Guest post by Simon Leon.
A second defeat in a week, a second cup competition exited, yes I know we have a second leg against AC Milan, but if you think we are going to turn a 4 goal deficit, then I think you are utterly delusional.
Arsene said last week, that the next two games would be season defining, come through it unscathed and The Arsenal could be looking at some potential silverware, underperform and the consequences aren’t worth thinking about. Well we lost, comprehensively in my opinion, both games, leading to the headlines in the British press stating ANOTHER season without silverware, now totalling 7 years without a trophy.
I appreciate there are clubs in worse positions than Arsenal but I don’t support those teams, I support The Arsenal, and for 7 years I have seen my beloved club come close to ending that baron spell, but also I have seen some of the most abject performances, predictable outcomes and just as predictable responses from Wenger.
There seems to be a notion of being against Wenger or with him, and that these two groups are duty bound to hate one another. How many people form the AKB (Arsene Knows Best) camp are slowly edging towards the “dark side” after the past week? There are many arguments for and against Wenger, and I won’t waste your time or mine listing them here, it has been covered by many a blogger whom have summed it up perfectly.
In my opinion, Arsene has worked wonders for years, if not for winning trophies, but for securing top four finishes year in year out…BUT, I amongst others have seen how to improve this squad to push on that little bit more, the signings that would make the difference between winning and being perennial runners up or nearly men.
No team can cope with losing 3 top class players from their midfield and expect to muddle on through, I just can’t help thinking that this was Arsene’s own doing, he knew Fabregas wanted to leave, he knew Nasri longed for the warmth of the Manchester City bench, he knew we had outstanding problems from the previous season, dead wood that needed removing.
Many fans said in September that Wenger hadn’t brought in replacements of sufficient ability and skill, and that come the end of the season we would be lucky to finish top 6. I reserved my judgement; I stated in September that I will wait until the end of the season until I pass judgement on Arsene. This is still my stance, albeit our season is all but over trophy wise, but 4th is still up for grabs, and is the minimum requirement for Arsene and this team to deliver.
Something needs to change in the summer, whether it is the way the club is run, the way our transfer business is carried out, or the manager himself, you cannot continue to run a club in this manner. The board are happy counting their fortune as the fans suffer year after year, but what happens when the season ticket renewals come around, what happens if those long suffering fans say a big “up yours” to the board and the club?
What happens when the sponsorship deals are up for renewal and we can no longer demand the big pay cheques that the two Manchester sides, Liverpool, Tottenham et al can?
We as Arsenal fans seem to have been suffering this bad dream for too long, do the board, players and the manager know what it is like to go into a place of work on Monday mornings to be bombarded with jokes, abuse and comments from rival fans. All we have to defend ourselves with is the bank balance at the club, the self-sufficient model and the stadium. I tell you what though; you can’t stick self-sufficiency on an open top bus, and into the history books. If Wenger is reluctant to address the problems with the squad and spend the money available then get someone who will, I’m not talking about a Harry Redknapp who drives the club into administration, but someone who says, I need x, x and x player, I need x amount of money.
If Wenger does go, who replaces him?
It certainly won’t be Pep Guardiola, why would he manage Arsenal, but he seems to be the twitter manager of choice. I don’t know who would replace him, I love Wenger, he has been the man at the helm for all but 4 years of my Arsenal supporting life, and the thought of him going fills me with dread.
But much like a marriage that has gone on for this long, the thought of divorce is a dreading prospect, but when the alternative is long term suffering, sometimes you have to part ways, for the health and wellbeing of both parties. I would love Arsene to prove everyone wrong, I would love nothing more than to see the great man, with that massive smile on his face as he lifts some silverware aloft again.
They do say the darkest hour is before the dawn, this is a pretty dark hour in, lets hope it brings a new dawn of optimism… for we are The Arsenal. On a side note my home town team Stevenage FC take on Tottenham, the only redeeming feature of the week would be a win for the mighty boro’. If Spurs win, they have a pretty clear path to the cup, challenging for the Premiership, with a talented squad…. when did I wake up in the twilight zone?
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