This is surely Arsene Wenger’s last season at Arsenal. His contract is due to come to an end. It will be time for him to retire in the sun.
Like many, I feel he should have already gone. His time was up a couple of years ago, but he has held on – unlike many, however, I will not blame everything that is wrong with the world on Wenger.
So it is coming to an end. 20 years of one man being in charge of Arsenal. And the question we need to ask ourselves is, are us, as fans, prepared for Wenger’s exit? Or Wexit as I am labelling it.
Over the last 5-10 years, a lot of fans have defined themselves not as Arsenal fans, but as how they sit on Arsene Wenger’s employment at Arsenal. For a while, it seemed you could not simply just be “Arsenal”, but you had to also be “Wenger In” or “Wenger Out”.
It went as far as people creating Acronyms for both sides. WOB & AKB.
At the same time, we saw the rise of social media. Twitter and Facebook. And people created an online persona, based on whether they were Wenger In or Out. They have gained followers, notoriety, maybe even disciples, based solely on their opinion of the manager.
Their followers have given them a false sense of security. A false sense of status. It has made losers prophets. Thinking that they are preaching to their disciples, above all those around them.
We have seen Wenger In groups pop up on Facebook, where they act like everything is rosy. Wenger Out Whatasapp groups where people link in a comment made on social media backing Wenger, a call to attack, so to speak.
There have been fights online, punches thrown in stadiums, and banners, a hell of a lot of money spent on banners.
People have basically defined themselves over nearly a decade based on who they see the status of a single man.
And how will these people react when Arsene Wenger leaves?
How will they go on to get their heroin-like attention? Will they move on to pretend to be in-the-know? Will they massively support / abuse the new manager? How will these people define themselves post Wenger? Will they return to just being amongst equals, a normal Arsenal fan, or will they keep preaching like a prophet?
We have a year of transition. You will see some who are smarter changing their online persona. Becoming less argumentative. Trying to look more informative. In the hope by the time Wenger leaves, they have returned to just being a normal fan, who go’s for the enjoyment of football. Maybe move on to other causes, like ticket prices, safe standing, etc.
Of course, you will have the attention seeking idiots who will just not be able to let go. Despite them becoming less and less relevant, they will continue to spout their bile, their abuse, at anyone that disagrees. Each time getting less Retweets, fewer likes. Eventually they will realise they have become irrelevant and probably jump off a bridge.
After living your life for a decade so aggressively based on one man, how will they cope when that man is no longer in their life?
Personally, I have always been just Arsenal. Next season, when Wenger is no longer here, nothing will change for me.
I will still write crap blogs, still argue on Twitter, still go to every game, home and away, and still spend way to much money on beer before, during, and after games.
Are you prepared for Wexit?