Art for Arts Sake

By on October 20, 2010

Arsenal's emirates stadium

Written by Iain Swan.

Oh dear! It would appear last weeks article on Arsene Wenger has ruffled a few feathers, if my savaging by a gaggle of North London intellectuals is anything to go by. The wonderfully eloquent Adi damned me as a ” blind moron” while the wildly inaccurate Mike suggested that I was a “failed journalist” whose wife would tell me to get a new job. Wrong on both counts, my friend.

Ouch! But I take issue with Sinbad’s comments about the article being poorly researched and poorly written. I think it is written perfectly well and the facts stated are accurate. There is an argument over whether Wenger’s contribution to the new stadium warrants the claim made by Oliver Holt that he “delivered” the Emirates . I believe that to be palpable nonsense , the Arsenal fans on here believe it to be true. It is merely a question of semantics.

But Sinbad, the article was an attack on the media’s fawning over Wenger, rather than an attack on Wenger himself, a point which has been wilfully ignored by a lot of the people commenting. The fact that it has been placed in the Arsenal section means that most of the readers will disagree with the points raised , I accept that, but the Gunners fans getting their red and white knickers in a twist are hardly unbiased. Some of their sanctimonious claptrap and self righteous indignation may speak volumes about how they feel about the ” Wenger project”.

A new stadium and  aesthetically pleasing football is preferable to winning trophies. Really? Then clearly as one said, Wenger has totally changed the ethos of the club; for the Arsenal fans I met on my trips to Highbury during the George Graham era gloried in the  boring Arsenal tag. While a nice stadium and  stylish football are desireable, should they be pursued at the expense of trophies? ” Yes!” say the Gunners who sneer at the uncouth barbarians whose mantra is “winning is everything”. How the patrons of Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge would chuckle at that pearl of wisdom!!!

No, this will not do , why was your best player so desperate to leave and become a squad player at Barcelona? (a club that plays beautiful football and wins ) Can he see the writing on the wall? Does he realise that the Professor has no clothes and do the hysterical comments on this site hide the fact that some of the fans can see it too?

You cling to the belief that it was the financial constraints of building the Emirates that was the real reason for the barren spell, in which case Manchester City will win everything bar the boat race for the foreseeable future. The fear is that a self indulgent Wenger has lost his way and is unable to rediscover the magic touch.  Of course a great  manager could and should be able to overcome financial disadvantages and build a balanced side capable of winning things.

Again I say my article was a criticism of the coterie of broadsheet journalists who have created a cult of Wenger, elevating every pronouncement of his , be it commenting on the rise of the Bundesliga ,to his assessment of team or players, to that of gospel truth and far sighted enlightened wisdom and thus blinds them to the fact that for all his gifts he is “second five year plan” for Arsenal has failed to bear fruit.

Compare that to the English media’s treatment of Fabio Capello, a manager with a better record than the Frenchman, because he knows how to win and is unashamed about that being the bottom line. Capello is treated with disdain  and has become a figure of ridicule for one disastrous summer.

It is possible that Abramovich may get bored and abandon Chelsea and that post Ferguson, Manchester United’s financial problems consume them and Manchester City self destruct and Wenger leads Arsenal back to the promised land , but deep down  how many Arsenal fans truly believe it?

Would those wishing to vent their spleen please form an orderly queue.

**Thanks to guest writer Iain Swan for submitting this article. Please be aware these are the views of the author and do not represent those of Football-talk.co.uk. If you would like to become a contributor please get in touch.**

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5 Comments

  1. lted

    October 20, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Ian,
    firstly I would like to apologize if I offended you in anyway ,everyone has a right to have a point of view even if wrong ( not saying your or mine is correct or wrong). People seem to forget what a football club is and they way a football club should be managed! I have a few points that I would like to discuss with you :
    1. Wining trophies always – first it is not a god given right to any club to win it every year. Always wining is for the infantile and the glory seeking fans way of thinking. No club can’t win it every year or if this happens there would be something very wrong it the league they play ( as it was in france few years ago – Lyon masters in france but major failure in europe). If you win it every year this means your league is poor no matter how many times in a row you win the tittle.
    2. Glory Glory hunters ( or just immature kids, switching alliance like a stripper in a millionaire convention). What separates a true and awesome fan from a glory hunter is that the real FAN sees the bigger picture and would like to grind his teeth for a couple or more years but knowing his team is going in the right direction and eventually all will be OK. We THE ARSENAL are doing the things the way they should be done ! People seem to forget how a football club should be ran! These days people care only about money and glory – no morale no view for the beauty of things,no nothing. Wow Man utd won the tittle many times but who is now the selling club ?! Who will be knocking on the door of a sugar dady to save their sorry asses! Wayne will make them the laughing stock of England ! He knows there are no money left in united and they won’t compete for a loooong loong time! Fergie will have the excuse to leave and than what ?! That is what separates us from them and chavsky – for us there is tomorrow and it tomorrow for us will bring smiles and for them tomorrow only brings pain. You can always buy success , but it will be a short term one!
    3.You should never compare Barcelona and Arsenal and mention Cesc in any way to say he wants to leave us due to the fact that we won’t win anything. Saying Cesc is leaving us due to this fact is just poor assesment of things and just wanting to rub our wound with salt , just because you can state a dumb fact. Cesc is from that city , his family are there his friends and everyone he loves. He craves to return HOME ! Who doesn’t! Yes Wenger is some times stubborn and is human being and makes mistakes. No one is perfect. But saying that our boat is sinking is just silly silly statement! And about the comparison between Barca and Arsenal – how can you compare a league where 18 teams are starving and fighting to leftovers from the two fat clubs and a league where every millionaire wants to throw ridiculous amount of money. Barca are on the decline and if the money from the TV rights in Spain are changed , god have mercy on them and their poor souls!
    4. Journalist loving Arsenal and Arsene Wenger must be the joke of the day – we get slated for every hard tackle we make and in the same time we get legs snapped from our opponents like it is good sense of humor to put someone out for 9 months. As Wenger stated – we are always wrong and there is nothing you can do about it! It is just a part of being an Arsenal fan. The journalists in England have to be the worst there are- they don’t care about anything, but they pay for it with their National team!
    5. And finnaly about the conclusion of your article – it is not what we believe. It is the natural way of things to happen. We ran the football club as it should be ran! We preach and teach morale and technique! Money come and go – but every time I watch arsenal play I SMILE AND ENJOY and cheer like a small child ! I see perfect football though in an imperfect world perfect things don’t always work ! I personally think that we haven’t won tittle in 5 years due to our bad luck – horrible tackles and injuries. In football Lady Luck has the final word so many times! We gave the world one of the best players there are and we are still producing incredible talents! Do you see the word I am using – PRODUCE, not buying , tapping up and stealing or luring away with ridiculous amount of money for salaries! Just get of our backs and leaves us play THE ART OF FOOTBALL rather than seeking our flaws. Our only flaw is that we are believers in something that is impossible to achieve in this Money driven world full of idiot-ism !

  2. makenzi

    October 20, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Our time has come starting this year we will win trophies for the next ten years. But I know you will be still negative towards Wenger. Wenger has brought a lot to the club and because of your xenophobia you don’t want to see it.

  3. samuel

    October 20, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Rooney to be sold in the new year to service the huge debt ,run up by Sir Alex who likes spending other folks money (Glazers) on half decent players and Berbatov soon after to try and reduce the spiralling debt,but where will Rooney go as Barcelona and Real Madrid cannot afford him anymore ,also in huge debt,maybe the blue half of Manchester as it,s still close to the family in Everton (Liverpool ),that,s if they manage to finish in the top four otherwise the Arabs will pull the plug soon and sell of their loss making club ,it happened to Luckypool ?

  4. shaun_wares

    October 20, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    As a contributor to this site, I too have faced the scorn of the Arsenal supporters who refuse to hear a bad word said about their beloved club or manager.
    I have faith in the ‘Wenger Project’, but it has dragged on for years without bearing fruit. Wenger’s football philosophy is out of place in the Premier League, but is financial prudency and the desire to play well outweighing the desire to achieve results? In today’s footballing climate, where success comes from spending vast amounts of money, can Wenger’s excuses still hold up?
    It is a noble quest to show the big spenders of Europe that clubs can still operate at a profit, but Europe’s biggest clubs are no longer motivated by financial stability. For all of Barcelona’s attacking flair and exciting style, they are still a club in hundreds of millions of euros worth of debt.
    The comparison between Barca and the Gunners must be drawn cautiously, both teams are capable of playing great, attacking football, and getting results at the same time. But at what real (financial) cost?

  5. Sinbad

    October 20, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Iain,

    Like many people said, you need to see the bigger picture.

    If you can’t take criticism then don’t put your ideas in the public domain. I’m an Arsenal fan and i can understand people saying ” no trophies in 5 years etc etc” but like many people said, there are several factors which need to be taken into account.

    On your point about the media pandering to Wenger. Sorry but you’re plain wrong. He gets as much criticism as everyone else and in many cases he takes more than he deserves. He did have a big say in the stadium, the directors have all said so – a bit of research will show you that

    To write an article about how upset you are about the criticism you have received is pretty lame to be honest. The simple answer is you’re wrong in the majority of people’s eyes and if you can’t take it, don’t write!

    Nobody is saying a nice stadium and pretty football is a substitute for trophies, but for a club with limited resources we have a choice, play crap football and win nothing – like Liverpool, or at least play nice football and have a go.

    Try not to cry at the criticism you’ve received from the fans, if you put yourself out there, expect a response!

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