Abuse isn’t cool. Simple as that. Yesterday evening, a video was released onto Youtube showcasing the darker side of football. Arsenal chartered a private train at 0605. Most Arsenal fans were getting on the 0612. The team flowed onto the train and Arsene was barracked by a group of fans who didn’t like him.
People have asked if I condone it. Absolutely not. I find thuggish pack mentality behaviour totally embarrassing and disgusting.
Arsenal fans are rightly rounding on that sort of behaviour, but the hypocrisy is rife. We’re a fanbase that sings about Robin being a rapist, I’ve been at games where people have hissed (so embarrassing when you consider the incredible Jewish influence on our clubs history), I’ve been sat in front of people openly mocking a Gay Gooners banners… plenty of fans regularly abuse me for having an opinion they don’t like, it seems to be fair game to call Piers Morgan a c*nt whenever you fancy… if you don’t like what happened to Arsene, make sure you speak up when it’s happening to others.
Trouble is, this sort of thing has been ramping up for years now. As someone pointed out recently, football managers generally leave like politicians, kicking and screaming in a most unclassy manner. This sort of thing is only going to get worse because fans feel more and more helpless.
If you had a strong board who didn’t say things like ‘we look the other way when Wenger doesn’t have a plan’ you’d at least feel he was in some way accountable. As it stands, he runs the show, he calls all the shots so when dim drunk people get the chance to have their say outside the ground, that’s what they’ll do. Because let’s be a little bit fair here… where else are they going to get a chance?
If you consistently disappoint fans, you’ll always find an angry minority behaviour like that. Part of me thinks digital society and it’s wrongful view that there’s such a thing as entitlement to abuse is seeping into real life. Part of me thinks that some people are just not that smart and that sort of action is the best they could come up with. Part of me thinks that when times are tough and you earn £8m a year, you just suck it up and maybe take a moment to ask why fans that loved you so dearly now boo you after and during games?
It happens the world over. Rooney threatened to leave United and he had 30 thugs on his lawn. Stevie G had to cancel his move to Chelsea because he was threatened. United fans flew a banner over Old Trafford calling for Moyes to be sacked. Barca fans threw a pigs head at Figo. Fans attacked Santos in Brazil. Columbia shot a player who scored an own goal. People are do silly things everywhere.
I think a lot of the disgust was that Wenger is a pensioner and he’s being abused by a group of younger guys. Do you think they’d have behaved like that if it was Diego Simeone or Jurgen Klopp getting on the train? Very doubtful. Why? Because both managers would have windmilled in like lunatics.
The growth in extremism of anti Wenger feelings should also act as a warning to the club about the shift in mindset of others… the middle group of fans that generally flip flop in favour of Wenger and what he’s done have turned. That was demonstrated perfectly when Chamberlain, who was having a bad game was subbed and that decision was booed vociferously. If the demise continues at the pace it has been, expect the atmosphere to continue to become more toxic.
Simple fact is Arsene Wenger hasn’t delivered on what he promised. He’s making the same mistake over and over again. He’s put the club into stagnation gear and he’s revving it hard . Every time Arsene has a bad game, the narrative is always switched to the abuse. It stops people talking about the real issues. Those being that Arsene Wenger is dead as a top flight manager and he should be humble enough to pack it in and take a job upstairs or in the media.
Another point here is this… why aren’t we flying back from Stoke? Why does Arsene prefer trains over planes? Why did the person booking the train not think to check where Arsenal fans were getting one from?
We can’t even plan properly when it comes to transport. What a joke!
What happened at that station on a microlevel is shameful and not of Arsenal class. No one in that video should be proud of their actions. But don’t blow this too far out of proportion and miss the bigger issue at hand… Wenger’s power sits at the heart of this, because any other club would have said goodbye a long time ago and the fans wouldn’t think it their right to tell Wenger what he’s doing isn’t satisfactory.
Booing in the ground is condemned, protesting outside the ground is sneered at, complaining online is frowned upon, booing at the station is vilified… Stan won’t speak to the Emperor, Ivan won’t speak to the Emperor and has cancelled fan drinks this Christmas, Sir Chips has his fingers in his ears… the press lose privileges if they go too hard, the bloggers have moved into the press or bed with the club… we’re in a zero dissent zone here.
So tell me, this is a serious question, how do the fans get the message across? Because as far as I can see, all routes have been ruled out?
‘Chelsea don’t really rotate, yet they don’t have an injury pile up? Explain that dickhead stupid face.’
Ok, firstly, this question is usually asked to kind of prove that Wenger’s approach is some how tinged with bad luck and Chelsea’s isn’t.
So after some digging around, here are some of the key reasons Chelsea are nailing it so far…
Chelsea buy robust players from the off. Look at the size of their players. Costa, Hazard, Matic. They’re all powerful, muscular and they’re all robust so that’s a pretty good start. We did better this summer with Sanchez and WELBZ… but jeez, look at Diaby… look at the joke that is Sanogo, look at Kallstrom, look at Ozil who was well known for not being fit enough to last in a less intense league… look at the general size of our players and how we don’t focus any energy on building them up. Buy fit players.
Fitness isn’t just about rotating a squad for the games. It’s also about making sure you use your down time well. Flick through Jose’s press conferences. He regularly allows his players to have time off to rest before big games. He knows that players don’t lose fitness in a week. I think I read Chelsea’s players had been given 8 days off in the last month to do with how they pleased. I think Cesc went to Dubai and was slagged by Ramos for putting club before Country? Point is, Arsene rarely lets players have days off. He has them in all the time because he thinks fitness is sustained by working hard in the week… which is actually counter productive.
What you do to players in the week is normally more important that the rotation. Chelsea last season lost a whole bunch of games after having a week with no Champions League games. That’d indicate they were perhaps hitting it too hard in training. That’s changed this season, so far. Test and learn… test and learn.
Approach to games:
Jose likes to kill games off early, then play easy football for the rest of the game. Arsenal’s Twitter account was asking the other day if we’d score some more late winners this weekend. How’s about this guys… score some early goals, take the foot off the gas, take your key players off and join easy street. Conserve that energy, rather than beast yourselves chasing a game a every week.
Ok, so we’ve established Chelsea don’t rotate their starting line up. Most clubs do if they have the squad to do so. There is no point in having an expensive squad if you don’t use it. If Sanchez is in the redzone, why are we risking him when you could give a player like Joel Campbell a go? Why hammer Santi into the ground when Rosicky could easily do a similar job for the side against a team like Stoke? If you only bring players on at 70minutes, how are they ever going to feel valued? How are they going to be match sharp when you need them? How are you going to keep the squad harmonised?
My point with all of the above is we shouldn’t look at ways of excusing Wenger for the consistent troubles he puts on the squad, we should ask why he never seems to innovate. The game gets faster and more physical… but his methodology never seems to change, because the outcome is always the same. Flat players who pick up lots of injuries.
Wenger needs to change. There must be loads of different ways of improving the way we do things, one way the certainly won’t change things is sticking with the same old tired approach.
As I’ve said before, Wenger is trying to bring back the typewriter in 2014… sure, you’ll be able to write some nice letters, but the quality isn’t sustainable and the end product will suffer when things get tough.
What a great way to finish a post.
Remember, no calling people names today.