Are we wrong in being hasty? by Big Gun
I have just read Peter Hill-Wood’s statement about Arsenal’s ‘ignorant’ fans, and by the time you read this it will most likely be the day after. After taking a step back a looking at the bigger picture (and doing some research of course) it seems that Hill-Wood’s comments concerning the AOB’s is quite accurate in terms of numbers. Fans calling for Wenger’s head are in the minority and I am referring to the ones who want him sacked ASAP. I am not sure if he is also referring to those who realize sacking him now wouldn’t be wise, but want him to retire sooner than later.
Regardless, I think we need to look at two things as to why there are a minority of fans ‘jumping up and down’ and why Hill-Wood made those comments. First of all, we live in a day and age where almost everything is online, including public opinion. It has become less and less isolated and far easier to do anything really with quicker results being a mere ‘action’ away. With the click of the button, we can achieve things instantly, like online shopping for example. Instead of getting in the car, driving to the store sometimes miles away, walking around the shop looking for the item, purchasing it and driving all the way home taking a few hours in the process, we can literally hop on our PC’s or tablets and in much less time (minutes) we can achieve the same things, even more. If it is digital, it is instant. Otherwise delivery is also extremely quick depending on the availability of the product, whilst your local store might not have at all. Almost everything has become digitized ultimately to make our lives easier and as the saying goes, time is money.
The problem is when this instant satisfaction flows over into other aspects of our lives, like football. For me personally, if I want something metaphorically speaking, I go out and get it, whether it be a goal or desire, either way I will work as hard as it takes and do what is necessary (above board) to get what I want.. For me, that is my definition of success.
The frustrating part is when the football club we associate ourselves with, does not seem to have this drive and desire and ultimately I believe this is why many of us are asking questions with little patience left. Understandably, we went through a transitional phase during the construction of the stadium where finances were tight and we just could not afford the types of players we were used to seeing at Arsenal. On top of it, all those top players we did have, ended up leaving, making matters worse for the club. So the lack of success in terms of trophies was justified for a few years. Achieving top four in those circumstances I personally feel was a success and I don’t think many would argue with that. But that was then, and this is now. We are out of the woods financially speaking, and after all those years of support and undying loyalty (I’m aware some of us were supporting long before Wenger), we expect the tides to change and Arsenal using her new found financial muscle to start dominating the scene, which let’s be honest has not really happened, the FA cup being the only compensation.
I really believe that the fans Hill-Wood is referring to, are those fans who are not from London, but rather are fans from abroad living in the same areas supporting different football clubs (predominantly Man United, Chelsea and Liverpool.) I personally do not live in England, but my whole life I have had to deal with Man United supporters each and every day. Right now, there are 12 United and 9 Liverpool and 3 Chelsea supporters in my office. I am the only Gooner. We are all passionate about football, but sometimes the tension can get a bit much and conversations turn into spats of nastiness.
Being Gooners, we have been deprived of major success for the better part of a decade whilst we have watched Chelsea, Man United and City rake in the trophies year after year, we have had to sit by and be content for top 4 whilst the fans of these other clubs belittle and laugh at us. So now that we finally have that financial backbone to compete again, we expect results, but are not seeing them on the pitch and this is why the fans are getting restless. Flaws from years back that have not been properly addressed. Peter Hill-Wood needs to understand that Arsenal is not a mickey mouse club anymore like it once was, it has a huge demographic of fans that must essentially be viewed as customers. We buy merchandise online, I personally pay my DSTV fees primarily so I can watch the games. It is not only that, but the emotional side of it too that goes noticed a lot of the time.
The bottom line is, Arsene Wenger needs to start to deliver, he has no more excuses. I understand that Chelsea and City have bottomless pits of cash to throw around but it is not like Arsenal are poor. We have an amazing history, a prestige and class matched by no other club. We are based in London. All the right ingredients for success and I really hope Wenger can turn things around for the better because it would be an absolute shame that a manager that has accomplished so much for this club, might end up tarnishing his legacy and being remembered as a ‘Specialist in Failure’ rather than ‘Le Prof’ or ‘The Invincible One.’