Arsenal & Perspective
Being an avid follower of football and particularly Arsenal (unfortunate at times, I know), I read many articles, tweets, posts, etc discussing the position of Arsenal and Arsene Wenger.
On one side you have the Wenger Out Brigade. If any of you have ever come across Arsenal Fan TV, you’ll see a representation of some of these fans on here. Their stance is understandable, they feel that Wenger has taken Arsenal as far as he can and a new injection is needed into the club. Although they are appreciative of what his done in his time at the club, winning doubles, transforming the training ground, moving to the Emirates and the brand of football, they feel that he no longer has “it”.
On the other side, the “Arsene Knows Best” supporters. They feel that he should be shown respect for transforming the nature of English football, transforming the club and his past accolades. Many other clubs have taken on and developed the methods he pioneered in English football. Ever the pragmatist, he has bought players and turned them into household names (Vieira, Fabregas, Henry, to name a few).
There is a clear division in the fanbase and I believe there is some perspective that is required. Firstly, many are upset that Arsenal don’t seem to challenge for the title, others for the fact that they haven’t won it for over 12 years. In reality, only one team can win the league every season. In the time that Arsenal haven’t won it, only a few teams have, these being:
Man United (Ferguson and money)
Man City (Injection of cash)
Chelsea (See above)
Leicester (Anomaly, look at their current position)
For the majority of that time, Aresnal were burdened with the cost of moving to the Emirates and although Wenger didn’t always make the best decisions, he kept them relevant. Would the Arsenal fanbase rather we won the league one year and then the next battled relegation?
As a fan, I am I disappointed that it looks like we have failed to win the league again. Sometimes I believe that Wenger could implement some new ideas and choose different players. However, I am also grateful for the fact that I am always excited to watch Arsenal matches and have never had to endure Thursday night football.
There have been many great times as an Arsenal fan; seeing the team win the double, winning the league at Old Trafford, winning the league at Tottenham, going the season unbeaten. There have also been times that I wished I didn’t support such a rollercoaster of a team. One thing I can guarantee is that it is definitely a ride. Part of being a fan is supporting the team through the highs and lows. Very few teams enjoy long periods of success, Man United did it, Bayern have been doing so recently. However, every team becomes unstuck (some for a longer period than others).
A lot of ridicule is made of Arsenal fans by numerous other teams and sometimes I can see the reasons behind this. There are a number of teams who have never and may never win the Premier League. In a time where there is more money than there has ever been in football, for a team to never drop out of the elite is an achievement in itself. Yes, I wish that we would push on and something does need to be done about that but I’d rather support Arsenal than be a Liverpool supporter, who have never been able to celebrate winning the Premier League.
No one is making the fans support the team, so they should unite and create an atmosphere that makes the players want to win if that’s what they want to see. Getting onto the team after 20 mins is counter-productive, if you’re going to go to games then support the team properly. If this is to be Wenger’s last year at the helm of Arsenal, he is at least deserving of some respect for the remainder of his tenure. At his best, he produced “The Invincibles”, giving us Henry, Bergkamp, Pires, Vieira, etc. At his worst, 4th place. At the end of the day, someone has to win and lose.