staying, at least is clear that there would be significant changes at the club hopefully for the best.

Just over a month ago, Ivan Gazidis made comments to fans before the game against City that, what is happening this season “will be a catalyst for change” at the cub.

Catalyst for change – Should be

Yeah you may argue that Ivan hasn’t got the last say, but his utterances carry some weight at least more than any other voice we’ve heard called for change this season. Arsene was later on quizzed on Ivan’s comments and he described the call as “superficial”.

Is clear that Wenger was rattled with what Gazidis insinuated

Happier times

Also depending on whom you believe and trust around the club, Gazidis has got some backing from some board members who also believe there should be big changes at the club even if it means Arsene is to be excused. There is the accession that, this was what stopped his contract renewal.

Also there are talks about Josh Kroenke taking over the negotiation of Mesut Ozil’s contract extension. This is a positive sign in the sense that the board or if you like, the leadership of Arsenal, are now willing to go the furthest length to keep our star players, at least those who are willing to stay. You can also see an accountability element in this case. Josh taking over the negotiation of Ozil’s contract extension is a euphemistic way of telling Dick Law that, he is not doing his work properly. Something we have not seen at Arsenal for a long time.

More of a role for Josh K

One thing that also add-up to this is the fact that Arsenal are reportedly looking to bring in a Director of Football next season to take over the negotiations of players and coaching staff’s contracts. So even if Wenger manages to stay on, he would have to only concentrate on coaching the team and leaving the rest of the work to other people. I don’t think Arsene’s ego would allow him to work with a Director of Football as he has spoken against it before in 2013.

I will not work with a Director of Football because they buy the players and when it does not work you are guilty for not using them well”

So in whatever guise or state the season ends, we would most likely see these important changes, hopefully that includes Wenger going. Some of the mooted changes are a Director of Football a new physio, new goalkeepers coach and scouts.

We’ve also got the trip to Wembley to look out for. Not everybody in North London can say that though. Maybe the only thing they will be celebrating is the cancellation of Saint Totteringham Day. I don’t think anything beats a trip to Wembley at the end of the Premier League season, more especially considering how our season gone. A chance to win a trophy. Maybe something to allow Arsene to end his reign on a high. This is a positive, from whatever angle you are viewing it from. Win it and Arsene would have been the most successful manager in the history of the oldest knock-out competition in the world. I know there is a very big IF involving everything about the FA cup this year, but the hope alone is better than none even if it is the hope that kills.

Here we come

We have a season to forget and all that we can do now to clutch at the limited straws that are left before there is none left. “We must accept finite disappointments but never lose infinite hope”

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