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Time to reflect

March 24, 2014

Well two days have passed since the shambles of South West London.

I’m a huge Arsene Wenger fan and of course an even bigger fan of Arsenal. Players come and go. Managers come and go. You support whatever manager and players are current at time. You thank most of those who have played or managed for their time, some become legends and you support the next set that arrive and hope some of them become legends.

I took the view that the move to Emirates was always going to make things difficult for Arsenal for a number of seasons. Because of that I felt the best man  to be in charge during this period would have to be Arsene Wenger. and at the time, I’m sure most of you also felt that. If anyone could find a few nuggets, make the team play good football and challenge while finances were not comparable to our rivals then Arsene would be that man.

During this period we have played some cracking football and challenged, but we have always fallen short at the death.

The club/board stated that 2014 would be the time when new revenue streams would come online, such as the Emirates and Puma deals. This with the new TV/radio/internet monies and many smaller sponsorship deals would mean this summer ahead of us, Arsenal could make a proper challenge to buy players in the £30/40m pound scale, maybe even a top, top, £60m player. We are about to become one of the super elite of clubs bringing in £300m plus a season.  Now is the time to act super elite.

Therefore after 50 years of following “The” Arsenal I am looking forward to Arsenal finally making significant signing this summer, after eight years of getting by. I have been patient as have a lot of others. Yes! The club may have been giving it the spin and maybe we have had some money, but I gave them the benefit of doubt. The club put the window of 2014 in place, now they have to act upon it.

You see there are many like me. Supporters who do not panic, Supporters who have seen a lot worse football and just a longer periods of no silverware. However, this is now 2014 and Arsenal do charge some seriously high prices and while I do not expect trophies, I’ll never do that, I do expect the club to use all advantages they have such as a huge wad of money to give the club the best possible chance of making a challenge to win trophies. If we fall short, when we have signed top, top, players then so be it, but at least we gave ourselves a better than fighting chance.

I have seen recently stats regarding our record against fellow rivals over a number of years and those stats do not read very well.  Of course I would have preferred we brought one or two more top players last summer, after all, many do say the money was there, but maybe the players the club/Arsene wanted were not available. I’m not going to go into the argument about players who may have been available, such as Suarez  and if we had offered £60m he would have arrived, because I don’t know for sure he was available or that Liverpool would have sold him, no matter what the Liverpool chairman says.

To have already lost, no! been thrashed by Liverpool and City this season what did Arsene expect going into his 1000th game against Chelsea with a squad/team that is seems mentally fragile against our direct rivals when it starts going wrong so quickly after kick off?

Never, I say NEVER!! Since I have been going to Arsenal from early 1960’s have Arsenal conceded six, five, six in a season.  What I do know is that Saturday’s defeat hurt, it hurt a lot. Not just conceding six goals, but doing it to Chelsea. Playing from kick-off as if the players had only just met on the tube to Stamford Bridge. They couldn’t pass wind let alone to each other.  They simply got overwhelmed. Why handball when 2-0 down? So you go three down if shot is on target at least you still have eleven men on the pitch and you don’t know if the ball was going wide anyway. Shame for Ox, but hope this is a big lesson for him.

I read that Arsene says he is upset about the way we lost, well he can join the millions of other fans who either attended or watched on TV. The thing is those that went and those millions who watch on TV can do f-all about it, but Arsene can/could. Why have one of the best selection of play making midfielders in football and yet give them Giroud, Bendtner or Sanogo (not his fault) to play behind. That midfield would be lauded if they had Suarez and Sturridge in front of them. Arsenal have the ammunition but lack the gun to fire that ammunition.

Look how many games our midfield has won for us this season. They have to play the super fast tippy, tappy football to get through defences and score themselves, because after Theo and Ramsey left the scene, we had no real threat up front. If in some games it does not work then we simply can’t score enough goals to win matches. We are shorn of top forwards, so tell me how is ONE top forward joining in the summer is going to help? We need two minimum.

We’re not that far away and I’m not saying Arsene should leave. I’m saying we need to make it right for the club, the manager (give himself a chance to compete and beat Jose) and most importantly the supporters. The club made the remarks about summer 2014, now follow it through.

If Arsene still wants to be stubborn, then the board should tell him, the money is there, spend it, give himself and the supporters a better than even chance of success. You see Success in winning trophies is a win-win for everybody and by it’s very nature winning will make more money, if’s that what the board want.  If Arsene is till stubborn, then yes! Maybe it is time for Arsene and the club to part company.

The club have had my benefit of doubt for eight years. They have promised supporters the likes of me that the light at the end of the tunnel is this summer. The club should not mess this up and take us for granted.

Of course there will people who will read this and say “I told you so” “He won’t spend” “It’s all spin” well maybe they are right, but if the club really want to alienate a massive part of the clubs support, then carry on as they are now and see what happens.

Now here’s the rub, what do I do? I cannot give up  my season ticket, no way. So it’s looks like I will be adding my voice to those who feel our club is shitting over us.

Come on Arsene/Arsenal sort it out this summer and sort out why we get so many bloody long-term 3-6 month injuries. because there is no point paying £40m plus for players that are going to be out injured to 10/15/20 matches, due to whatever it is that causes so many injuries at the club.

Regardless of what has been written above, right here, right now, we have what we have, injuries or not. We may be down in the dumps but we still have something to play for in the FACup and even if it is the same-old-same-old fourth place, then it is still better than fifth. So,  like everyone else who supports Arsenal with a passion that stirs the blood, I shall cheer whoever pulls the shirt on for the (hopefully) ten remaining games and hope we lift the FACup in May.


This is just my opinion, I’m sure you have your’s so please feel free to comment.

Cheers @harlowgooner.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Kev permalink
    March 24, 2014 15:55

    Well thought out and balanced article Steve -says what we all feel without ranting and raving

  2. Pat permalink
    March 24, 2014 16:11

    Nice, even handed look at the ‘state of play’ at Arsenal. I am one of those awful people that has wanted him to resign for the past 4 or 5 years, for a couple of reasons really.

    Firstly, I didn’t want this situation to occur. He has been a great manager and has transformed the old Arsenal as I knew it. However, after his glory years, he simply made all the wrong decisions. The successful team was disbanded and instead of rebuilding using a strong (in both senses of the word) backbone, he built a team of highly skilled but fragile players. I never wanted him to leave under a cloud which I’m afraid it looks like eventually, he will.

    Secondly, from being ahead of his time, he has stagnated. Other teams have learnt how to deal with the way we play! And the reason is, it’s the only way we play! His total lack of tactical awareness has left the team easy pickings for anyone with an idea of football. It’s well chronicalled that he doesn’t plan and take account of opposition sides. Why on earth not!! Watch the team against City, Liverpool and Chelsea and you watch the same mistakes made over and over again.

    Yes, it will eventually be sad to see him go but aren’t we just scared of change after so long? I support the club not any particular individual and if that individual is effecting the results of my club, then I will voice my opinions. He has been great but other managers are overtaking him now. We need to move on.

    • March 25, 2014 09:54

      I hear what you say Pat. I find it incredibly hard to dislike the bloke, but cooments like “Accident” does not help right now. You do NOT have three accidents in one season. However, as mentioned in blog, due to many circumstances (some people choose to ignore) it was always going to be a tought ask moving from Highbury to Emirates and keep up with United (huge fan base) & Chelsea (bank rolled). Then came City onto the scene (bank rolled). Add to that a few other clubs in other European countries and it simply got harder. In one way I am proud the club have taken the course they did and at least tried to do things the right way. Thing is the time is almost upon us where the excuses will dry up. People like me will NOT wait forever. The money is there. We can compete to a large degree with these clubs now. They cannot buy everyone.

      Arsene and the club now have to take us onto that next level as they have promised the supporters. If we fail then so be it, but at least we would have tried with getting the big players in.

      So I am going to get behind the boys as will you. Hopefully we’ll win the FACup. Then looking forward to the summer when I fully expect three/four players to arrive that will make the difference, we’re not far off.

      Thanks for reply Steve

  3. March 25, 2014 07:48

    Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your content seem
    to be running off the screen in Ie. I’m not sure if this
    is a formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to
    let you know. The style and design look great though!
    Hope you get the issue fixed soon. Many

  4. Young Gooner permalink
    March 25, 2014 13:09

    Great blog mate, and I appreciate the way you can look at it calmly and rationally as you’ve been watching the Arsenal for many years. For me (at 19 years old) this was probably the worst I’ve ever felt as an Arsenal supporter. My family moved from Holloway to Wandsworth when I was 14 and this is Chelski heartland. Add to that, that I’ve been knocked about a tube carriage by six adult chelsea supporters when I was 16 and on my own means that I hate those mugs almost as much as I hate spurs if not more. And mourinho is absolute berk who constantly spews absolute pony and yet he seemed to be proved right. Absolutely gutted.

    Arsene Wenger’s all I’ve known, and I love and respect the bloke but I can’t help but feel his time is up. You say that this is the summer where we can finally spend big, but according to the Swiss Ramble blog we’re sitting on around £150m in cash reserves. Surely that means we could have spent more last summer? And also I’m sure the deals would have been in the works at that point as well. Surely businesses with turnovers as big as ours can spend money when they know they’re going to have massive revenue increases the following year. To me, that suggests that Arsene is still unwilling to spend excessively even when the money is available. I think that’s completely unfair to us as supporters (we gave up our season tickets last year as we can’t afford it anymore) when cough out the highest ticket prices in the land.

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