This week on ‘Weekly
Education’, I look at the Laurent Koscielny quotes that supposedly rocked the
Arsenal fan base (not me) and why it’s a good thing that key players are
expressing their desire for the club to be ambitious.
I also handle (with care) the very delicate subject of patience as
after all, it is a virtue.
‘Kos He Can’ and Kos he
On Tuesday, quotes from an interview with Koscielny (on Eurosport)
were published. As expected, an air of panic descended upon Gooners, whose
hearts have been broken many a time by money-grabbing, ship-jumpers who
preached about wanting to win trophies whilst their wages were being doubled by
the likes of Manchester City. This summer was supposed to be the summer that it
stopped. This summer was meant to be the summer that we didn’t need nor
sanction the sales of key players. Don’t worry, it still is. I, like a number
of more level-headed Gooners, took a step back and kept calm. In my view,
Koscielny isn’t going anywhere, but he’s well within his rights as a player, who
last summer signed a long-term contract extension, to demand that Arsenal show
intent to compete next season.
want to have some titles. I hope the club will give itself the means. If that’s
not the case, I’ll go take a look elsewhere. I feel good at Arsenal, and if
we’re given the means to be able to rival big teams, of course I want to
continue the adventure. If it’s to be fighting each year like this season,
mentally, it’s hard. We’re always under pressure and we know a single season
without the Champions League at Arsenal is difficult.” – Laurent Koscielny
For me, that roughly translates as: I’d like
to stay and win things at Arsenal, but if we’re happy to settle for fourth
every year then I’m off…
Hold up, isn’t that bit about being discontented
with settling for fourth every year exactly what every Arsenal fan has been
shouting from the roof tops of late? Oh, it is? I thought as much. So,
effectively Koscielny is voicing the opinion of most Gooners, just in a more
threatening way. I like it. Koscielny is showing that he is a competitive
sportsman; he is a winner. It sounds like he just wants Arsenal to show that
they too want to win, which we all do, don’t we?
Furthermore, Koscielny isn’t the only player
who has voiced their desire for Arsenal to compete next season. If I remember
correctly, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey have also
said that they want Arsenal to be fighting for honours. Maybe because they
didn’t combine these desires with warning signs (which us Gooners love to worry
about), they didn’t quite grab our attention as much. But the fact that five
key players have come out and said so, makes me happy and I take my hat off to
them for doing so. If they’d come out and said: “Brilliant season, same again
next time around!” Everyone would have gone and done their big, Gooner nuts!
There’s no better people to encourage the club to have some bollocks and
actually go out and show ambition, than the players themselves. They might not
have to stick around if it all goes wrong like us fans do, but that’s exactly
why the club might actually be further encouraged to show it has hair on those
peaches after all.
“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” –
It’s hard asking Gooners to be patient,
especially given the past eight years. So, in a way, I got Jean-Jacques to do it
for me (above). I found that the Genevan philosopher, whose political
philosophy influenced the French Revolution, captured my reasoning behind a
plea for patience in the most concise, understandable and beautiful way.
Somehow the quote, in no more than eight words, evokes the contrasting feelings
of both utter desperation and suffering and sheer satisfaction and fulfillment.
I feel that it’s only through accepting and admitting that this long period of
lack of significant success has been tortuous for me (and all Gooners), that I
can convince myself (and hopefully others) to bare it that little while longer.
Similarly, it’s only through remembering and
envisaging what the satisfaction of success feels like, that I strive to have
confidence and hope that Arsenal will do what is necessary in order to return
to the summit of English football. With so many Gooners running around like
headless chickens, they already show symptoms of the ‘Silly Season’ infection.
This summer is undoubtedly a make or break summer for Arsenal. This is our
opportunity to strengthen and, in turn, compete once again. In my opinion, the
club knows that this is the case and will push the boat out in the hope of
(re)discovering more prosperous lands.
“With bitter and sweet in mind, give
It’s pointless to worry about something that
is yet to happen. It’s still June. Patience.
Until next week,