Longing

We Arsenal fans love to think about what might be. What will be. That change we (as individuals) want. The summer. Transfers. The manager. Points calculations. Season projections. All of this unnecessary, yet quite necessary stress that we all go through as football fans. I’ve seen some quite well written stuff this week on the boss as well as Aaron Ramsey, as to what might be best for the club going forward. All of these pieces are great and could well be what we need to do however my only real question is that; is this truly the right time to think about these things? Are we missing IT? By IT, I mean the game currently as it is? Each weekend we think of what might be or what could have been instead of enjoying/stressing/living in the moment.

The Internet has given ground for fathomless debate to continue regardless of where we are. There are people out there willing failure only to see something they want to happen, happen. It’s nonsensical. What do we get up for at the weekends? To see our team win. What do we want our club to achieve at the beginning of the season? The quadruple. We want to crown the end of the season with silverware. We want a shiny trophy to symbolise our success and for any fan to not want that success for change are missing the point. Joy. Happiness. Winning. That’s what it’s about and unless it’s completely gone from our sights, why not hope? What is football without hope? Nothing. It’s boring. The longing for change, for pastures new, for that greener grass is always tinged with regret. Never once has there been a change that has brought equal success. Even Guardiola is struggling to emulate the treble winning Jupp Heynckes at Bayern, not that they were pining for change but even the ‘best coach in world football’ hasn’t been able to crack the Champions League with that unbelievable squad & money at his disposal, YET I hasten to add. We all want what we feel is better for our clubs and while that’s a good sentiment and one that seems the ‘right attitude’ we’re missing out on celebrating the highs. The good times don’t come around very often for any football club and we’ve been lucky enough to see us win a fair few trophies over the last 20 years, so the longing for change doesn’t quite compute.

Now that’s not to say I don’t think that our manager and team have their short comings, because they do in a big way, however I feel like there is a time and place for that. Right now when we still have a glimmer of hope isn’t that time. We all know Wenger will see out his contract and that he will leave when his successor measures up to the clubs’ values but that’s not now. So what’s the point on the noise? The Kroenke chants were the first time we’ve seen such unrest at the club and that’s ultimately where the blame for anything lies. We’re hamstrung by an unwilling owner who views the club as a business and that’s been the boards biggest mistake. They bought into his ‘vision’, which has now become clear: “make as much shitting money as possible and pretend to give a monkeys”. But even though the vision is clear there is very little anyone can do about it. He will only sell up when the money stops and that will only happen if we lack consistent ‘success’ in the way of top 4 finishes. It’s a chicken and egg situation. One where as a fan you want to see success, but for that we need a little change and for change we need a little failure. How do you cope? Some have gone the route of wanting failure, which on reading the above would seem understandable but that would mean that the Kroenke’s of the world win. They sell up and move on. We are left with the mess to deal with and wait in trepidation to see how it’s solved. That’s why I try not to think too much about dealing with ‘failure’ and longing for change. Wanting trophies and success is what fans should be about and that’s not something I’m about to change. Hope and faith is what the game is about, not money.

The simple solution here is go to the games but don’t invest in the merchandise. Don’t buy that programme, don’t buy the shirt, don’t buy into the paraphernalia – that would make the real difference. But then how do we bring about this beautiful game to our younger generations in a consumerist world? It’s a tough situation and one to which there is no right or wrong answer. The only thing I can think of is get behind the lads and support the team as we all want the same thing. Success. Trophies. Winning.

On the footballing front we had our fair share of players representing internationally and they look to have come through unscathed (praying, hoping, fingers crossed etc etc). Watching England the other day vs Germany was a refreshing change. We remain awful at the back, no matter how much Glen Hoddle deems it suitable to get frantically moist over Kyle Walker and Danny Rose. They are both distinctly average, as is the rest of our defensive outlook. I really think that Bertrand is our best option there, but he’s not really been given a go so it looks like it might well be the average-ness we saw in the previous two games. Clyne will make up the remainder of the average ensemble. In terms of a performance going forward however, we really have a nice headache. Kane and Sturridge are our two main frontmen but we have the likes of Vardy and will obviously take captain Shrek so there are a varying degrees of options available. There’s also Danny Welbeck, more of a wide forward for England, and then you have the likes of Walcott, The Ox and Sterling who are also options out wide. It’s exciting, especially with Alli and Barkley as options to play in behind. If Super Jack can find some fitness as well he’ll be a shoe in. By far and away the best back to front transition player England possess. People compare him to the likes of Alli and their gulf in scoring goals etc but these clowns miss the point. Jack Wilshere is a different type of player. He’s a box to box transition specialist. The link before the assist. The key pass man. Stats don’t quite cover these types of players in full glory but it’s quite poignant that he is talked about year round having not kicked a ball in anger. He’s the benchmark as @AFCAMDEN quite aptly tweeted. The Netherlands game was a little sobering but highlighted that we’re effective when close to full strength with a system that works, but when the personnel changes the system no longer works. All very Arsenal if you ask me. Anywhoo – it looks to be an exciting squad and having an outside chance for the Euros is better than the usual “we’re going to win it!” mantra that flows through the press. France seem to be the team to watch at the moment. So many gifted players and so much to choose from for Deschamps. I’d love to see the likes of Payet and Coman given playing time as they look hungry and fearless when they play. A truly exciting squad they have. Moving on – No more interlulls until next season now. Phew.

In terms of the Arsenal footballing perspective, here is where it could get interesting. We must do our jobs and wait for the others to fail at theirs but do our jobs and I’m convinced it might all start to unravel for the others in a big way. Do our job!!!

Have a wonderful week people.

Follow me on Twitter @MiteshLakhani1.

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