I’m generally someone who looks on the brighter side of All Things Arsenal Football Club but off the back of our AGM I am a little bit lost for words. Most of the things that we thought but hadn’t known for 100% were well and truly confirmed. The quote that was the most damning and crystal clear for me was from Mr.Chips:
“Don’t doubt who calls the shots at Arsenal Football Club. It’s not the board, it’s not the fans, it’s Mr. Arsene Wenger.”
This was said with Le Boss sat right there in the same room. It’s a statement that is basically saying if things go wrong it’s down to Arsene. The reason we didn’t buy a DM; Arsene Wenger. The reason we didn’t buy a CB; Arsene Wenger. The reason we have £50-£60m worth of transfer funds in the bank; Arsene Wenger. The simple truth of this matter is that he gambled. He gambled that our current squad could keep pace with the leaders and so long as we could keep within 5-6 points of them we could get our targets at a knock down rate. 6 points adrift and then to add a player like Khedira and Hummels for example (I know, I know) means that we may be able to go on and win the league, having saved £15-£20m in the progress. As it is, we are already 11 points adrift, don’t look remotely like we’re up for the fight this year and the injury situation is a joke. On top of all that it looks like Arsene has lost some sort of tactical and motivational edge. It’s not that the new players haven’t gelled or clicked yet, which would be fine. It’s that the existing players seem to look a little lost at the moment. I do wonder if some of the team have lost faith in the manager, it seems ludicrous to suggest this is the case as for many players he’s made them the players they are today, but it’s a thought. If a high profile player doesn’t quite agree with a particular methodology it wouldn’t take long for others to beg the same questions and doubt can then creep in.
Back to the AGM and my exasperated post event feeling. We were given no real explanation as to why ticket prices were increased. In addition no real reasons as to what Stan’s pay out was for other than “advice”. Willing to spend such money on advice when quite clearly we are short of numbers in the squad is criminal. I know it’s not a simple case of money allocation but it speaks volumes about the clubs financial priorities. But now we know why. Arsene Wenger is fully in charge of whether players come in. In fairness to him he’s never passed the buck on this issue but the buck has been firmly thrust in his direction this week. When you compare the way other football clubs around Europe are run and you then look at the way our club treats us as fans, it’s quite sickening. But the problem is that we care too much and there are too many that care too much. It’s no bad thing that we love our club, but it’s at a cost. The board are readily there to take advantage of it. It’s not even as simple as non attendance and non renewal of season tickets and memberships, as there are thousands waiting around to take the baton from the ones who want to hand it on. Our board care about one thing and one thing only, themselves. I’m just not sure what the fans can do other than care less, but that means that the money into the club is less, less high profile players want to play for a club with an empty stadium and we’re then in mid table mediocrity before we know it. Such things are so finely poised and balanced that it means we are signed up to this for life, whether we like it or not.
Onto the debacle of not being able to overcome Hull City FC at the weekend. I have no other words apart from: what an absolute farce. The ref may have been nothing short of an amateur but that doesn’t make up for our lack of intensity until the last 5 minutes. On top of this to concede 45 seconds into the second half is because the players were not focused. Terrible from the players but you do have to wonder what the manager says at half time. At the moment it is not enough. There is not enough out there on the pitch to suggest that the players give a toss. We need more from everyone involved. From the manager, the players and right down to the coaching staff. More motivation, more encouragement, more passion and some originality, from the manager at least. Being 11 points behind when being unlucky is one thing but being 11 points behind and fully deserving to be where we are is a different thing entirely. Things need to change and change quickly if we are to make this season more than a battle for 4th.
The Champions League would be a good place to start. Nothing less than 3/3 wins from our next 3 games will ease the tension. Things are simmering in an unpleasant way at the moment and something quite drastically bad might happen unless our results change.
Come on Arsene, make us believe again.
Have a good week folks.
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