Yesterday I mooted the idea that I wouldn’t blog today, but who am I kidding, right? I am as ingrained in writing this daily musing of all things Arsenal, as Arsene Wenger is of giving players ‘just one more chance’ when they’ve already had enough for 12 lifetimes.
So here I am today before you, this Tuesday morn, compiling some sort of thoughts about where we are as a fanbase. I’d say ‘angry’ sums it up for a lot of people. So when I see some videos about Arsenal fans post match having trouble articulating themselves like this chap, I do wonder what is going to happen next, like the degradation of the English language to a point at which all we hear is a compression of one fan interview into a long noise:
Sigh. People will always get angry, but I’m hoping we can all stay a little bit more composed, because hearing people like that doesn’t exactly do much for the reputation of us matchday going fans. It’s embarrassing and whilst we laugh at other small clubs like that lot down the road, when you see post-match videos like that one, you wonder how many opposition rival fans are tuning in just for a laugh. I heard a rumour that a steward got bit by a fan. What on earth is that about? Are some people turning in to animals? When did this turn in to Lord of the flies?
There used to be talk of a division between those that stood behind the manager and those that wanted him gone. They have their names/labels, I won’t bother to repeat them, but it seems to me that the Arsenal world is being split more now between the angry and the apathetic more than anything else. Which feels worse because angry people get violent. There’s one thing spiking frustration with the manager on to a social media platform, but when it manifests itself in real life, we have a real issue.
I hope more people join me in the land of apathy – there’s a lot less biteyness. Plus, you get a numbing feeling that washes over you, which is much better than having your blood pressure go through the roof.
Any hopes of winning the league have gone now, with even the prospect of catching the Spuds looking impossible after they’re smashing of Stoke, but if you do want to put a bet on for Arsenal to even get top four, you’re a braver man than I. Because right now I couldn’t predict where we’re going to finish. All of a sudden we’ve gone from looking up to only looking down and if we don’t beat West Brom on Thursday, then we could be staring at a straight shoot out with United. A United side that really are quite dire. Yet they could be in with a shot of the FA Cup and knocking us out of the Champions League spaces.
And yet I still can’t bring myself to be angry. Why should I be? I have a good life. I have a beautiful wife, a loving family and I get to see Arsenal every odd week live and in the flesh. I’m not going to get down. I’m not even going to fret over a potential loss of Champions League football next season. It hasn’t helped us to move ‘Forward’ as a club, so what difference does fifth or fourth mean?
Except it does matter to the board. That’s where it really does make a difference. That’s when we’ll all see them stand up straight and look all meerkatish if we don’t get into football’s gravy-train competition. Some think that it would enforce change. It won’t. It can’t. They have no idea who to replace the manager with. I’m ready for change and I think the manager has had his time, but in a way I both fear change and welcome it, because I’m not sure that the Arsenal board will pick the right man.
They are out there. And the club is an attractive proposition. You only have to look at what players like Dimitri Payet said about the club to know that we can still attract the best in the world. We have Arsene to thank for building the club, to the level it is at with his early success during his tenure, but we need somebody else to take it to the next level. We need an innovator. Arsene is a great man and has done great things, but you have to be one-in-a-lifetime to be able to innovate for a solid 19-odd years. It happens to everyone, eventually. You can’t control when your time or abilities have run their course in life, but you can control how you exit and when you exit, in a work capacity. Arsene needs to be able to have a look at where his current team is at that he has built and appreciate that he has a wonderful legacy he has left with us, but now he should take his leave, have his statue at the club and then let us keep our fond memories and move to the next stage of Arsenal Football Club’s evolution.
Blimey. I’ve gone all deep and melancholy. I really didn’t meant to be. I’m still in the land of apathy and numbness, even though it might not seem that way at times. But if you see me in the pub before a game and say hello, please be rest assured that I won’t chew your ear off about how angry Arsenal will make me feel, I’ll simply talk to you about good times gone past. because that’s what football is all about. It’s about memories made. Just keep that in your mind next time you want to get angry.
Memories made people, memories made.