Well as expected, Chelski scanned their way to another win, Stoke bent over and presented themselves for crayon-munching Kane to provide them with a metaphorical meat pounding and to complete the faecal matter infused flavour of the weekend, United completely skanked a Southampton team that were the better team throughout. Tonight we can complete the misery by witnessing Liverpool turn over Leicester. Although the only small consolation I can take from that will be Leicester dropping further in to the relegation mire. Which they thoroughly deserve.
As for Arsenal, well as you’d expect, it’s been a quiet weekend. All except the financial results on Friday. I didn’t bother talking about them on Friday or Saturday’s blog because at the time there were other things on my mind that I could talk about, like Santi, but given the dearth of anything interesting coming out at the moment I guess I could pen one or two thoughts.
The thing is, as a club we seem to be the only ones who really get any kind of major media coverage when it comes to financial results. Nobody ever really talks about Liverpool, Chelski, The Totts or City. United get mentioned but that’s because in comparison with every other football team on the planet, they are a massive corporate juggernaut, so nobody’s ever really going to avoid the news when they release results.
But Arsenal get a lot of attention. That’s probably because Arsenal have always paid a lot of attention to it as a club. The club has historically – recent history in talking about here – been seen as one in which the bank balance is more important than the pitch performance. For years the question was whether Arsène has truly been given the resources to really have a proper go at the league title. Some have said that’s why he hasn’t won more titles and for a time that’s what it felt like. We were always ‘just a couple of players’ away from a fantastic squad that can do the business. Just one or two additions in key positions. That’s what we had been told and in fairness that’s what I believed too.
This season has been different though. The financial results show this. More cash spent last summer than ever before. More investment by the team (in the end) than we’d been used to and if I’m completely honest, I looked at that squad once the Lucas Perez deal was done and thought, “yep, that’s enough. We have a squad that can compete”.
I suspect that is also what has turned many people from fence-sitters on Arsène’s future position as manager, to those that think his time has come. This time round he’s had the cash, spent the cash, assembled the squad and yet the same problems persist. We still make the same mistakes. We still find ourselves in the same position of being nowhere near the league and chasing down a top four spot come March.
People have been hit in the same spot too many times for it not to cause a bit of bruising. So they’re turning on the manager and the belief is gone.
Shame really. He loves the club, we all loved him for a time, but the failure to evolve has cost him. I have no doubt that every day when he wakes up he wants to do the best for Arsenal and every decision he makes is what he believes is the best for the club. But if you put me in charge of the team I’d have exactly the same approach. I’d give my all to try to make Arsenal great. But that wouldn’t be enough and I’d probably be terrible at it. Just because you love Arsenal and you’d do anything for Arsenal, it doesn’t mean you should be guaranteed a job there.
Will you look at that. I started off talking about the financial figures being released, yet it quickly escalated in to a comment on the manager’s position. I guess that’s because it’s such a centralised point of topic for Arsenal these days. Just like the way the club is run, everything is centred around Arsène and no matter what you try to talk about, it all comes back to that one man. Even the words of Sir Chips talking about making the end of the season great for the fans pretty much fell on deaf ears to me when I read the statement; the comment on player spending meant only that this time the manager had been backed and yet again we had seen a similar outcome to the last four or five years.
Ultimately, I just don’t believe the club hierarchy any more, including Arsène but especially that board. They’re so out of touch with the real people who are Arsenal FC that their words are of little meaning or consolation. They’re just PR fluff that fall on deaf ears.
Arsenal need a spark. They need something new to get out of the current funk. The malaise at the club that is felt by most fans needs to be given a metaphorical electric shock. We’ve tried more player investment and that hasn’t seemed to work. Which really leaves us with one more card to play. One more put down and pick up to do: the new manager card.
It could completely bugger up our hand. We all know that. But equally it could deliver us a full house. We’ve played it ‘safe’ for too long. Now we need to have a gamble.
That won’t happen with this board. Sadly their hand has to be forced. And it will have to be forced by the manager. For us to move forward, Arsène will need to willingly dive on to his own sword. He needs to be like Arnie in Terminator 2 and press the button himself to descend in to the lava. And John ‘Gazidis’ Connor will have to watch with Sarah ‘Chips’ Connor as he slowly disappears. We all knew it had to happen. Even those who still believe Arsène is a man who could deliver success, must know that it isn’t working at Arsenal and therefore the change is probably best for all involved.
Hopefully that change is coming in the summer. I won’t be doing any jigs of delight though. I’ll just be sad that it has had to end the way it has. Hopefully there will be a positive ending with an FA Cup for the manager to say goodbye, but you can’t exactly say that’s a likelihood at the moment with the way we’re playing.
Right, I’m off until tomorrow, so Enjoy your Monday. Peace out peeps.