Nothing sweeter than logging onto Twitter at night and seeing a flood of incredible moments from a home game against Leicester. Nutmegs, flicks, playing out the back… the exciting part about it all is it’s not just Arsenal fans fawning, it’s people from all sorts of teams.
You know the other great thing? All of that doom surrounding the broken fanbase proved incorrect. Arsenal isn’t Brexit Britian or Trumps America. We’re fans united by the same thing… a better Arsenal. Sure, it took certain folk way too long to accept Wenger was killing the club, but really, who gives a fuck about that now.
Arsenal fans are united behind progress. It doesn’t matter where the season ends, it cannot be denied that Emery was a great idea. We’ll never have to worry about any sort of regret in making the bold move to embrace the future. You can nitpick over line ups, you can bitch about certain players, that’s table stakes as a football fan. What you can’t do is complain that what you’re being served up now doesn’t thrill.
I’m not just talking about the wins. I’m talking about the joy of being a fan again. Not knowing what the starting line up will be, being surprised by the subs, knowing players are being held accountable, sleeping safely knowing that the things I see are the things the backroom team see x10. It’s no longer a chore to wake up for games, fans aren’t going to feel numb toes in December, there’s no conclusion about the season that can be made with 95% accuracy in August. It’s all up in the air, it’s all very new.
As someone on Twitter said the other day, all fans have always wanted the same thing… a competitive Arsenal. Now it feels like we might be on the verge of that, even if we’re not slugging it out for major honours in year one.
Do the careful what you wish for crowd deserve to be pilloried? No. Can we forgive the folks who enabled 10 years of averageness. Yes. Familiarity, stability and nostalgia are the enemy of sport and fandom. We had the perfect storm of those three. Not only that, we had one of the few managers in the world you could class as an intellect. A whole swath of the fanbase were captivated by a coach in ambition retreat, and they all went along with it because they couldn’t fathom that a man who could talk about philosophy and brexit might not have a fucking clue what he’s doing on the football pitch. That led to screams of ‘the latte class’, ‘fake fans’, ‘spoilt brats’ and a whole range of cataclysmically poor arguments.
‘He DOES do tactics’
‘Injuries aren’t his fault’
‘Do you really need a sporting director?’
‘The players really let him down, I think he knows that this summer’
But fuck it. We’re into the new era. No need for plane banners. No more A4 sheets of protest paper. No more AKB vs elite football thinkers. Just back to minor disagreements about how we set up.
Sure, there’s no doubt we’ll get pulled into a shitstorm when it inevitably goes wrong, but at least the argument won’t last ten years, and at least we’ll never have a manager long enough for fans to have those peculiar daddy issues they had with Arsene Wenger.
Some additional things I’m loving about the Emery era.
I mentioned it briefly yesterday, but having a manager that understands players physical limitations as well as the mental ones is a dream. Watching the players stun the ball on 73 minutes to preserve their energy was a breath of fresh air. Seeing early subs to save legs is dream stuff. Seeing players on the periphery get game time to keep them mentally checked into the setup is masterful.
All basics, but we’re a fanbase not used to the basics being adhered to.
You’re never going to have 11 world class players at the club, but the power of the team is often enough to move performances to another level. Spurs have been brilliant at this with Poch. He gets so much from that squad through motivation and his knack for improving players. We’re seeing signs of that with Emery, Iwobi has been excellent this year, his game is moving to the next level. We’re seeing kids coming through the rank earlier. We’re seeing new elements of players games emerge. Everyone has a plan in mind.
When Sanchez fucked us off, he should have been benched. He wasn’t. We allowed him to fester and bring the squad down. Ramsey is on the shit list, likely because he can’t survive with Mesut in the side. We pulled the contract, and we’ve benched him. We all have a soft spot for Aaron, but fuck me, what a brutal process. But… that’s sport. The old regime would have tried to accommodate. I remember being told by someone at Arsenal I was mean for saying Diaby didn’t deserve a new deal… that was the softness of yesteryear. We’d wasted £65k a week on a player who couldn’t play more than 10 games a year because we thought that was what class meant. Not anymore. We are a sporting entity, no one deserves a living, and if you’re not helping the cause, you’re out.
Right, that’s me done for today. See you on the other side my darlings. x