The vibe around the Arsenal camp is glum to say the least. Fans are feeling dejected, and genuinely sorry for themselves as we see our same old performances once again. No, I am not here to jump on the sledging wagon though. Yes, perhaps it is time for fresh change, and whether that means new coaching staff, board, players, it is actually so important that club, both organisation and supporters unite to see out the remainder of what has been a generally what has been another typical, disappointing and success-less season. After all, this is the legendary Arsenal Football Club is it not?
A football club needs one main thing in order to be a powerhouse in the world, and it’s ultimately what Arsenal have lacked in the last decade or so. A relentless driving passion from everyone to succeed and become the best. Who is responsible is up to one’s judgement, but what is certain, is there is a lack of substance as we Arsenal fans again and again watch our club concede defeat. And most of the time, it’s not necessarily against the heavyweights that we lose an intense battle against, but rather against small minnows, (with all due respect), that Arsenal lose to. As a result, we not only merely lose, but flop out of the title challenge, with a very distant ten to thirteen points and the drama wrapped up early. Sometimes in March. This year was in January. There is just clearly lack of passion that is there to drive the team to victory not in the what I like to refer as the “Cloud Nine period” during the first two or so months, but in the “November Curse” and the months of mediocrity in December and January. That’s when it counts and its where we see ourselves being let down time after time after time. Over the years, Arsenal’s mentality has transformed from being fearless, to fearing slaughtering, before the first whistle has even blown. That without doubt, should be more than concerning to any fan. Not a mindset of champions.
Now back to the point of the article, so why is it so important to finish the remainder of the season well? Complacency is in our case, our worst enemy, as we look to secure our future as a remaining juggernaut in football. If there was ever a time to make up for all the blunders and the pain that Arsenal fans have to had to endure, that time is now. As superstar and world class man Alexis Sanchez and his fellow midfielder Meust Ozil both ponder hard and long over the futures at our club. Those who have incredible unfound potential are all thinking of moves to rival clubs and overseas, whether that be fame or money. Goalscorer Olivier Giroud, Lucas Perez, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Hector Bellerin, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla. The list could go on forever, and the real concern should not be that rivals are interested. This only means they are good. But rather, if they are wanted so much, why are they not delivering the results for Arsenal? Are they being utilised their full potential?.Furthermore, though times have now changed in modern football, shouldn’t a player be proud and honoured to play for a team like Arsenal, rather than even considering of lesser or equivalent teams? Holding onto Alexis is a must, but if he were to leave, the devastation of the squad would be incredible. Add to this the stubbornness and cautiousness of Arsene Wenger during the transfer period and times are only looking more bleak.
There is not necessarily a specific perpetrator as many may suggest, but rather complacency seems to have taken over the mindset of Arsenal, and its not necessarily something that can be replaced in a tangible, logical plan to perfect effect. It’s a journey that I think everybody fears, but yet, one that almost all want now. I think though it has been a long time coming. The time for change is inevitable, and the sooner it happens the better. The perfect way out, would be to win the FA Cup, and leave the club on a sweet sounding victory after twenty generally brilliant years at Arsenal Football Club. Finally then would fans, players and the managing staff come to peace. The next step in the journey in finding a new coach, learning a new style, signing new players and potentially struggling for a while as the team finds its new way again. This is a path that won’t be easy and many times it won’t be enjoyed and some will say the classic “be careful what you wish for”. But it’s a journey that the club and fans united as one will push through as we look to the prosperous future again. Of course, there’s no guarantee in life of anything. But let’s hope that the team can make the most of these few opportunities in the second half the season and that the opportunity may present itself. Let’s make Arsenal truly great again.
This quote stuck in my mind as I am finishing this article. As of now, my phone is flashing with more jokes about the loss to Bayern. The quote doesn’t necessarily fit in perfectly, but it sticks nonetheless. I respect Arsene Wenger no more no less than he fully deserves and he has built this club into something great. But its time for even more, because there is so much more out there for this club to achieve without doubt.
“When you want to succeed, you need make sacrifices and risks. If you don’t make them, what you ultimately desire becomes the sacrifice.”
Written by Ben Dang