To Arsenal and Arsene
The last few days have been painful. The last few weeks seems more appropriate. Let’s just say months, or even years. It’s been eight years since I first played my part in lending my voice to the cosmos that is Arsenal.
I have barely missed watching any games, and I always prepare my schedules a week before the actual game, just to make sure I have my big fat arse sufficiently planted on the couch, when Arsenal are playing.
The club has engulfed my life, and is a big part of me. I seriously wonder what my life would be without the club. My social life is nothing to be envied, my academics was a shambles, I sucked at sport and well, work is work. Arsenal kept me going.
But I have never felt as much hurt as I felt in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, whilst supporting Arsenal, before. Ever. The 8-2 mauling at the hands of Manchester United comes close, but doesn’t beat the loss suffered at the hands of Bradford.
The fact that it is still hard to comprehend, a good 3 days since it happened, underlines my disappointment To watch one of my idols, Arsene Wenger himself, become a pale shadow of himself, is equally saddening. I have never questioned his methods, his management, or his vision. But, I would be a liar, if I told you that doubts about them are not creeping into my mind.
The tone in the interviews has changed, the edginess in the technical area has increased, the furrows over his brows have multiplied, and you can sense that something is not all that right. There seems to be a lack of communication, a lack of intensity all over.
I seriously wonder at times, if this was the Arsenal I started supporting. Don’t get me wrong. I am not a fair weather supporter. If that was the case, I would be supporting Manchester United or Chelsea by now.
All the negativity on the field has been transferred to every echelon at the club. The players are not performing. It is the coach’s fault. The coach’s are not training well, and communicating well. It is the manager’s fault. The manager doesn’t have enough funds. It’s the boards fault. The board doesn’t want to involve itself. It is the major shareholder’s fault.
I cannot remember the last time when most of the talk about Arsenal was the delightful football they played and enthralled the world with. These days all the Arsenal chatter on the net is only about the owner throwing wads of cash on ranches, Gazidis speaking about Arsenal’s future, and the marketing team talking about strategy.
When it is the players being talked about, it usually revolves around glaring misses, that moment of uncertainty, the fat pay packet the players take home, and also how little they are bothered about the club’s performances.
I started supporting the club, purely because I was mesmerized by the football they played, the players they had. I didn’t know who David Dein was till he was sacked, though I have read more than a novel about him since.
The ticket prices have increased like crazy at the Emirates, and it seems like the fans don’t even enjoy what they are paying for these days.
I didn’t bother about Arsenal’s finances, or Peter Hill Wood’s cigars, or even Arsene Wenger’s salary. All I knew of was how the club was doing on the pitch, the results, the buzz of the next game, the anticipation of the Champions League draw, the romance of the cup.
The game has become so alienated these days, and the media is filling up so much information on the internet, I just have one plea to make to Arsenal football club.
I have loved you unreservedly for 8 years, and will continue to do so. Red and white has always been my colour the golden cannon always something I wear proudly on my chest. However, as in every relation there are differences. And I am feeling the differences at this very point of time. I feel alienated, lonely and even bitter. You were my life, but now you have become some sort of money making machine, with money grabbing whores all over you.
Arsene, you were my idol, my ideal of a man, but now you seem like someone I can barely recognise. I remember the day you walked into Old Trafford, your head held high, but the last time i checked, you were a man walking head down, on a cold night in Valley Parade.
Arsenal, I just have one thing to ask of you. Fuck the money, and concentrate on what’s important. The football and the fans. The money will follow. As simple as that.
Arsene, just be the Arsene everyone knew. Unflinching, charming, and ferocious at the same time. Again, very simple.
Just give me my Arsenal of old back! It’s not that hard, really!