Arsene Wenger has finally broken the grievous stillness that prevailed since the appalling draw with Blackburn Rovers last weekend. It has also been well documented since the Blackburn game that Arsenal fanbase is divided into two.
That draw has widened the chasm between the pro-Wenger and anti-Wenger Arsenal fans.
Whilst the majority still favour the Frenchman, a growing clique of fans has lost faith in the manager. The mini-scuffle after the Blackburn game only cements that fact. If Wenger doesn't alter the misfortunes of the club sooner rather than later, he will struggle to keep even the most ardent of his fans behind him.
This mini-scuffle could soon explode into major ones. The days of fisticuffs are not too far away. Only one man can save Arsenal from the ignominy of intragroup warfare. Ironically, that man is Wenger.
Amid all the frustrations and grumblings, it was expected that Wenger would clamp the situation down with an honest assessment of his team. However, Monsieur Wenger has not only failed to do that but has also made the situation worse.
Wenger, in his attempt to paint the fans as the major cause behind Arsenal's current plight, has failed miserably and not for the first time.
"I'm against superficial judgment, that's what I fight against. There are teams who invest 10 times more than us, one player cost more than the whole team and they're behind us. I don't understand the way people think. Why do you say it's a disaster when we're second in the league? Do the 18 clubs behind us have a fantastic disaster?
As long as you are second in the league, I am ready to sign for the next 20 years and stand up for that. We’ve done well for our age and we are second in the league. Is that a disaster?
Trophies are one way to judge a club. They're not overrated as it allows you to say you've won a trophy, but would you swap winning the FA Cup for playing in the Champions League? Is it a trophy or not to be in the Champions League? Is it more important to win the FA Cup?
We do as well as we can, and if it's not good enough it's not good enough. Look at the players in this team. I'll speak to you in 10 years," said a defiant Wenger.
When asked if he would quit the job, Wenger denied saying, "I love this club and do the maximum for them. I don't think like that. When I make a commitment I give absolutely everything."
Vultures had been circling for Wenger's carcass, and this is what he has fed them. Instead of addressing the dire issues that the club face at this moment in time, Wenger has conveniently swallowed it for his arrogance.
He's against superficial judgement, but who are the superficial judges he's referring to? He's referring to the same fans who voiced their frustration when Arsenal's deflated team pitiably conceded three draws on the bounce against teams they should be beating comfortably.
Why has the profound judge at the helm of a wrecked ship called Arsenal repeatedly failed to appraise the true value of some of Arsenal's consistently inconsistent duds? Isn't Wenger overrating some of his players and calling the fans superficial?
It's evident from his twaddle that Wenger considers himself to be the only man with wit out there in the management arena. Others are fools. The ones winning trophies are dolts. If you thought winning trophies was the measure of success then think again. That's not success. Why? Because Wenger has said so.
Who said it's a disaster to be finishing second in the league? Finishing second is a massive feat even beyond finishing first. It's like an Olympic sprinter saying, "I don't want gold as I am happy with silver. Even if there is a chance for me to come first I would let the sprinter behind me overtake so that I can get my favourite silver."
Wenger doesn't understand the way people think, but we understand the way he thinks. He wants to prove the entire world wrong. Although it's a fantastic motivation, why can't he try it with a team capable of doing it for him? Why is he demanding or begging the donkeys to run like horses?
If a club has the potential to win the title then why not make full use of the available resources to get to the point where you can claim to be playing to your full potential. It's asinine and outrageous if a club repeatedly showing up in the relegation battle harbours the dream of winning the title.
At the same time, for a team finishing season after season in the top four, it's only natural for them to take that big step forward—that is winning the title. But not when that team has a manager who believes qualifying for the Champions League is a trophy in itself.
If that was the case what is the difference between Arsenal and this season's Champions League debutant SC Bragga. What is Arsenal doing with its superior stature, resources, facilities, infrastructure and funds if they could only achieve what a measly club like Bragga achieves?
Would you rather win the FA Cup or get knocked out in the round of16 of the Champions League? Wenger downplays the importance of winning the FA Cup here. When you remember this is the same manager who once labelled Carling Cup a "Mickey Mouse" cup only to dramatically make a U-turn this season with little remorse, then it's only expected of him to drag FA Cup into the same bracket.
Winning a trophy remains in the memory for a long, long time; if it wasn't, long we would have forgotten the 2005 FA Cup triumph. On the other hand, who wants to cherish the last 16 and quarterfinal defeats of Arsenal with the same exuberance?
Would you celebrate when Arsenal make it to the final of FA Cup. Or are you one among them who would celebrate when Arsenal qualifies for the Champions League claiming you have won a trophy, like Wenger?
Arsene Wenger is ready to sign for the next 20 years as long as Arsenal finish second. Seriously? If he earnestly meant that, then he's sending a stupid and pathetic message out to the fans and footballing world.
The un-ambitious and stagnant nature of the manager shows its ugly face when he concedes that he's happy with finishing second. It's like conceding you are not good enough to win the League. And you've already achieved beyond what you are capable of.
With respect to the current squad, he's right—what they are capable of achieving at best is a second place even in the "Mickey Mouse" cup (!)
Set sky as your limit, at least you can reach the horizon. Setting sky or ocean as the limit is not the end of the subject. Buckling down and working steadily towards a goal making use of all available resources—good or bad—is what's required.
Even after doing that if you fail that's acceptable. But failing without trying and throwing the towel in for the foreseeable future is another thing.
That in itself shows the manager is not ambitious enough to take the club to the next level and has already taken the club as far as he can. If he's so forthright in accepting his inability, it would be better if he was relieved of his duty which seems to be a burden than joy for the obstinate, stingy man whose thoughts and vision is affected with senility.
Wenger loves the club and gives his maximum for the club. Has he done that? Absolutely not. Had he done that, we wouldn't have gone trophyless for six years (almost). It's in the best interest of Arsenal to win trophies and be a successful club and not be a perennial underachiever.
It's also in the interest of Wenger to prove that his philosophy is feasible. However, conflict of interest occurs when an individual sacrifies or discards the interests of a larger group in favour of his selfish needs. It's all right if his interests are in sync with that of the group. But when it's not, it becomes a problem.
Hence, that weed must be plucked out for the prosperity of the group. Arsenal is Wenger's laboratory where he's experimenting with his vague ideas thereby showing utter disrespect to the club.
It's in your rightful hands to decide whether to allow this scientist to continue with his research work in the scientific lab. If not, voice your dissent to get the old Arsenal back that once used to be a football club and not a research lab for creating Frankenstein's monsters.
That said, I am not against Arsenal signing youngsters or building a strong, vibrant Youth Academy. The problem is that Wenger doesn't seem to get the balance right between youth and experience. He's neither willing to accept that blatant fact nor is he hinting at a possibility of striking that balance in the immediate future.
He's once again rephrased what he has been saying for the past few years which is exactly what the fans didn't want to hear. They want some action, not speech.
The loyal fans don't deserve to be saddled with exorbitant ticket price for watching a team that believes finishing second is greater feat that winning trophies. These fans contribute a part of their hard-earned money to the club but in return what is the club doing? Feeding a bunch of multi-millionaires where half of them don't deserve what they get.
On top of that, Wenger even feels the team doesn't get the recognition it deserves. Wenger expects fans to accept that his team has done well for their age when the man himself has done little in recent times to warrant that credit.
Win the trophy and you will get the recognition. Clearly who has lost the plot here? Is there anybody out there who would want to see the autocratic Wenger reigning over his domain for the next 20 years? If only he was 40...alas...
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