It is unfair to criticise other Arsenal supporters based on my own fragile state of mind but equally I need to block them out. I find myself at a point in my life, for reasons unrelated to football, that I simply have no place for negativity that is avoidable but also in my own personal view, unnecessary.
Perhaps if I were in a better place, I would be upset with Arteta and the state of Arsenal in 20/21 but I crave and need positivity in my football. There is enough genuine cause for anxiety and disquiet in the world at present and in my own small part of it, without manufacturing an imaginary crisis at Arsenal.
I simply don’t care if Emery finished higher in his first season, that Saliba is apparently a ‘generational talent’ pulling up trees In Ligue 1, or even that Arteta’s team have lost eleven Premier League Games. I did however love winning the FA Cup last season.
I do care that Arteta has obviously improved our defence, our organisation, our shape without the ball and that he seems to have a clear picture of how he wants to play and ultimately the type of player he needs to play that way. I can see the journey on which I think the Spaniard wished to take us and believe I will like it when we arrive there.
I would rather look at the first 30 minutes against Wolves and the first 45 minutes against Leeds, where the vision was fulfilled, and the football was a pure joy to watch. Take that as the destination of the journey we are on, rather than dwell on the periods in those matches where individual or official player error cost the team. Why judge him on elements he cannot control and not on those he can? It will only take you down a negative rabbit hole, unless that is actually where you want to be? It seems some of our fan enjoy the negativity if social media is representative, but we have been here before.
It is far better for your health. to bask in the shining light of our young talent than gripe in a negative shadow cast by the presence of Willian. Saka, Smith-Rowe, Martinelli, Gabriel and even Tierney represent a core on long term contracts, to build on, whereas Luiz and Xhaka are simply old heads to ease their transition.
I guess it will depend on whether you feel you can see where the read leads, if Arteta is backed. We are not there and yes, of course, he has made mistakes. For me it is all about tempo and pace in the team when they attack, on which I wrote recently. He needs all the players to not only buy into this style and way of playing but be able to execute that vision. At present there are very talented players such as Ceballos, Xkaka and Luiz who slow the team down in transition, and this will assuredly be addressed in the summer.
It may also be connected to your personal views on Arteta as a player. I see so many cast aspersions on his ability and suggest he was not a top player for Arsenal before injuries caught up with him. For me Mikel Arteta was the oil in the machine for three seasons. We would not have qualified for the Champions League without the stability he brought to the team at that time. He was one of the most intelligent footballers I have witnessed week in week out and his reading of the game was up there with the best of his era. There is no rule that suggests this football intelligence as a player translates to an individual being a brilliant coach, but I have seen enough.
Anyway, this is all just me and it may not be you so I will end the positivity sermon.
Thanks for reading!
Passionate fifty-something Arsenal supporter who has been making the journey to N5 regularly since the early 1980s – although his first game was in 1976. Always passionate when talking about The Arsenal, Dave decided to send a guest blog to Gunnersphere in the summer of 2011 and has not stopped writing about the Gunners since.
He set up his own site – 1 Nil Down 2 One Up – in February 2012, which he moved on in 2016 to concentrate on freelance writing and building Gunners Town, which he launched with Paul in 2014.
The objective of GT was to be new and fresh and to give a platform for likeminded passionate Arsenal fans wishing to write about their team. Dave still of course, writes for the site himself and advises the ever-changing writing crew.