The Problem With Arsenal….A Fans Perspective

By on February 22, 2013

arsene-wenger

In the wake of the 3-1 demolition at the hands of Bayern Munich, the media, fans, players and boss gave their say as to what’s gone wrong at Arsenal Football Club. But are these opinions the true feelings of the average Gooner?

What does Arsenal mean to you? Is it family, friends and fun? Anger, hope or belief? Do you want your Arsenal back? With the jury out on who (or what) is responsible for Arsenal’s crisis, I interviewed fans that represent the diversity of views on the topic. What makes us tick? What makes us tock? This article tries to identify the core of the adversity surrounding the Gunners.

(The interviewees chose to remain anonymous during the entirety of the interviews)

We start with a lifelong fan that watches Arsenal religiously, but like a chunk of supporters, feels as though the board lack the guts to let evolution take its course:

“I blame the board for its unwillingness to recognize the height of Wenger’s glory and success, while they are refusing to bring in a new manager with fresh ideas.”

I also spoke to a young season ticket holder, who also holds the view that the board has a barrage of questions to answer in regards to his teams under performing and trophy barren years:

“I believe the arsenal board has reigned over us for long enough, only caring about profit, while forgetting about the traditions of the club. Wenger’s job is to help them achieve this aim by coming 4th every year.”

If we set our sights to South London, I wanted to see the Arsenal conundrum from a different perspective; a Chelsea fan:

“The problem with Arsenal is that the squad changes too much from season to season. This doesn’t allow the team to gel, making them inconsistent and ruining the spine of the team; as soon as they have one it changes again. The team doesn’t believe in themselves, or have a strong team spirit, making them struggle against strong opposition. This contributes to them not working effectively as team when they need to rally together.”

If seeing the invincible team in action wasn’t enough, I spoke to a Gooner who has watched his club grow from the George Graham days and through the entirety of Arsène Wenger’s reign. Despite spectating Wenger’s revolutionary era, he vocally admits that its time the Frenchman finds pastures new, for the good of the club:

“We’ve gone from elation to disappointment to frustration to anger to apathy to sympathy…people seem to be a bit delusional. That or they are just liars! It’s difficult to believe that Wenger genuinely thinks his squad is good enough to compete with the best.”

While Wenger is at the forefront of the troubles at Arsenal, he explains the potential negative implications of the board’s actions…

“There seems to be a disregard for the fans who are now treated as customers. Our motto is victory through harmony…I can’t see the club being totally united under Wenger and Kroenke again.”

I see it like this. The board may find themselves licking their wounds come five years time. While they say that they will be in a stronger position to compete in all fronts, their profit maximising business plan can only work to an extent. If Arsenal don’t do the business on the pitch, the money from Europe, shirt sales, tours abroad will slowly dry up with it. Who’s to say that a majority of fans won’t jump ship?

They could save themselves now by parting company with their long serving manager Wenger. There is a common misconception that he buys young players and doesn’t spend money, yet people forget that if the £10 million+ on players like Gervinho, Giroud and Mertesacker was spent on world class and needed positions, Gooners wouldn’t have to find themselves excusing the manager’s transfer dealings.

While you can claim that the board doesn’t help him with his recruitments, isn’t it him who is organising the team, motivating them to play week in, week out? You can only attribute it so much to the players not playing well, and as Wenger claims, some of these “international stars” have played at the very elite level and winning trophies in recent years at their previous clubs.

We are all entitled to our opinion. Nobody is right and nobody is wrong. Only time will tell whether this crisis is another bullet in the Gunners illustrious history or a shift in the wrong direction. For the Premier League, the fans, the media, the board, Arsène Wenger and Arsenal.

What are your thoughts on the problems at Arsenal? Who’s to blame? Get involved in the comments section below.

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11 Comments

  1. Akande Taiwo Olushola

    February 22, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    The problems lie with the fans who continue to thronge the Emirate despite the bitter taste left in the fans’ mouth. A proverb in my Yoruba tribe says if an insect take you for a tree, then you tap it off. So far Arsene and the board have decided to ignore their patriotic supporters, then they themselves should not hesitate to look away by deciding to stop attending home matches. Let’s try it if it will work out.

  2. Charlie

    February 22, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    I’ll take an unemotional view. They knew that they would go through a period of transition because they bought a stadium for 400m but to then turn round and say they are surprised by star players leaving is naiive. There was always going to be a high likelihood of not winning anything for a few years while paying for the stadium but Wenger has lost his golden touch in the transfer market. Some of his purchases have been confusing to say the least. They were in for Mata, they moved aside when Chelsea were interested. They were in for Yaya Toure and moved aside when Man City were interested. Hazard was another. Just one of those three players would have made such a difference. What we see now is 10 years of going for less than the best.

    • @babakrdaemi

      February 22, 2013 at 5:42 pm

      Moved aside when Chelsea and Man City came in?? I have never seen any evidence we were in for Toure, if we were he got £220k a week at City. Theo has just received £100k a the highest paid player at Arsenal. And Mata, Chelsea doubled our offer. What could we do?

      • Mfournier

        February 22, 2013 at 9:31 pm

        Yaya wanted to join Arsenal while his brother was still at the club and Had we not let Kolo Touré go we would have a CB better then Koscielny and we might have his brother as well. Wenger chose Galas over Kolo and look he left anyway to Spurs another example of Bad choices.

        BUT your right the board would have to start paying our better players more and should drop the dead weight.

        But really the problem started right after the 04-05 season every top experienced player we had was left go without buying quality replacements and instead putting faith in youth. THAT was the first mistake. And many of use questioned the policy then The strength of Cesc at such a young age I think lead Wenger to think he could replace all the stars with kids and train them to play his way and then the few that worked out they sold anyway. So we had to put up with these kids leaning on the job and building their value then they leave and cash in when they should be paying back the club for the development. THAT is what is wrong with Arsenal. Players like JudiusVP or NA$RI.

  3. bassey

    February 22, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    I believer, what u say is a true, I can u keep going to the emirate every week and want them to change their mine, is not possible, stop going to d emirate and see them act well.

  4. Awwal Kosi

    February 22, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Too bad it seem to b anoda tin else arsenal dreams are stil dare but we need to believed in ur self, i believed notin change in gunners, neva say neva. Ur best can only came @ d time, let wait for ur wisdom it wil come.

  5. Tom Wojtyga

    February 22, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Everybody is entitled to their own opinion but by now we already know who’s right and who’s been wrong for about eight years now . Facts speak louder than words. I like Wenger and I don’t want to see him go ,but to be wrong on so many accounts and to keep his job , indicates Arsenal FC are not a football club primarily but a business . His judgement is off , his tactical awareness lacking and his motivational skills weak. His biggest flaw however is his inability to change and adopt to ever changing realities in modern football. To succeed again mr Wenger would have to admit he had been wrong and I don’t see him doing that .

  6. Martin

    February 22, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    I have been a fan since the early 70’s so have seen more of the good and bad times than most who write on these bloggs.We have the best ground in the country and some top class players,please do not tell me these players are poor remember we have had true greats like Terry Mancini,Geoff Blockley and the best of the lot Ray Hankin.We have never been relegated unlike our rivals Man U & City Chelsea & Spurs.Just support this great club,the good times will be back,remember they do not call us THE Arsenal for nothing and lastly Arsene Knows Best

    • Gunners80

      February 23, 2013 at 12:38 am

      I admire your enthusiasm Martin but how exactly will the good times come back? It won’t just magically occur, changes need to be made because obviously the current way of doing things doesn’t cut it. I agree with some of the other posters, the fans opinions are being ignored so the only way to get through to the board is to hit them where it hurts… In the back pocket. It pains me to say it but if we don’t turn out to the home games then they might realise that something needs to be done and pay more respect to the people that make the club, the fans.

  7. Mr Bond

    February 22, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Arsenal, a proud great club have been woeful of late. The events leading to the building of the Emirate stadium and wrong dealings in the transfer market, and a whole lot of other issues notably the ineptness of the board to be proactive which is compounded by a very aged board dt have lost touch with modern trends in the game has lead us to where we are today. The jury is not yet out on this squad until the end of the season, but lets give our stubborn manager till 2014 to get it right, and after that nobody would say we didn’t give him enough time and rope to hang himself. But a note of warning here, when we change our manager we better get it right at first try lest we go the Liverpool way and that will be catastrophic for our beloved club.

  8. Aussie Jack

    February 22, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Losing to Bayern Munich is a little sad but if you have to lose then losing to teams like Bayern Munich is not so bad, it`s losing to Blackburn and Bradford that strikes fear into your heart. For a club of Arsenal pedigree this is totally unacceptable. We have a faily large squad and yet we can`t select eleven players worthy of respresenting us and certainly not capable of challenging for silver. Saying we havn`t had the money is a lame excuse, Bradford and Blackburn would be envious of our transfer kitty.

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