Morning all. Hope you’re feeling marvellous. Or as marvellous as you can do on a Wednesday morning. Today I’ve been thinking about Unai Emery, as well as the divisive nature of the Arsenal fan base. But also, the hypocrisy of some of us, and there is severe levels of it.
This morning I had a look at my Twitter feed as I brushed my teeth, mindlessly flicking through to refresh the feed as the menthol taste permeated through my mouth, to see somebody had made a comment about Alexis Claude Maurice, who said he wanted to join Gladbach. The comment said something like “Emery’s done it again” and had been liked by a few people, those people who clearly have an issue with Emery and want to poke fun at him.
And if I’m honest it annoyed me. It annoyed me because there appears to be a collective of our fan base who, having derided the ‘lack of class’ shown by some fans for wanting Arsène Wenger to leave the club, they are showing the same level of intolerance as if it isn’t just as disrespectful.
I – like many of you I’m sure by the end – knew it was time for Arsène to move on, but probably only getting to that stage after he won the FA Cup and then decided to stay two years more, despite the fact that the decline in the team was starting to show. I would never have classed myself as a ‘WOB’ and if you know me you know I’m a normal fan, go to games, want Arsenal to win above anything, etc, etc.
And I still do. I consider myself a patient man too. I saw how poor we were the season before last and deep down I knew that getting us moving in an upward trajectory would take time. I was prepared for that. So when Emery came in I was ok with it. After all managers these days come and go and he had a complete rebuild on his hands. Changing a style and fabric of a club from top to bottom after a ‘one man show’ was always going to be difficult and I think Emery has made mistakes. He’s picked odd formations, he’s presided over a pretty pathetic end to the season culminating in that disgrace of a cup final, he’s over played players and as I suggested yesterday, he’s also not blooded as much youth as I think the club will have wanted.
Perhaps he isn’t a master tactician. Perhaps he isn’t the answer to all of Arsenal’s woes. But do I want him gone this summer? No. Will I be putting flippant remarks about how he’s a clown and doesn’t know what he’s doing? Of course not. Have I turned on him yet? Heck no.
That’s because I’m not a snap judgement football fan. I believe in giving Emery a shot and for me we see how he gets on next season. This is especially the case when you see what meagre budget we’re supposed to be working with this summer. How can you completely overhaul a team in a summer when you’re working with peanuts?
Let’s also not forget that Emery is the coach and it’s other people at the club that go out and get the players. Putting things on Emery at this stage – and by people who were such vehement supporters of the previous manager to the point of labelling our own fans as ‘disgraces’ for hounding him out – is a level of hypocrisy I just can’t abide with. People in glass houses and all that jazz.
So what happens if this season doesn’t work out? The club look for a new option. We got Emery on a two year deal and if it’s not going the way we want then so what? So we look to another direction, that’s what. That’s what modern football is and we need to accept that it is short termism, but that doesn’t mean we have to want to go the crazy and extreme levels you get at a farce of a club like Chelski. The Arsenal have always conducted themselves with a bit of decorum and I’d like to think we should be giving somebody a bit more of a shot that what some people have been doing. One season for a manager to impose his style is nothing. Especially when he’s following a legacy manager.
I also think we have bigger problems than who is the coach because there is a cloud over Arsenal that has been hanging for some time. That cloud is silent and American in nature. The Kroenke’s are dragging Arsenal towards mediocrity and anybody not spend the bulk of their ire and attention on a quite frankly appalling owner needs to rethink their priorities.
Just some thoughts on a random Wednesday for you.