Open Letter to Arsene Wenger from an Arsenal fan
Season after season, you have asked us fans to believe in you, the team and the club. And year after year, we have done just that: believe that things will be better and that the club will finally achieve all the great things that were promised. You have asked us to be patient, and we have complied, despite the numerous disappointments in the past decade. There was always that shining light at the end of the tunnel that held us all together.
Unfortunately, that light turned out to be nothing but a speeding train hurtling towards us, and now we are helpless, and can't do anything about it.
See, that’s how the fans feel now; they can do absolutely nothing to change the way the club is going forward. Or standing still. Or even worse, going backwards.
You have been the coach of this great club since 1996, and for the first 10 years, it was the greatest ride for an Arsenal fan. You brought in consistency at a club that was not just underperforming but was also in shambles in terms of problems with drinking and the diet the players followed. You changed all that and made the team a force to be reckoned with, as we went head to head with Manchester United and Alex Ferguson every season.
It wasn’t that we won a trophy every year during that time. There were seasons when we were left empty-handed. But nobody said you should leave Arsene; nobody could even think of letting you go. You know why? Because for the fans, it wasn't just the trophies that mattered - it was the fact that we were always in the reckoning, closely fighting the battle until the very end.
It did not matter that we lost more than we won. What mattered was that as a club, we were always giving it all. There can only be one winner at the end of the season, and everyone understood that. But it was important to us that we fought till the end and didn't give up, and that’s all the fans have ever wanted.
Have things changed now Arsene? No, they haven’t. Close to 10 years have passed since that unlucky night in Paris, and fans still crave for the same. We don't ask for a trophy every year so that we can celebrate and shove in the faces of rival fans, but all we want is to be competitive enough to be in the race and not just on the fringes.
When people say Arsene Wenger is stubborn and does not change with the times, it is not because they are all hungry for trophies and you aren't. It is because even an average, every day fan can see where the gaps are and is left flabbergasted when they are not rectified by you, as transfer windows come and go and players aren't signed.
Even if he or she wants to believe that maybe there are options in the squad that only you would know about, game after game we see the same people being used and frequent losses and disheartening performances make it even more frustrating.
Why Mr. Wenger, why, are we subjected to that?
Last year was a revelation, a second coming of sorts, considering that barring the forward line, almost all departments in the team were well-stocked. After the over the top reaction of fans following the loss to Aston Villa, the team came together and you made the very important addition of Mesut Ozil. The team were leading the table till February, after which we fell back, finished 4th and won the FA Cup.
It was good enough for the majority of the fans, because for us, it meant the dawn of a new era, an era where we get back to fighting for the title and trophies every year, and even if we didn’t win, it was far better than having a season where all hopes of any silverware were extinguished by the time we got to December.
But as it turns out, it was a false dawn.
We are back to the same old idiocy again, the same old mediocrity, with the same old problems. You sold Thomas Vermaelen to Barcelona, and nobody complained. Probably because he wanted to go, and there was no point keeping a player who didn’t want to be at the club. It turned out to be an excellent piece of business. But this is what is irritating. Why wasn’t there a replacement signed for him?
As it is, even when Vermaelen was at the club, we were short of a defender. We got extremely lucky last season that there weren’t too many injuries in the backline. What is baffling is you signed Calum Chambers and then sent away Carl Jenkinson on loan, and we are now short in the defensive positions, at more positions than before.
The logic of it all baffles everyone.
Wouldn’t it have been simpler if you had kept Jenkinson at the club, as a backup for Debuchy, and had Chambers at the club as well, in case he was needed. It would have been understandable if you had sent Jenkinson on loan after signing a backup centre-back. But as usual, we find ourselves in a position where Monreal has to play as a centre back, a position he has never played in before, and one where he never really has looked confident.
And so we suffer for yet another season, with no hope of even finishing second, already out of the League Cup, all set to get knocked out of the Round of 16 in the Champions League. Quite possibly, the FA Cup is the only realistic chance this season. Again.
We lost to Stoke, Arsene. Every time we fail to win, we fall back further in our quest to challenge for the title. We lost at Stoke. And, what worries me, is that it wasn’t a 1-0 win for them. They scored 3 goals in the first half.
Do something Arsene. Or make way for someone who will do something!
An Arsenal fan