ARSENAL CIRCULAR 151
30 JULY 2016
Dear Fellow Gunners
As the summer goes all the distractions from soccer are fast disappearing. Wimbledon has happened; The Euros are over; Hamilton won the Grand Prix; Stenson won the Open. BREXIT has happened. Ms Brasier – as she was – has replaced Mr Cameron. The US Presidential Election continues to fascinate and alarm in equal measure. And yet one topic remains dominant in the minds of us all – next season.
What does it hold for us? Will we meet the competition from the teams with new managers – City, United and Chelsea? And don’t overlook THFC, Liverpool and even Leicester. You think lightning cannot strike twice? Never mind about Corbyn or Trump or Grove. Forget about Higuain or Vardy or Yedder. Now the focus is on Lacazette. Will he join? Will Wenger meet the price and will he also look to replace Mertesacker who is reputedly out for five months.
As regards fans we are still divided. Reading social media there are those who hold Wenger in high esteem and those that want him out – now! It makes for unpleasantness – you don’t want to be at war with your own. We are all meant to be on the same side but now more than ever we are on opposite sides. Only one of two things will cure the aggravation – success or failure.
Wenger needs a big win – he needs the Premier title or the Champions Cup. It is a big challenge. There are those who want nothing more than his success and there are those who yearn for his failure. The atmosphere will be unsettled at the Emirates for the Liverpool game. We need a good start. We need points and a high position in the table after two matches. That is just to stifle the moaners. In reality the League becomes clear by the end of October/beginning of November but because of our unique civil war every game becomes crucial.
And the signings – we all want signings completed and new players paraded in AFC shirts and off with the squad on pre-season tours. But we are still waiting – it seems we are still chasing a quality striker which is good news as long as Giroud does not go in part-exchange; the name of Mahrez is still in focus and following Per’s injury there is talk of an experienced centre back joining as well.
We just have to wait. We cannot demand answers or updates or names of players we are trying to sign. The speculation and the fan interest are public. The negotiations and player identity has to be private. The contradiction is an ever present – a thirst for news on the one hand and a hunger for privacy on the other. This is football. This is Arsenal. Throw in the Wenger issue and the freedom of social media and you have a daily diet of speculation that we all hear and see and digest.
For myself I want the man to succeed. I want him to get that winning formula and the right results and the goals and the achievement. Maybe last year was the best chance but look at the list of threats compiled by other managers and you will find AFC up there at or near the top.
Keep cool. Don’t let the frustration and the speculation get to you. Allow the most experienced manager in the UK to do his best. He is in situ. He is the boss and he makes the decisions. Another two weeks for the first match and then 37 to follow. The new season beckons; the chase is on. Let’s be honest – we love it. There is life and work and family and holidays and politics. And then there is Arsenal. Ready?
One last point – as I have mentioned before I tweet – @arsenalcircular – every day the number of followers increase. Now I am at 2,377. I tweet about Arsenal in the main but also about BREXIT and US Election. I send out about 7-10 tweets each day. I get replies and we have exchanges. It is immediate and topical. Do give it a try, not to boost my numbers, but to involve you in focused and relevant exchanges.
My name is Graham Perry and I have been a lifelong Arsenal supporter since 1952 when I saw the ten men in red shirts hold out heroically until the 84th minute at Wembley.
The Arsenal thing was confirmed by a meeting with Alex James during Easter 1953. As with most of us it is a family thing with my father always waxing eloquent about the Chapman years.
I am married with four children and five grandchildren. I have been a solicitor in a legal aid practice and have just stepped down after 13 years as an Immigration Judge.
Arsenal is in the blood. The goals and the excitement matter but so does the Community thing and sharing Arsenal with friends and family over so many years.
Want nothing more than to see Wenger hold aloft the Premier League Trophy again.