Arsenal Fans: The 'I-Want-It-Now' Type?

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Arsenal Fans: The 'I-Want-It-Now' Type?
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Before you read this article, I would like to state that it is synidicated. It was published by Darren Lewis, on www.mirrorfootball.co.uk.

The URL is http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/opinion/columnists/darren-lewis/Why-Arsenal-could-rival-Barcelona-if-the-fans-are-patient-Darren-Lewis-column-article398721.html

I am simply publishing it because it is true, and after the Wigan match some people are not thinking. This hopefully will reach more people, and will clear up their thoughts.

What would you do if, at your place of work, you put in the hard yards over several years, working your butt off.

Then, just as you managed to convince yourself that your boss was finally going to reward your patience and your hard graft with a promotion, he recruited someone with bags of experience to perform exactly the role you'd been working your way to.

Wouldn't you be just a little bit cheesed off? Wouldn't you feel just a tiny bit cheated? Wouldn't you wonder what the point was of mentoring you for all those years, honing your talents and insisting the company had high hopes for you?

Now apply that analogy to the conveyor belt of talent at Arsenal in which Arsene Wenger places so much faith. The calls for him to buy are being screamed louder than ever after another season without a trophy.

In fact, most other managers would be delighted at the return of Emmanuel Adebayor on Saturday to deflect the attention away from the fans' frustration at the lack of signings.

But Wenger remains unruffled. Not because he is stubborn or has this so-called blind spot as far as certain positions are concerned. But because he believes in the potential of his players.

Make no mistake, Adebayor is going to get it in the neck on Saturday. Arsenal fans are still bitter at the explosive events at Eastlands last September which saw the Togo striker score in the 4-2 win for City then celebrate in front of the supporters of his former club.

And, just to add even more spice to Enemies Reunited on Saturday, Adebayor's nemesis Robin van Persie will almost certainly play a part in the match. Meaning another face-off between the men who tried to kick each other to pieces in that fateful fixture.

Meaning the headlines, whatever the result, will be dominated by the bile expected to cascade down from the terraces at the African.

And meaning Wenger will dodge a bullet, with supporters' frustrations at another season without silverware definitely bubbling up beneath the surface.

Yet I actually admire Wenger for swimming so resolutely against the tide.

I was fascinated to hear a so-called Arsenal fan call up a radio station yesterday and declare he would not be using his season ticket to watch any more matches involving the Gunners, his own team, until "something" changes.

In other words, he doesn't want to watch the development of a talented group of players who, against the odds, came within a phenomenal Barcelona side of reaching the semifinals of the Champions League.

He doesn't want to watch a team that defied the odds and the pundits three times this season (after two defeats to Chelsea and one to Manchester United) to force themselves back into title contention until last weekend.

And he doesn't want to watch the team that, on its day, plays easily the best football of ANY team—and yes, that includes Manchester United—in the Premier League.

What exactly does the fickle fan want to change? Well, he didn't actually specify it but you can bet your bottom dollar that it's what most Arsenal fans want in our current quick-fix, I-want-it-now society. He wants big money, ready-made players to come in to challenge the domination of Manchester United and leapfrog Chelsea.

He was probably among those numpties who think Wenger himself is on borrowed time because it is approaching five seasons since the club won something. And it is infuriating to listen to that point of view.

Because it is as if Arsenal fans do not appreciate what they have: a manager committed to a special brand of football and producing players good enough to execute it. A manager committed to maintaining the financial well-being of the club even though short-termists believe he should break the bank to bring in some silverware.

And yet even if he were to win something, would that appease the critics? Of course it wouldn't. Look at Sir Alex Ferguson. Three titles and a Champions League in the last four years and within sight of matching Liverpool's 19 championships.

And yet the second the team have a bad result, the knives are out for him. He's past it and should be replaced by Jose Mourinho. He is too self-indulgent of the club's old players.

He just cannot win. Neither can Wenger. Which is why he is right to stay true to his beliefs and not buckle to the fans' frenzy. Do Gunners fans really want Wenger to just cast aside the players he has spent several seasons nurturing, investing time and money in?

Do they really want to top-load the club with big earning superstar names like Michael Ballack who, for me, has no way justified his £7million a year salary? Or players whose first thought before signing on the dotted line will be: 'Never mind the wage structure, will I still be getting the £150,000-a-week I was on at my last club?'

I don't think so. Yes, Lukas Flappyhandski is quite clearly not the answer in goal.

Yes, Shay Given would be a better bet than Manuel Almunia. The experience of Brad Freidel makes him a good option too. But City are not stupid enough to sell Given to Arsenal and, at 38 years old, Friedel is hardly the future is he?

And come to think of it, when you bring in a ready-made replacement, what does that say to the rising stars waiting patiently for their chance?

Players such as Wojciech Szczesny, currently out on loan at Brentford. Or the talented Italian Vito Mannone.

Last season Alexandre Song was slated by so many Arsenal fans I know. This season Arsenal have missed him so much when he has not played. Last season Nicklas Bendtner got it in the neck from so many of his own supporters. Bendtner was one of Arsenal's best players against Barcelona.

The point is, these players need time. And if they get it, they will justify Wenger's faith in them. Kieran Gibbs was coming on a bundle at left-back until he was mercilessly kicked out of a Champions League game midway through the season. He hasn't kicked a ball since.

Much as people try to slaughter Theo Walcott he is improving slowly but surely and will ally some finishing product to his searing pace, just as Aaron Lennon at Spurs has done.

Next season will see the return to action of Aaron Ramsey along with—if he is still at the club—Cesc Fabregas.

And Andrey Arshavin will improve after his first full season in English football. So too will Thomas Vermaelen.

Yes, there probably will be some natural wastage this summer. Eduardo does not look the player he was before his injury at Birmingham. Carlos Vela does not appear to have moved on and the likes of Mikael Silvestre will be out of contract at the end of the season.

William Gallas is extremely likely to accept the two-year deal he is being offered at Italian League leaders Roma, instead of the one-year deal on offer from Wenger.

But I think Sol Campbell will stay to provide defensive cover with another new centre-half coming in. Johan Djorou is said to have improved and there are high hopes for the versatile Craig Eastmond.

Marouane Chamakh has shown in the Champions League that he can score big goals in the big games and his arrival means the Gunners will retain their cutting edge up front if, as happens every season, Robin van Persie gets injured.

It's way too fashionable to paint a picture of doom and gloom at Arsenal when the north Londoners are a club making progress every season.

Don't believe me? Well, consider this: The current Barcelona side may be carrying all before them but, after winning the 1999 Spanish title, they had a drought very similar to Arsenal's.

Indeed it took six years and several managers before it was the club's home grown players, Puyol, Inesta, and Xavi, that provided the foundations for the club's resurgence.

Of course Messi provided the icing on the cake but the message is clear—patience could yet be a virtue for Arsenal fans.

I hope I wasn't infringing copy-write, and I hope you enjoyed it.

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