I’m writing this from Guatemala… beautiful place, scary as fu*k. It’s the tourist equivalent of the Premier League, one mistake and you’re punished. We stayed out too late in Antigua the other night, and a car full of guys tried to run out Tuk Tuk off the road. Such a beautiful place, but my lord, you have to be careful.
Well, the Premier League is over, Arsenal own auto qualification to the Champions League. All is well, right?
First up, just to retouch on James’ post yesterday. Some of the abuse he took for taking a moderate view was a bit embarrassing. He goes to all the away games which makes him more hardcore than most of the Internet, he writes for a number of publications which is yet more time and move on the club and he’ll chat over a beer with anyone on the web who is polite. If he doesn’t like people being militantly anti-Wenger during the games, that’s absolutely fine.
I’m militantly anti-Wenger… but I am hugely pro-differing opinion. I love it that you can chat back and forth about Arsenal in a nice way. When it turns aggressive and spiteful, it’s no fun. When it’s a race to the mic after the game, the attacks can start to feel a bit false. Football should be fun, I know it hasn’t been at Arsenal for a while but that doesn’t entitle people to act like children.
Anyway, I’m game for change. Are we getting it? No. Do fans in general want to wage mass protest in the ground? No. So you can laugh at our middle class decorum, but you shouldn’t abuse and attack it. It’s just a game and you have to respect the groundswell opinion… which to me, says we want change, but not if that comes with blood curdling revolution.
In other news.
The cost of having a Wenger could be about to impact our squad in a not so kind way.
Ozil missed the City game at late notice with a hip injury which set tongues ablaze. He’s not been at the races in 2016 and his attitude stunk out the pitch in the last few games. He’s a world class player, teeing up goals for average bodies like Theo and Giroud. He’s 27, he’s tasted Madrid and he knows how proper managers operate. If there’s a sniff that either Pep or Carlo want him, he’ll surely push for a move.
I know he loves London and the privacy he’s afforded. But I’m sure he doesn’t like heading to international duties with tales of how poorly his club is run. He wants excitement the same as the fans. If you’re not in the game for trophies, what’s the point?
The second more aggressive story centres on Sanchez. His team are dropping words like ‘sad pony’ and ‘uncalm winds’ poetically alluding to him him being unhappy at an unambitious Arsenal. He stormed out of the Norwich game. Rumours are that he was a pain at the training ground. It’s also worth noting he’s not not the sharpest tool in the box… If he’s unhappy, everyone will know about it.
Again, he’s a winner at a club that lacks them. He wants the best for his career and Arsenal can’t offer that. What’s worrying is that Bayern and Juve are the club’s being linked… and they aren’t as rich as us. So this doesn’t feel like a negotiation tactic.
So the long and short of it is that we don’t know what’s going on. The basics are that both are in the running for new deals. So they could be agitating to find out what Arsenal are planning this summer. Or, what is more likely, they are trying to shake out early interest before the Euro’s and Copa America land.
Both sets of unrest, plus Arteta moving to City, shine an uncomfortable light on why our continued journey with Arsene Wenger makes no sense at all. He does lack ambition. He does lack a vision you can buy. He has no answers to the dissent being showed here.
Arsenal fans, it seems, would rather sacrifice a winning group of players, if it means Wenger gets to indulge himself for another 4 years. People can point to my views being out of line with the masses… but look, if they’re inline with our best players, we have a problem.
Hopefully it’s just hardball. My concern is that looking at the complaints in the cold light of day… well, they’re right.
Over to Arsene to prove us all wrong.