Expectations Waver but Wenger Stays Loyal – Believe In Our Manager & Board

By Richard Popple

There has been plenty of doom-mongering amongst journalists, pundits and opposition fans about Arsenal during previous pre-seasons. Seemingly every summer predictions are made about Arsenal’s lack of depth and the battle we face to beat Tottenham to fourth place and this year has been no different. Football really has become very swallow and completely in awe of money when coming fourth is the be all and end all. Frankly, the predictions and taunting from other fans is becoming a bind for many Arsenal fans, who like myself face questions about our manager and the clubs aspirations. In the past I have simply shrugged off suggestions that Wenger has lost the plot or that the club do not want to take financial risks. But the writing seems to be on the wall, at least for the next few seasons.

Even the most optimistic fan will concede that the possibility of Arsenal overpowering both Chelsea and Manchester United is unlikely at best. Of course this was the concern voiced last season and to some degree Wenger and the team proved people wrong by finishing a comfortable 3rd. But we didn’t win the league and the stats don’t lie. Three seasons without a trophy is a phrase drubbed into every Arsenal heart. Last night’s victory in Holland was professional without being reassuring. I found myself wondering where this current crop of players can lead us this season.

We are of course ravaged with injuries at present and even United or Chelsea would struggle with so many players out. But what have the likes of Rosicky, Diaby, Senderos and Eduardo actually achieved for Arsenal. They are all very talented players and of course Eduardo reserves special sympathy, but the point is, what will these players bring to the side when fit? Having players out injured is a nightmare for any club, but using it to mask a lack of squad dept could also be damaging.
In terms of transfers Wenger has not done anything to reassure the fan this summer. I still harbour doubts over Adebayor’s behaviour this summer and I simply do not buy the ‘Well he didn’t actually say he wanted to leave’ excuse. The fact that he spent three months trying to negotiate deals for more money suggests that we have a power-driven striker who really let last season’s terrific displays go to his head. I detest greedy footballers but I will not single out Adebayor for unfair treatment. With each passing summer the stories of players holding clubs to ransom seems to get worst and if it continues fans will start to step back from the game. We are lucky as Arsenal fans that our club still maintains its morals and if Adebayor has told Wenger that he truly wants to stay and fight for the team then I will give the Togo striker the benefit of the doubt.

Losing players has been another tradition that Arsenal have developed over the last few seasons. This season has been no different although as long as an experienced midfielder is secured we are no worse off than last season. I’m afraid though we don’t seem to be any better off in terms of numbers or defensive security. It does not take a genius to work out that last season’s shortcomings were down to conceding sloppy goals. When Wenger stated at the start of the summer he intended to strengthen the defence every fan breathed a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, the manager has seen something to change his mind. His continued negligence when it comes to our defence I believe will hamper us when challenging for the title. I am not against the manager’s methods. Every club in the world would be delighted if their team played like Arsenal, or if youth players were given a chance to blossom and become stars for the club.

His tactical knowledge is superb and his ability to lift players and instil a never-say-die attitude should be applauded. He is the most successful manager in the clubs history and will always have a place in the club’s future. I’m delighted that he has never left Arsenal and he most certainly won’t be pushed, but Arsene knows one thing. If this season ends in disappointment for the club, nothing will change, no drastic action will be taken and more talent will leave, whilst others arrive. There will be no quick fix at Arsenal like at Chelsea or Manchester United. We are in it for the long term and the board and Wenger should be supported and believed in.
  • Anonymous

    Sorry dont agree with your comment, Arsene’s ‘tactical knowledge is superb!’ How can it be when he hardly ever addresess the teams weaknesses, weaknesses he himself admits to (Defensive frailty, lack of experience etc) and during the summer transfer window gets seduced into buying for the future (Ramsey, Nasari) and with a few days to the start of the Premiership has not addressed the loss of Flamani (Our 2nd most important player last year after Cesc)? Arsene is really going to get found out this year, if we are still in the title chase by Christmas I will be suprised.!

  • les

    Christ, you ‘fans’ make me sick…….I’ve been supporting the gooners since 1980. Losing to Walsall and York in cup games was what we had. Wenger gives us the sweetest football (u wanna win by muscle go support the chavs). One of the finest stadiums in the country. And he brings through young talent (clichy,cesc etc). AND U STILL MOAN.

    As for the comment:-
    But what have the likes of Rosicky, Diaby, Senderos and Eduardo actually achieved for Arsenal.

    Senderos has won a cup medal. Eduardo was brutalised by Taylor as was Diaby by Smith. Its not our fault that teams kick us.

    And as for anymous saying:-

    if we are still in the title chase by Christmas I will be suprised.!

    be prepared to be suprised. Cos the options are simple. We back the team and manager or we sack them. As a gooner fan I’ve never been so lucky in m life o see MY team play the best football.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone who pays for their season ticket has a right to question some of the clubs policies. I for one believe that the squad has been run down for the past few seasons. And the stadium finances are to do with this. Since the likes of Viera/bergkamp/Edu/pires/parlour/lunberg/Henry/campbell/cole/gilberto etc left our wage bill must of been drastically cut.
    I would like the board to state what is obvious to the fans regarding the clubs finances.
    Thank God we have Mr Wenger imagine a lesser manager with little money trying to compete with scum and scummer.
    Everyone wants us to fail so we need to unite and stand together.

    SA

  • geez

    The board are at fault for us losing top players, until we pay the going rate to keep them we will always lose one or two every season.
    Until we pay the going rate we will never have a settled team.
    If we had a settled team, (i.e. more than one bloody season) we could well dominate the EPL, as it is we may well pick up an odd trophy here and there but is that enough reward for the fantastic football our manager has shown to the world ?
    I, for one, think not.
    Pay them the money, we know you have it you tight sods.
    The whole point of the new stadium was so we could compete financially with the likes of manyoo and chelski. No mention was ever made that that would only be AFTER the stadium was paid for.
    By the time the stadium is paid for a lot of us might not even be here any more, who knows, football might not be here anymore.
    So, to the board, play the game, pay them the money which will allow us to keep and attract the best players whilst we still have AW who can produce such fantastic teams playing beautiful football.

  • gooney

    we did not win the league, but the stats lied. We did not win the league for a simple reason, terrible refereeing .. for a similar reason, we went out in the quarters to liverpool.

    Now, I wish to see stats showing how much (in points) EPL teams benefitted due to poor refereeing, and how much they lost (in points) for the same reason. I bet you will find manyoo will have something like a +12, chelseas about +9, and arsenal will be more like -15 …

    thats how we lost the league .. its amazing how people could forget so easily.

    In fact, I will put it to you that the main reason flamoney and hleb left was due to poor refereeing and general bias against arsenal by the refs, the fa, and the press. Check out how we get kicked about with refs’ protection, and generally get robbed of points regularly.

    The EPL is a disgrace in how arsenal is penalised and manyoo and cska-london are rewarded .. its common knowledge in europe how things work here .. so, making your analysis of trophiless seasons without commenting on why manyoo has won so many titles, and why we come close many times but dont win it, is an exercise in futility and a waste of time.

  • Clockend Lloydie

    I find this whole debate so depressing. Where were all these clowns before the George Graham era when we won nothing for ages at a time? As far as I’m concerned, in these times where we have to be frugal, I will settle for Champions League every season until we have more funds at our disposal.

  • Anonymous

    gotta agree with clockend lloydie, i been following the arsenal since 1970 and have the emotional scars to show for it! wenger’s arsenal play the best football i’ve ever seen outside of the brazillian national side when they at their best. we can all moan, season tkt holders or not, but we’ll keep turning up because its arsenal.

  • Anonymous

    Of course we’d love it if they had won a trophy last year, but ill never forget the pride I felt last year watching them play the most amazing football and challenging for trophies when no-one (including myself)gave them a chance. Lets not make the same mistake again. I belive in Wenger, what he’s doing is bold and different. The talent he’s uncovering keeps suprising us. If anyone can make it work its him. . be patient it’ll come.