Good afternoon Arsenal fans.
My first blog in over a week following a nice break in Antigua. The cricket was awful but the weather was brilliant.
In my absence I see Gav has been writing a few blogs. He really needs to write more – and I do keep telling him that. His excuse is the shop and his kids keep him busy. He does spend a lot of time coming up with new ideas, like the fantastic Arsenal pop sockets he has just realised, but lack of time is just an excuse. He has a top view on football and very different to mine. We balance each other out.
Plenty has happened since I have been off.
After the goal Liverpool scored against West Ham, there is certainly a feeling that the higher up the league you are, the more favourable decisions you get. Leicester City got many favourable decisions in the run in to their title. Do referees begin to buy into the story of Champions too much favouring the teams at the top? Perhaps.
We signed Denis Suarez on loan with an option to buy.
It was a bit of a transfer saga. Arsenal wanted a loan with option to buy Barcelona wanted a loan with an obligation to buy.
The Spanish sides worry was that with just 18 months left on his contract, if Arsenal did not sign the midfielder his value would dramatically drop. To get the deal through, Saurez signed a year extension and the loan with an option to buy happened.
I know little about him, but he is played under Unai Emery before and Raul Sanllehi has signed him twice for Barcelona. I back their view over someone on Twitter who builds his view on players mainly based on FIFA and YouTube videos.
Whilst I was off, Tottenham passed through 4,000 days without a trophy.
Mauricio Pochettino kept up his mantra of not needing to win trophies, saying that they only exist to boost a managers ego. How deluded is he?
Many Arsenal fans used to say “If Arsene Wenger went to Real Madrid and failed like he did at Arsenal (8 years with no trophy) he would be sacked within 2 years. Pochettino is in the same boat. Still trophyless after 10 years of managing.
He might be a media favourite, but ultimately he will judged on what he wins.
Finally I saw some people getting on Unai Emery’s back, with some even calling for his head. They really need to wind it in.
A lot of people have since jumped on the below (with the media companies “tarting” it up a bit).
Emery is a very good manager with a track record of success and winning trophies (unlike another manager in North London). I feel that some fans had too high expectations. They thought that by Arsene Wenger leaving, we would go from 5th placed in the league to title contenders.
The reality is that it has taken Jurgen Klopp 3 seasons (and 6 transfer windows) to turn Liverpool into a title contender. Prior to this season, they finished 8th, 4th & 4th under him.
Some seem to be criticising Emery for the attention. Others due to their love of Wenger. And some because he was not their preferred target when he joined.
It just feels like a lot of our fans like moaning and enjoy arguing on Twitter. They position their view to create an argument for attention.
The final thing that happened just as I flew out was the racism towards Alex Iwobi.
The Tweet by some Indian “actress” who is more famous for getting her rack out on Instagram (from what I what I have been told) was horrendous and certainly not a reflection on all Arsenal fans.
Sadly some countries are no as evolved as Britain. We live in a diverse, multi cultural society. Whilst racism still exists, it is no where near as big a problem as it was in the 1970s. Some countries still hugely discriminate against people of different backgrounds – whether that be race, sexuality or gender. It is worrying how many of these countries have legislation making this discrimination legal.
There are many countries where you may not hold public office if you are from a certain ethnic group, or where homosexuality is illegal or you are not allowed to follow certain religions.
With the rise of social media, the world has gotten smaller. What then happens is everyone from every country is held to the same level of accountability as they would be in England, even if the words or discrimination they used online is perfectly legal in their country.
It is right that all incidents of racial abuse is highlighted and acted upon accordingly, but it should also be remembered that the actions of someone in India, Russia or Finland (considered the “most racist” country in the EU – the UK is second least racist behind Malta). Views of these fans should more reflect badly on the country they live in, where racism is still a huge problem, rather than reflect badly on Arsenal who have a brilliant history of tackling racism and self policing.
I hope one day the rest of the world catches up with the United Kingdom when it comes to both legislation and individuals views.
Yes, racism still exists in the United Kingdom, and one incident is one too many, but citizens of this great nation can be proud that we are world leaders when it comes to anti-discrimination legislation.
The UK has never implemented any laws that discriminate or segregate on the grounds of race or ethnicity. Furthermore, it has never been an offence for persons of different ethnicities to marry one another. It has never been the case that a British citizen has been denied the vote on the basis of his or her race or ethnicity. Racial segregation and discrimination were never mandated or sanctioned by law in the United Kingdom.
Whilst some might say “these are things to celebrate, they should be the norm” sadly in the majority of countries in the world, its citizens to not share the same freedoms as in the United Kingdom.
So next time someone racially abuses Alex Iwobi, or anyone else, it should be highlighted, and remembered that their view is not a reflection on Arsenal fans but a reflection on themselves.
Huddersfield away this weekend.
Up the Arsenal.