Three years ago, a promise was made to us. That our beloved Arsenal would rise from a disappointing season to go on to be a major European force. All through the vision of Arsene Wenger, who made sure our club had it’s morales and did not sink into the money crazed madness of modern football. As Arsenal fans, we were proud to support the club. We had barely finished above our mortal rivals, but we were optimistic to the point of blindness. The foundations had been set and development was crazy fast.
Three years on, we have seen the same team taken apart and another one put together. No sooner did that happen, when we lost several key members.
But still, the vast majority of us were optimistic. It wasn’t all Arsene’s fault, he had proven us all wrong and would learn from the few mistakes he made.
Now, three games into the season and a player short, I’m not going to have a break down but I’m going to question the direction we’re headed in.
Promises are made every season, yet we always seem to come short. Improvement was made last season, we were four points of the league. But being four points of the league is useless to us, we want to top the fucking thing.
Improvement was made to the squad, but then that was thrown into disarray, as we now currently lack the experienced steel and work rate required to win the league. The way I see it, we were one player away from Championship and Arsene blew it.
Yes, someone may grow into the void. Denilson or Diaby perhaps. But it will take time, even Cesc took a few months before he hit top form in 05/06. And Cesc had the luxury to look and learn from top quality players such as Vieira. Neither Denilson or Diaby had that luxury, and were thrown into the deep end almost immediately. We need experience in the center of the park, and neither Denilson or Diaby can offer that. The only way for them to get that, is to play. By the time they’re ready, it might be too late for our title challenge and it will be another season wasted for Arsenal fans.
Now, if we had a top quality midfielder, that would be different. There would experience, a presence for them to learn from. To slowly gain experience by stepping in when needed and slowly growing in stature to take over them one day. It’s the circle of development.
This all started in 05/06. Look at the difference between now and then. Half the squad has moved on. What is the point in laying concrete foundations if you’re going to break it down later and replace it with wood.
It frustrates me to the extreme. I can’t see the club moving forward at the needed pace. The way I see it, it’s one step forwards, one step back.
Yes, we have improved this season, but so have United and Chelsea and to a larger extent.
I mean, since the so called “rebuilding” started, only Clichy, Cesc and Adebayor can be called successes. Kolo was already a top player then, we bought Gallas, Sagna, Rosicky and Nasri whilst Robin has failed to live up to his potential.
You can go on and on about what a great youth system we have, but in the end, all our players are considered investments. Why have we not seen any fruits been born by this youth development system.
Weren’t Pennant, Smith and Bentley all supposed to be the next big things? Wasn’t Senderos the new Tony Adams whilst Abou and Diarra were the new Vieira and Makelele? So why have we not won anything?
The way I see it, we need a present to have a future. Something to build upon, something to get our younger players hungy for the success of the generation before them. Let’s not kid ourselves, youngsters are hungry nowdays and will have, no doubt, grown up supporting Madrid, Juve, Milan or Barcelona. So if one of them comes in for one of younger players, they will join them, thus leaving us without one of “future stars” lowering the chances for a bright future.
Now, I’m about to make a few judgements. Educated guesses you could call them, but I ask everyone to remember that this is just my opinion and the way I see things.
If I don’t think Arsene is doing his job properly, it is my right as a supporter to be able to judge him. After all, what is football without judgement being passed. Essentially, you could say judgement is the core of Football. Whether it be player quality, opposition quality, whatever. You have to take the facts presented to you and make a judgement. You could be totally wrong, but you have to base your actions on the way you interpret things.
The way I see it, Arsene made us a promise that one quality player will be brought in before the deadline ends and has failed to do so. He has broken several promises and failed to reassure on numerous occasions in the past, all perhaps a little outside his control but this was not.
So you have to wonder, why? He had the money, even if we started the season with nothing, we should still have had enough money for one, decent defensive midfielder. I’m not asking for a 30m record breaker, I’m asking for a solid, reliable player.
He can’t say there was a lack of targets. He himself said that there he had a list of over 200 players who wanted to join Arsenal. The law of averages state that there had to be at least a few players on that list who could’ve come in to do a job.
He can’t say it was a lack of time, he’s had since May.
People ask me who I would’ve bought. I can’t answer that. I’m not a manager who gets paid 75,000 a week and an International scouting system at my feet. But I could still come up with a few decent suggestions.
Fellani? Bought by Everton for 13m and was outstanding against Liverpool. A good, young player who could’ve made a difference.
De La Red? Experienced, proven international player who Madrid were willing to offload.
Albiol? We had a bid rejected for him earlier on in the season, slightly below the asking price.
No one at Arsenal quality? Bullshit. Thousands of players in the world, and United and Chelsea seem to make do just fine.
With no excuses available, it makes you wonder. Perhaps Arsene was simply bullshitting us from the start. Maybe he had no intention of signing anybody? In that case, I am severly dissapointed. It seems Arsene does not like being proven wrong and is treating the club as some sort of experiment. What’s worse, is the board is standing aside and letting him.
However, I do find it strange Arsene has not come out and talked about this. He’s usually either straight up with us, or comes out with some bullshit. Keeping his yapper shut is a new one. Perhaps he doesn’t want to face the wrath of the fans, or maybe there is more than meets the eye.
If it is the former, my respect for Arsene and confidence in him will take a dropping. I do not hate him, I think the doom mongers claiming the club is dead are just being silly. We should finish top three easily. Things could be worse.
All it leaves me is feeling cheated, frustrated and disappointed.
If he’s just being stubborn however, then it’s a bloody terrible thing to do to the fans who pay mad prices to fund his vision. He’s basically pissing in their face, by being refusing to put top class players in a top class stadium.
There’s one more point to discuss. The board and our manager’s seeming lack of balls. We’ve been under speculation and suffered the pressures as to whether our best players are leaving or not for the whole summer.
Why? Because Arsene did not have the balls do simply stamp out speculation and say straight out, like Sir Alex Ferguson did, that X player is not leaving.
Again, look at Ferguson. They did not want to sell Berbatov to them, but they got them anyway. The respective clubs of Hargreaves and Carrick did not want to sell but United got their players. So why could we not get Alonso?
No doubt there will be a majority who will curse me with every word under the blue moon, and tell me to go and support Chelsea. Why exactly? I should go support Chelsea because I do not want to see my club and fellow fans being lied to or cheated?
To end on a positive, I’d like to say that perhaps we should see how the season pans out. It does not look good, but it looked worse last season and we did not too badly.
But if a proper title challenge is not made, then I think it’s time to say our good byes to Arsene.
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