Delighted to welcome back my closest Gooner pal on twitter and regular guest, Andy Wood @Yorkshiregunner. We don’t always agree on Arsenal, we bicker like old house wives, we make each other laugh, but we both know how much the other loves our club. This being the case and Andy knowing how positive I am all the time, often irrationally, he felt I might not want to post his latest. However I read it once and read it again and to be honest this is written from the heart, with a great degree of soul searching and it certainly moved me. Andy over to you…
I will start this piece by stating I am neither an AKB nor a member of the WOB, I am simply a long term supporter home, away and occasionally abroad of Arsenal Football Club.
The past week or so since the Norwich debacle has seen many debates on Twitter about the current manager of Arsenal Football Club. Arsene Wenger to many IS Arsenal Football Club, to even suggest unhappiness at the way he manages our club provokes huge and often irrational outbursts and one chap has even told me he received death threats. I saw someone tweeting on Saturday news of home fans fighting after the match inside the ground, presumably it was either over Arsene or someone knocked someone else`s Fish & Chips over! It is my belief no one at Arsenal should be above criticism, it is also my belief that our clubs problems can and should be discussed in a reasonable manner.
Let me put it on record the fact I love Arsene Wenger, (how could any Arsenal Fan say otherwise?) I am just no longer IN love with him. He just no longer does those things he once did for me. It`s not you Arsene, it`s me! I loved the way when he came to England he took on and beat the best the rest of England could muster. He danced around on his toes like a young Ali and while the Heavyweights like Fergie couldn’t lay a glove on him, he`d then soften them up with rapier like jabs before the usual KO.
Arsene was like this once…
Like Ali he also spoke eloquently and often courted controversy and ridicule by everyone outside the club with bold statements. Yes bold statements such as the fact he thought he could lead a side unbeaten through a whole season. At that time Wenger had the cojones and the tools to actually achieve it. Sadly these days as ‘The Greatest’ found out to his cost, time and tide wait for no man. Cretins such as Pulis come in now and manage to give Arsene the occasional bloody nose and stick him on his arse. All the greats bow out sometime, sadly usually when their once all encompassing powers have waned and they become mortal like the rest of us.
Many fans think Arsene is now like this…
Let us never forget that Arsene Wenger altered the very nature of football in this Country, his methods have been taken on and utilised by most clubs and let`s not also forget he took an ageing defence that was written off by most of the media and a great many Arsenal Fans and extended players careers and won Titles and Doubles with his ethos.
Dennis Bergkamp was the Greatest Footballer I’ve seen in an Arsenal Shirt, he did things on a football pitch that very few people have ever been able to do. What would people say if Dennis Bergkamp was still playing up front for us at the moment? Would people be happy for Bergkamp to still command a place in the team because of what he used to be able to do? Because he once was the best? Because we owe him such a huge debt? No? Then why do people want to persevere with a manager who hasn’t won anything in almost a decade?
Debates on Arsene are impossible to hold such is the love people have for him. I asked this week, at what point should Arsene leave our club? When he`s 80? I was called out for making snide remarks about him. Is he so untouchable that he is beyond questioning?
I tweeted during the week people who still want Arsene in charge are akin to people staying with a partner they no longer love simply because they used to give them hot sex years ago. I was told we should still love him for his loyalty and what he has achieved for us in the past. I do still love the bloke, I just feel we need to take the club “Forward” again and personally feel someone else could and should do that. There are plenty of candidates who I`d like but that`s a subject for another day. But I don’t agree with the level of disrespect shown to Arsene by a lot of people who want him out. I would love to see Arsene leave our club on the shoulders of the Players after winning the CL but I honestly can`t see that happening.
The very fact people want to discuss Arsene`s future would have been unheard of 10 Years ago. I don’t get this: he keeps us Top Four every season, though no argument there either. Yes he has, but we have limped over the line a number of times and lessons haven’t been learned it seems. When (if) we do fail half of our cash reserve will go toward the shortfall created with no CL football that season. Our Board have always stated we have cash to spend if Arsene deems it necessary, it seems Arsene doesn’t think we need to invest in our squad to win the title back from City/Chelski/Utd…unless the Board are telling lies of course, which one could assume Arsene knows they are lying but is happy to take the flak for them?
I don’t hate the guy, I don’t want to hate the guy, I don’t want other people to hate the guy…I just want a trophy winning Arsenal back (and despite people saying things to the contrary I don’t class 4th a trophy), and sadly I don’t believe under Arsene Wenger we can achieve that at the moment. I don’t want or expect to change anyone`s opinions, I just would like to see Arsenal Fans talk about it in a reasonable manner and not to rip our club apart in a very uncivil civil war…
Thanks for your time and thanks again to Dave for allowing me a platform other than 140 characters on Twitter. Feel free to say hello @yorkshiregunner .
Thanks Andy for this thoughtful piece. It is from the heart, that much is obvious and I sincerely hope that the readers will feel your love and passion, whether they or I for that matter agree with you in this instance.
Published with permission from 1 Nil Down 2 One Up1 Nil Down 2 One Up.