often try to explain what football means. I’ve often tried to explain what
Arsenal mean to me, but the majority of the time, I’ve failed. Even to those close
often put match going fans into a different bracket to non-match going fans in
terms of their passion for a club because of the money they spend but I generally
reject that idea but think the amount of ‘time’ someone puts in is the key
indicator to how much they can be affected by their club.
you invest time into something, in particular, a football club, whether that’s
attending matches, being active in a supporters club / trust, running a blog or
podcast, producing content around football in form of social media and invest time in Arsenal then you will probably be
to personal reasons, I had to miss the Bayern trip, and I watched it in the
comfort of my own home which is rare (I really should cancel my sports
subscription – but I won’t because of the ‘time’ I put in). If I’m not at a
game, I tend to experience different feelings / emotions. I have more time
to think and more time, sadly, to be affected in a negative way after a loss for longer. When you are at a
game, you tend to have to travel, you tend to have discussions and often rant
to get things out your system (perhaps why phone ins / fan tv channels get so
many viewers) but when you are not at the game, you may lose all that.
other additional experience you get is to watch the post-match
interviews including an interview with the managers involved – this was really
the moment, where my feelings came out. I'm told no players stopped in the mix zones and Arsene Wenger limited his media commitments.
has always been an elephant in the room when it comes to Arsene Wenger, I’ve
been in many conversations when people, due to their respect (rightly
so respect) they tend to avoid the subject. I was probably one of them for years,
certainly up till about a year or two ago. But that interview, seemed like a
sounded like a broken man, who knows his time here, is over.
you see pundits who have been going for him, take a step back and actually feel
sorry for him, you know the end is near.
Wenger has been a fantastic manager, leader, CEO, bank manager and even project
manager for this football club. In years to come, people that love Arsenal will
look at the Wenger era as ten years of trophies and the other ten years successfully negotiated the stadium move
(with a few FA Cups). He
should have a statue outside the ground, he should have his name sung every so
often (and I’m convinced he will, once the dust settles in a few years) and go
out proud of his achievements.
legacy may only remain, if Arsene Wenger leaves Arsenal this summer. Staying
on has a major risk, if the ‘same old’ continues then that legacy may be in
serious danger of vanishing. Some will argue it already has and off course they
are entitled to their opinion and I respect them; football is about
opinions, after all. But I would HATE for the legacy of our most
successful manager in our history to be tarnished especially when he contributed to the transition of the
stadium move that puts us in a position to hopefully compete at the top of the
game for years to come.
what it’s worth, I thought there was a game plan in Munich to sit deep, counter
with pace and that actually brought us a couple of good chances plus two free kicks and a
few corners in the game and at half time, I was quite comfortable. After
we rode the storm of the first 30mins and got a goal, we had a bright
10-15mins. We even came out in the second half quite bright for a few minutes
but it all just wrong from the 50th minute. I don’t particularly
blame Arsene Wenger for last night, I think he influenced the loss at home to
Watford much more with his starting line-up then he did yesterday. I would have
preferred Danny Welbeck to play but I can’t believe Arsene wouldn’t pick him if
he was 100% fit – perhaps returning from injury and getting another injury last
season has impacted on the decision to limit his game time so far.
the problem isn’t about one game, it’s about the mentality, it’s about folding
when the going gets tough, it’s about not being able to keep up a sustainable
challenge and it’s about the same things repeating itself for several years.
a personal level, I’ve found the criticism that Arsene Wenger has had to take,
very tough to hear. He has been here such a long time, and majority of my
‘Arsenal supporting’ life and therefore some of his principles and philosophies
have really grown on me. I’ve met him several times, even got a wedding card
from the club which he personally signed and has always acted with class every
time I’ve interacted with him. I’ve the upmost respect for the man – but like
everything in life, nothing lasts for ever.
had jobs that I’ve absolutely enjoyed and loved and been very passionate about
and continued to be an advocate even when I’ve left – but the key thing there
is, I have left when I felt the time was right and many would argue the time
was right after winning the FA Cup at Wembley against Hull a few years ago but
I think even more would agree the time is right now.
club in general is in great shape, the level of consistency Arsene Wenger has
brought to the club has been tremendous and everything is in place for Arsenal
Football Club to continue to grow and be a major player for the next 100 or 200
years and Arsene Wenger has played his part as much as anyone – for that he
should walk away with his head held high.
deserves the big farewell – if he announced it now, I’m not convinced all fans
would rally because some may want him gone earlier but I think it would give
those, like me, the opportunity to enjoy the rest of the season which hopefully
would conclude with an FA Cup and a good run in the league, with a win at White
Hart Lane being the highlight.
Arsene has have been absolutely wonderful for this club and for that, I'll always be grateful but nothing lasts for ever, but he will always be a huge part of this club and is a true Arsenal legend.