Tuesday, 20 November 2012
Saturday, 17 November 2012
Sunday, 4 November 2012
Yesterday was a bad day for everyone involved with Arsenal. The 2-1 defeat at Manchester United could have been worse, a hell of a lot worse. Yet, after last season's game a part of me is just glad we got off so lightly.
It's ridiculous to think I found relief in the fact we only lost to our biggest rivals by the odd goal. Except they are no longer our rivals, not in the way they used to or should be for that matter. Times are a changing. United have graduated, and we've been made to repeat the year. Again, and again, and... Well you get the picture.
The most depressing thing about yesterdays game is that we were never at the races. We looked like a newly promoted team who were just happy not to concede too many! There was no part of us that appeared to believe we could or would win. It was embarrassing and for Arsenal football club, it was completely unacceptable.
This is the club that pipped Liverpool to the title in 1989, the club that went 49 league games unbeaten, the same manager that took a team to the San Siro and beat Inter Milan 5-1.
But we don't look anything like that club anymore, and in truth it is breaking my heart. I don't remember a day when I wasn't a Gooner, and I know that day will never come. But that doesn't mean I can't be real and see what's wrong with the club that I love.
It kills me to say it, but I really feel it is time for Mr Wenger to hang up his puffa coat. I don't say it lightly, I'm the sort of person that likes AW more than I do some members of my family!
But let's get this straight. The club is stagnating, to the point where I wouldn't be surprised to see us in the Europa League next year! Unthinkable I know, but on recent showing it's extremely possible. And when things go wrong at a club, the manager has to take responsibility. Given how long he has had to change and improve things, the only option is for him to go.
It's not just the loss at Old Trafford. It's everything. The late attempts to renew contacts of players, the money sitting in the bank, the hesitancy to spend on real top draw players.
The lack of ambition on and of the pitch, the lethargy of the players, this belief that Champions League qualification is 'good enough'.
Admittedly, it isn't just Mr Wenger to blame. The board have to take a long hard look at themselves and decide whether they want to increase their wealth or actually make us successful again. Right now, it seems like the former. I mean, could you imagine the CEO of Tesco getting a bonus for being the fourth best supermarket in the country? No, me neither.
Right now everything is wrong from top to bottom, and it's been going wrong since the departure of David Dein. He was the boss' best friend and right hand man, he protected him from the pressure and made him see sense. Clearly no one is doing that now or the list of players we missed out on would not be growing every transfer window.
The team isn't good enough, the recruitment process isn't good enough. Which means that the manager is no longer good enough.
He's had a great run and has been responsible for some of the best memories we will ever have as Arsenal fans. But unless there is some radical change in the next few months - which I doubt - then this season should be his last.
And who to replace him, you ask?
Roberto Martinez fits the bill for me. He's done his apprenticeship at Wigan, he knows the Premier League and he plays the game the right way.
I've always supported Mr Wenger but I can't see a way back from the drivel and nervousness we see on the pitch now.
If he doesn't go, I will still support him and the club. Because that's what fans should do. But it doesn't mean I won't be seeing the truth.
And before you start labelling me; I'm not Wenger Out.
I'm just Arsenal Up.