The Problem With Arsenal….A Fans Perspective
In the wake of the 3-1 thrashing to Bayern Munich everybody’s had their say as to what’s gone wrong at Arsenal Football Club. We ask the fans what they think.
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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