Arsenal Fans – A Shift in Dynamic?

Before I start, allow me to nail my colours firmly to the mast;

I am a fully paid up member of the BSM – I have questions over the way the club is managed, from the very top – all the way down. I question ticket prices, in fact I question the price of everything at the stadium – how is this the working man’s game anymore? How does this game belong to the fans? Fact is, it doesn’t, however this is going a little off topic.

Now, where do I stand with Arsene Wenger? These must be treated as two very separate things. My membership of the BSM has zero correlation to my feelings toward our long standing manager. There is no association whatsoever, those of you reading this that are bright enough will completely understand this, those less so, you need to do some research.

I have been a long-time admirer of the man – who couldn’t have been? He has delivered success, he has brought some outstanding players to the club and transformed the way we played. Not only did he oversee a complete change in our training structure and facilities, he was instrumental in our move to the Emirates. Don’t get me wrong here, I’d rather be at Highbury, where there was deep soul, history – it was ‘The Home of Football’ – actually it was ‘Our Home of Football’, but the game was changing, we had to move to a bigger stadium in order to compete, in order to attract the best players in the game – or so we were told. So, I have held a lot of respect for Wenger for everything he did for this club since he came to us 1996.

However, that started to wain several years back – continually selling our best players, not replacing or replacing with inferior players & poor tactical decisions – during all of which I listened to his apologists in an intelligent and fair way, with decent debate. I was clearly in a minority, a small number of fans that were starting to see the cracks appearing. I had been criticised, castigated and outcast – being regularly told to ‘Go and support Spurs’ – okay so when I said there was decent debate, there are exceptions to every rule and nobody can legislate for idiots, right?

I am guessing I’m lining myself up for a lot of criticism about me only being in this for the trophies, you are wrong! Of course I want pots, but more importantly, infact much more importantly, I want a team that is ambitious enough to compete. A team that has the desire and ability to win. Led by a manager that motivates and drives the team on. A manager that will recognise where the team need help and go out and find that support. A manager that isn’t happy to finish 4th – The third worst of the runners up. A manager and a board, that doesn’t continually lie. I’m not going to go into the comments Ivan Gazidis made in June about our financial fire power, you’ve all seen them and if you haven’t it won’t take much to find them.

The reason I started writing this article was about my experience at the game yesterday and what I witnessed on my journey home. The inspiration was about seeing, first hand,shift in the dynamic of the fan base. I’ve hinted above about how I was one in a small minority of fans that were starting to question Wenger many years back – but now that’s different I feel.

There was a strange atmosphere in the ground yesterday, it was tangible. Giroud’s early goal simmered the tension for a while, but once Villa equalised, then took the lead you could feel it changing into a poisonous place. Once the third went in, there was an immediate response – the mass exodus of fans, clearly demonstrating, with their feet, their displeasure at what they were watching, was matched by the chorus of ‘Spend some fucking money’. For the very first time, one of my lads suggested we leave early and head home – A shift in dynamic.

As a father, and supporter of Arsenal, it was my duty to keep him there until the final whistle, but I could totally understand his motives. At the final whistle, the boos started to ring out, quickly replaced by the clapping of the team off the pitch – this is not their fault. It is not their fault they play for a manager who demonstrates ineptitude at any opportunity and I’m convinced they feel as frustrated as us fans a lot of the time. Then the ‘Spend some fucking money’ chants echoed around a half empty ground.

As I left, even the stewards were bemoaning what they had just seen – a shift in dynamic.

But, the most startling thing for me, was sitting on the train on the way home. I was with my two kids, and around us were another 7 fans. A conversation soon started. A lad of, I’m guessing 15, started talking about Wenger, then voices came from behind a seat, almost anonymous contributing to the topic, then out of nowhere an elderly lady, who must have been 70 if she was a day appeared. She was very well spoken, clearly educated and obviously a life-long supporter. Very open in her criticism of Wenger, she was suggesting he has ‘lost it’, doesn’t know what he’s doing or saying anymore, how we should all get together and demonstrate against the man.

Never had I experienced a journey like it – a definite shift in dynamic.

Finally, two more things…

I did hear a startling revelation, which I wanted to share with you, it could be hear-say, I wish to emphasise this is nothing more than rumour and there is nothing upon which to substantiate this, but I heard Wenger simply refuses to have any player at the club who earns more than he does – if this is true, it is slightly ironic as he earns more than his CEO – Ivan Gazidis, but more so is extremely concerning considering the way players remuneration has increased over the past few years. We are getting left behind.

Listening to his post-match comments were interesting too. He mentioned it was not possible to buy 6 players at five to three – I don’t know how everybody else felt about this, but I thought it was slightly rubbing our faces in it – the transfer window has been open since July 1st!! But to suggest there were positives to draw from the game is infuriating to say the least. The only positive I could draw, was that yesterday I lost my Piebury Corner virginity. If you have never visited these guys on Holloway Road – you need to make a point of it next time you go past. A great pie and fantastic hospitality – give them a follow on twitter to

Onwards we go, onto Wednesday’s vital game, even more threadbare than we were on Saturday.

Whatever my thoughts on the club and Wenger, I always get behind the boys…Up the Arsenal.

DH

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6 thoughts on “Arsenal Fans – A Shift in Dynamic?

  1. Sam Betts

    I think you picked up on a valid point here regarding wanting Arsenal to be competitive. Far too many fans on the forums, Facebook etc are being shot down for only supporting Arsenal since 96 or only at Arsenal for the glory. I know a lot of fans who are wanting Wenger/The board out for the lies and lack of ambition regarding the transfer market and are not glory hunters, they jsut want the team to at least have a chance against the likes of Utd, Chelsea, City and dare I say it, Spurs. If Wenger went out now and spent £100m, signing new players and we put out a team every week capable – not guranteed- of winning matches but we didn’t win anything, at least we’d have tried.

    Reply
    1. paul

      when we moved from highbury to the emirates, wenger knew it would be years before we could compete on a financial level, if he wouldve gave a place on the board to the russian, things may have been so different, he was willing to invest money in players for the team, totally against wengers policies, which also made wenger discharge david dein of hes services because he backed the russian, so in the end, we ended up with no money and no one to entice players here, wenger didnt worry because he thought he could keep pulling rabbits out of the hat, and find unknown stars all over the world for fuckall, but hes a victim of hes own success,, every club now has scouts all over the place just like he did, infact i think some managers actually base their signings on who wenger wants, its hard to hate him because when you actually sit down and think what hes done, you cant hate him, i do think wenger has a flaw in certain players, ie, defenders, i think the main reason we havent won nothing in 8 years is solely down to our back line, espessialy central defenders, sol has been by far the best, and thats cos he was free, if we buy suarez we are in the same place as when we had rvp,and we couldnt win nothing then, the whole back line needs looking at, i would be much more happy to sign a world class center back than a striker, and it doesnt matter whos captain, it never looks like theirs a leader out their,when we concede, the whole team falls apart

      Reply
  2. Enver Kader

    The result was the perfect start to the new campaign in my eyes, next we need to be knocked out of the champions league and then the revolution will truly begin. Don’t get me wrong but the illusion that the Sqaud we have is competitive is laughable. Last season we were regularly rolled over by the “bigger clubs” bar the scalp of spurs at home the sad thing is that the manager believes the team we have id competitive. Champions league football means nothing to me, really as I know that we will be eliminated in the 2nd round sadly the manager believes its as good as a trophy an a job well done. Furgerson wins the league and gets forced into retirement becos the owners are forward thinking and realize the value of new ideas fresh blood. Sadly Wenger has overstayed his welcome and left us on the brink. We need a show of unity and need to boycott a few games until change comes we can no longer endure this punishment its ripping my heart out.

    Reply
  3. Prince Chuddy N.N

    This is unfairly treatment s to the loving dying fanz of Arsenal.why cantvhim(wenger)buy player that ll help boost the current players we ve,l cant lmagine myself how feelz with present situation(No good striker)but be it as may come.l still remain a Goooonnnnnneeeer fan..Arsene-wenger and the management.please,help us.we re not happy how we cant compete in any strongly game..oooooo.

    Reply
    1. Chris Toop

      What I fail to understand is the statement that ‘we will only bring in players who will improve the squad’..

      on the basis no one has come in then, does that mean what we have is that good? and if so why have we just got smashed 3-1 at home. it delusional to say the least.

      Reply
  4. osu

    Really sensible write-up!……but really,AW has lost it!..we should have known this when he had the confident to want to start the league with a team that lost 8-2 †☺ man U. AW won’t have made any change if we didn’t see that happen!…
    I doubt his ability †☺ identify quality again,he’s had cheap players that turned out good..and he believes he can always do that…likes of jenkinson,sanogo,chamack…..etc
    Things have changed!…it’s only arsenal that has not changed in recent time…so very unhappy!
    There should be value for money…arsenal stuffs are expensive..yet they give us shit!….so sad

    Reply

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