In the middle of Arsenal experiencing a sure but certain drop into mid-table mediocrity under head coach Unai Emery and his immediate boss Raul Sanllehi, director of football, there are many Arsenal fans still operating under the delusion that the club was worse under Wenger.
Go to NewsNow and scan any of the vast number of “Arsenal blogs” or monitor any of the podcasts. You will observe and may be amazed by the number of fans who preface their analysis of the “Emery Degeneracy” by painting life under Wenger as being comparable if not worse.
The latest We Care petition is a perfect example. There was absolutely no criticism of Sanllehi’s destruction of the squad inherited from Wenger; selling off great players or letting them go for free, replacing them with inferior often more expensive transfers. No wonder the football currently being played by Arsenal is so hard to watch; it is horrendous and getting worse.
Instead, according to the combined wisdom of the big accounts who comprise the bulk of We Care:
“The last decade, notwithstanding the FA Cup wins, can legitimately be seen as lost years both on and off the field, when the team has not only stagnated but actually regressed. To date that is the legacy of the ‘Kroenke years’.
Notice they had to denigrate the FA cup victories because it clearly undermines the essence of their argument.
Can you imagine any football club in England who won 3 FA cups in 4 years denigrating this achievement?
Only a vain group of persons with a galactic belief in their own importance could so easily make light of winning what is arguably the 2nd most important trophy in English football on such a regular basis, treating it as a non achievement. These were the same people who ranted and raved for 10 years when the club didn’t win a trophy.
Frankly this kind of thinking is bizarre. It borders on derangement. They need treatment. They need to be on a couch somewhere receiving counseling.
Yet some of these people have hundreds of thousands of often well-meaning followers, lapping-up and believing similar nonsense they spew daily. They may be clever with words, feigning concern for us fans but at heart they only care for themselves, not Arsenal Football Club. If I was in Don Raul’s position I would conclude they and the fans they represent are not serious.
No actionable demands
This is evidenced by the fact that their petition lacks any actionable demands which is the first rule of any attempt to seek redress from those in power. Instead we have a vague, nebulous plea for the following:
“We want clear acknowledgement that the board recognises the issues faced by the club, and how severe these are for the future of The Arsenal. As supporters we want actual communication and measurable assurances from the board that actions are in place to address this seemingly inexorable slide.”
Acknowledgement by the board? Yeah right. The board can easily send them a letter signed by Sanllehi acknowledging their issues. Big deal.
Actual communication from the board? More open letters from Josh. More news releases. More carefully controlled media interviews with Raul and Vinai. More dreck from Arsenal Media. Get the hell out of here (expletive deleted).
When you break it down, it is absolutely meaningless, a big “nothingburger.”
Only people who are focused on their follower count on twitter and subscription to their blog or podcasts take this petition seriously. In my opinion it is merely virtue signalling designed to appeal to the current unrest and disgruntlement among most fans.
No wonder Don Raul seems so comfortable, soaking up the pressure, delaying the inevitable and refusing to replace Emery while results go from bad to worse. More ominously the retention of certain key members of the squad (e.g. Aubameyang and Lacazette) falls into doubt as the club’s standing as a permanent fixture in European football recedes week after week, month after month.
Don Raul can equivocate and procrastinate because there is little or no real pressure from the fanbase to radically change course. No demand for the following:
- To not only get rid of Emery but to replace him with a progressive minded-attacking coach who will implement the Arsenal Way.
- The Kroenkes to give real power of oversight to the Board which has had a tradition of experienced persons of the highest integrity with decades of proven loyalty to the club. Example: Sir Chips and Lord Harris.
- To provide the board with access to the expertise of football-professionals loyal to the club so they can truly oversee the activities of the director of football. Example: David O’Leary.
- To stop the sell-out of the club to football agents who are now the chief beneficiary of the transfer activity which is bleeding the club of its best talents and of any stability.
Without the Kroenkes making the changes I propose, Arsenal Football Club will continue its slow but inevitable decline. Don Raul will take his own sweet time to appoint a manager whom he can manipulate while continuing his wheeling and dealing with the agents.
Meanwhile We Care will wave white handkerchiefs of surrender in the Emirates and further denigrate the achievements of our great club.