Hello chums, I’m Alex and I’m an Arsenal fan. Well sort of.
What’s it called when the thing you once loved starts to hurt you, then bore you? Then you kind of want to see it fail, just to see how far it can possibly fall. Like a pile up of cyclists at the Tour de France, there’s some residual concern for the well being of individual cyclists, but the dark part of your brain eggs for more twisted metal and grazed limbs. Something akin to pleasure in another’s failure, joy in their shame. There must be a word for it. No? Nevermind.
So let’s get on to the first existential question of the post – can you be a fan if you want your team to suffer in the short term in order for it to benefit in the long term? That’s pretty much where I am at the moment. Any decent result at this stage will be pounced on by the manager as an excuse to stick with him.
My hope, and I expect this is secretly true for quite a few others, is that the team will fail just enough to force the board into action. Cut the apron strings, remove the drip and push the ice floe off into the sunset. At this stage, I’d honestly prefer humiliation until the end of the season in the league and cup to two more seasons of Arsene Wenger, no matter what changes he promises not to make over the Summer.
Which leads on to our second question, can an organism truly change if its principal component does not? I understand what Ivan Gazidis is trying to do. Clear out the dross, build a proper infrastructure around the manager, force change on him from above.
But will that make the manager practice shooting in training, build defensive structure into the team or come up with tactical variations for different opponents? Will it stop him making substitutions on 70 minutes or running players into the ground or playing Francis Coquelin ever again?
And on a second question of change, will a new influx of players under the same manager make any difference at all? Mesut Ozil has gone from Zinedine Zidane to Marouane Chamakh in three years under Arsene Wenger.
Arguably four of the most talented British players in a generation – Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey – are derided as bums for being played to breaking point every season and not working out how to coach themselves better.
Let’s put all talk of new players on hold until the big piece of elephant poo in the room has been properly swept away. That is, as good a coach as Arsene used to be, not one player has progressed under him since Laurent Koscielny five years ago. Its a shocking record.
Managers across Europe look with envy at the young talent he hoards, overplays and leaves to flounder in a set up with no tactics. No true assessment can be made of the current squad’s capabilities and limitations until a new coach is installed (except Coquelin he really is trash).
Final question – what can anyone possibly write about Arsenal these days? If this carries on, pretty soon Arsenal bloggers are going to be unemployed. Which I’m sure we can all agree is the real tragedy here.
Reading round some of this site’s counterparts, its interesting how some people are a) looking for almost anything to write about other than expressing what may be an unfavourable view of the manager (yes he’s great but he’s not your dad) and b) are now saying stuff that Pedro was getting coated off for saying 5 years ago.
And look, I’m more than happy to call Pedro out for being a melt, or having terrible dress sense and a rubbish haircut and only having kissed one girl in his entire life. But its interesting that Ivan has been briefing Jeremy Wilson in the Telegraph that Colbert, Rowley and Peyton are going. Le Grove has been calling those guys guff for years.
People may not like the way the message was being expressed, but there can be no doubt that this blog was calling it right long before the others. Long may it continue.
Anyway those are some questions to get you thinking on a mild Wednesday afternoon.
You can dig me out on twitter @aldo_doel. Also, listen to today’s podcast. Right now.
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