The State Arsenal are in is the State most clubs would love to be in – Don’t Panic

The State of thus Club

The State of thus Club

Unfortunately, life at work has been a little slow for the last couple of weeks for me; unfortunate because temptation got the better of me and I opened up Twitter – a platform I’ve avoided majorly for the best part of almost 10 months!  Surprisingly, or unsurprisingly, nothing has really changed:

Wenger in, Wenger out!

We need to buy…

Spend some money Wenger!

But where will we fit *insert name of latest player rumoured to be moving to Arsenal* him if he comes in?  Do we need him?  We need…

Wenger has no ambition, the board has no ambition, it’s all about profits!

Et cetera, et cetera…

The negative energy on social media is quite unbelievable, and it’s round-the-clock!  Hence I just had to disconnect.  It also means I have no written for this long either so I’m a bit rusty, so bear with me…or don’t…


Anyway, I wanted to go back to simply just watching football, just watching it, nothing more nothing less.  I wanted to go back to looking forward to the weekend to watch Arsenal play; maybe read the odd news story related to the Arsenal during the week, but it was always about the weekend – or midweek in case of UCL of course.

And that’s what I did.  It served as a reminder that I looked forward to the weekend because I was guaranteed to watch good football albeit frustrating at times.  It served as a reminder that the quality is there.  It served as a reminder that the effort is there.  It served as a reminder that you can’t have everything your way.  It served as a reminder that, well, I’m a supporter at the end of the day and have very little control over how footballing events will transpire.

So, why fret so much?

As a supporter, surely you want the Arsenal to win trophies? some of you may be asking.  Yes, I do.  Then how can you not be fuming at the state of the club right now?

The state of the club.  A club with a board with no idea of football.  A club with a manager who is out of ideas, who is miserly, who is happy earning a fat wage with no accountability.  A club only interested in making money.  A club, or the manager for that matter, that has become disconnected with the fans.  A club that cannot attract top players.  A club sinking deep into mediocrity.

Out of ideas?

Out of ideas?

So is the club making money from lack of ambition?  From poor football?  No!  They’re making money by charging the highest ticket prices, the TV money, and sponsorship deals…and by consecutive top-four finished and appearances in the Champions League.  Is the club able to charge such premium fees because sixty thousand odd plus the thousands in-waiting for season tickets are willing to pay so much to watch lack of ambition and dull football?  Are most Arsenal games covered by television channels because there are millions of fans globally that want to watch lack of ambition, pathetic players, and poor football?  The state of the club.

Global fanbase

Global fanbase

The board has no ambition, both the board and manager are happy with a fourth-placed finish.  They’re fine with mediocrity and Wenger is not accountable.  So, how do you prepare for that in pre-season?  Or even before each game week-in-week-out?  Strategically calculate which games to f*** up in and which to play well in?  Also strategically calculate how other results might turn out so you can comfortably finish top-four?  Why bother playing football in a certain way?  No accountability may have had us relegated by now, why bother with anything if I’m getting a fat wage and I’m not accountable?  The state of the club.

Investment in youth and facilities because…well…that will further cement the lack of ambition, mediocrity, and will bring in money somehow.  The state of the club.

The State if this training facility

The State if this training facility

Big players don’t want to come to the club.  That really is tragic, we would have guaranteed success otherwise because you know – success in one league means success elsewhere, fitting-in with the culture of the club is not a concept, nor is fitting-in with the style of play.  The state of the club.

The club is disconnected from the fans.  It is taking advantage of the loyalty of its supporters.  Is that because the club is not adhering to the simple task of aligning itself to the hundreds of different views of supporters?  The state of the club.

The state of the club has resulted in the horrific start to the season – one point in all of two games.  It would be interesting to know what the thoughts of supporters were at half time versus ‘Pool and then compare them to when we were 4-1 down.  It was horrific and incomprehensible.  Three goals came from our left-flank, an area that Monreal had pretty much sealed tight last season.  Who’d have thought?  The state of the club.

We dropped points to the Champions despite being the only team to beaten them twice last season.  We are desperately short on players, though the introduction of our returnees from the Euros certainly lifted our game.  But we’re desperately short, and we must sign sign sign!  We’ll end up signing mediocre players though because you know, no one talks about them.  The state of the club.

Yet the state of the club tells me to let those who are hired for their respective jobs do what they do because well, I’m not hired by the club.  The state of the club does not have me panic – sure, the football on the pitch at times certainly does have me panic!  With Arsenal there’s always a possibility, or always has been for the last twenty years or so.

If there’s anything that the latter half of Wenger’s era has taught me then it’s that he has been able to get the team out of crises one way or the other.  Yes, it can be argued that those crises may not have ever occurred for xyz reasons; but, they occurred nonetheless.  It’s also taught me that football will get you through it.  Big players may have rarely been bought but the right players for playing that football were bought and it has ensured Arsenal compete.  Has the level of competitiveness left a lot to be desired?  Yes.  Like I said earlier though, you can’t have everything you want.

Click here to order your signed copy of 'Supporting Arsenal Is A Funny Old Game' by Dave Seager

Order your signed copy here

It’s Wenger’s last season, at least on paper it is, so I’m not going to panic and I’m just going to enjoy the football or bury my face in my hands at times.  I’d rather try to understand the happenings on the pitch rather than fret over elements which are completely out of my control.

I’ll end this here, this was my first post after many months and further posts probably won’t be of this nature!  I’ll go back to tactical analyses when appropriate, or ponder over psychological aspects of the game, or delve into statistics when necessary – and by delve, I mean really dig deep to bring some meaning to numbers!

‘Till next time!

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One Response to The State Arsenal are in is the State most clubs would love to be in – Don’t Panic

  1. Tim Hargreaves August 27, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

    Hi Omar

    I can see what you were trying to do with this blog, but… we are 5 points behind the Premier League leaders only 2 matches into the season. I have no interest in the Champions League as it’d take a $400+ million investment from Arsenal to win it and there are simply too many big rival clubs with more clout than us in the transfer market. However, AW cannot blame the Champions League qualifying match as a reason for not being able to sign players, as we had automatically qualified!

    Yet Arsenal were very, very slow to recruit players again this summer. I am not sure if it is because Wenger doesn’t know who he really wants and spends too much time weighing up options, or if the scouting team is a bit slack and/or not receiving appropriate direction from Wenger and Ivan Gazidis on who to pursue and how vigourously to do so, or if Stan Kroenke is blocking potential signings in lieu of his real estate deals (remember his big purchase last year after the Club had only brought in Cech and later Elneny). Clubs are also less willing to sell late in the window as they cannot find suitable replacements and waiting for “the chips to fall” at other clubs is no way to do business.

    Either way, the only significant first team additions so far have been (as of August 27th) Rob Holding (who has been thrusted in FAR too soon due to injuries) and Granit Xhaka, while Joel Campbell was allowed to exit on loan to Sporting even after both Ramsey and Iwobi would be out for a month with only the unreliable and inconsistent Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott (possibly Gibbs also, and Sanchez when Giroud returns to start) as alternative wingers.

    Arsenal are still short at centre-back (BFG’s days are numbered now, due to his age and that he will be out for 6+ months and Koscielny is 30… I believe nothing on Mustafi until it is up on, still in need of another winger and still in need of a striker (for Lucas Perez, read above re. Mustafi).

    5 points dropped already. I really hope that Arsenal don’t come to rue this later, but, sadly, I think we will. Those 5 points dropped have to be partially blamed on the Club’s lack of summer recruitment and also the idiotic trips overseas instead of focusing on getting the squad sorted out quickly and establishing some unity between the new and existing players by getting signings done early.

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