Parting of the Red Sea

It was a poignant moment in our season on Saturday. Win or bust. The corner that we needed to turn. Instead we’ve headed into oncoming traffic and not in the form of any sort of parked bus. I’m not going to even discuss the game because it’s pointless. It’s the same script that we’ve been reading from week in week out, with tactics again coming into question.

The reason the game was so monumental for our season yesterday was due to what it would have done for the fans. The ones that are calling for Wengers’ head may have had some doubt in their minds had we pulled off a win, now however the knives are out. Inevitably when there is a divide amongst the fans, a growing one in our case, something has to give. The question is what will that be? As I said in my previous post, I will never be one to call for the managers head because of what he has achieved. He’s earned the right to go out on his terms but there’s no doubt that some sort of change is needed. There’s always been a debate on how much control Wenger has at the club and that is the fundamental issue behind our failures in recent seasons. In my view he needs some pressure, as at the moment he takes the flak but takes it from the people that don’t matter. The press and certain fans are the ones trying to pile pressure but it’s futile as none of it affects him so long as he sneaks 4th spot. The only way this is likely to change is if we finish outside the top four (anyone who suggests that this is a good thing is quite frankly a silly goose) or if he has a line manager to report to. I feel as though we need someone who will to a certain degree dictate who we spend money on and how we spend it, that much needs to be taken away from the manager. Wenger does not need to be managing the finances of the club, that should be someone else’s job. Secondly he needs someone that is able to say to him “that’s not good enough”. We honestly all have no idea what is said behind the scenes so it’s easy for me to suggest the above but we’re told time after time that money is available but are let down with a lack of action. We’re also told that we want to fight for the league, which until this season I thought was a bit of a stretch (even if we did come mightily close last year). The beginning of the summer came with a fresh stream of optimism with some good signings but tailed off in a very disappointing way. The optimism has well and truly run out and a massive divide has been created. We could all see this coming but why couldn’t other members of the club when that’s precisely what their job is?

It looks as though we are being fed (and have been fed) false truths about our beloved club. We are the 3rd/4th best club in the league simply because we can’t compete financially and that is the truth. We over achieved for a period of 7 years from 1998-2005 and got used to success. The gap from then on was rightly unacceptable but the gap was that big due to the money coming into the premier league. That was and still is hamstringing us from being able to progress as we should. Yes we probably won’t endure the same fate as someone like Leeds United however unless there is a little change we’re not going to experience the success stories of teams like City, Chelsea or United.

Although I as a fan want to see a bit of change I do not want us to part ways with Arsene Wenger for the sake of it. Sacking managers is one of the biggest mistakes that a club can make that only brings short term success at best, and that’s if the manager has lost the dressing room, which doesn’t yet appear to be the case. The one thing that remains true is that a large portion of the squad remains indebted to Wenger as he has made their careers. There are only a handful of players who are in a position where they can dictate terms to him and even they would not be at the club unless they had the right mentality about them. In a world where player power is such an influencing factor, we have a club where it’s not littered across the group. This may slowly ebb away but for the moment Wenger has the dressing room on his side. The point at which he doesn’t is when I think a replacement needs to be made but it feels like we are quite a way from that moment.

Looking at fan reactions across the game and across the social media landscape doesn’t make for good reading. Now I’m not in the know as to whether every single one of those fans were a part of the early leaving brigade but it does rankle when there are 16 minutes of play remaining and fans begin to leave the ground. Lest we forget scoring 2 in the last 7 minutes against Everton to come back. After Giroud’s goal there were still 3 and a half minutes remaining. We almost worked an equaliser with Cazorla but there were thousands that would have missed it. Whether we’re #WengerIn or #WengerOut we should surely be fully behind the team when they’re playing. The time for protests and being heard is after the game or outside the minds of the players. They give 100% as hard as we might find it to believe but without us on their side they’re only likely to be less effective, not more.

It looks as though it will be a tough, long season and it seems that The Red Sea has fully parted however we need to get behind the team if we’re going to get through this patch.


Follow me on Twitter @MiteshLakhani1


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