By Guest Writer Arse Or Brain
The debate rages on: the following article is a well-thought out response in the comments section of a Gunners Town article by Nick Birch posted earlier, that suggests the following:
It would be better to fix the thing that is breaking the team, than trying to fix the team – i.e. replacing Arséne Wenger
I thought this was a well thought out and reasoned argument, which is better than many of those who want Arséne removed. However there are holes in your argument which simply don’t stack up.
Firstly your opening comment about supporters from the teams above us not wanting to trade places with us. Are you honestly saying spud supporters wouldn’t trade places with us? (And if you only include the last five years Liverpool as well..?) Leaving only three clubs in the whole of the land that have a better record over the last five years, and that’s City, Manure and Chelski – the three richest clubs in the world – and the three we are miles behind in terms of finances. I have been a supporter for nearly 50 years and I can tell you that is a better position than many of the seasons I have followed and loved the club. When you think there were times when Leeds, Villa, Forrest, Everton and the spuds were on a par with us, our current position is not as bad as you make out.
I am very much old-school, and I loved Highbury. But anyone who sat behind a pillar, or sat at the back of the East Stand so could’t see the ball going over head height, or even those who couldn’t get tickets at all in the final seasons must admit we needed a new stadium. Having established the fact the new stadium was needed, we need to accept the huge financial burden this has put upon us – especially when you then consider how the financial landscape has changed against us which could not have been considered at the time.
On the point of ex-players, all fans will always fondly remember their heroes – and will have that place in their heart for them – but players (most of whom are not ARSENAL supporters and whose only affilliation to the club is their playing time) that constantly criticize and are never positive about anything towards the club cannot be respected as men – even if we respected them as players. At the end of the day I am an ARSENAL supporter and I will defend my club against anyone. ARSENAL will live forever, whereas players will come and go – no matter how good they were. The way some players left the club: Stapleton, Fab , RVP, Adi… tarnished their playing career and unfortunately the same can be said of the behaviour of some ex-players and comments they make.
All players should remember they had bad games and runs of form in their time and speaking is easy. I will always refer these players to the ultimate gentleman and ARSENAL ambassador – Bob Wilson – as an example of how to conduct oneself after they have left the club.
I agree some of our performances in each season are atrocious and extremely frustrating, however – as you said – when we’re good the football is fantasic. I suspect this is part of your frustration: when you know we have a team capable of beating anyone, that can then perform so badly. However think back to when we had teams that quite simply weren’t capable of beating the bigger sides, and then you realise what we have now is not at all bad.
On some of your analysis of what we need I can agree, although bringing top players in when we are not even in the top seven choices around europe is difficult and so some of the players we have brought in are very impressive. Once again you have to temper what we haven’t succeeded with in the transfer windows with what we have – and again when you look at it overall we aren’t that bad.
I have seen fans blame Arséne and the ARSENAL board for things that are the fault of the Premier League and modern football. ”We want our ARSENAL back” just simply will not happen in today’s football – as much as I would like a return to a lot of the old football days.
The worst thing you can accuse Arséne of is under-performance, although I don’t totally agree. To say because of that you don’t want a dignified end to his career at a club where he has been so loyal, and turned down many other clubs to stay here, is criminal and weakened your argument immensely.
At the end of the day Wenger is the most successful manager in our history, and however frustrated you feel, you must judge him on the club’s entire history – and when he goes, give nothing but respect.