Having watched, read and listened to the fallout from Fridays defeat to Man United, I feel something is sitting at the end of some Gooners tongues. They are dying to get out certain words but feel either unable to, or even afraid to. Which takes away the point of all these platforms which give us the right to have a freedom of speech.
Yet the second I write this, I know I will be hammered in the comments, yet we have to point it out some time….
So here goes ……. Do some now feel they were harsh on Arsene Wenger?
I always believed only the day he left would we quite realise just how good a job this man did. When we were complaining of only finishing 4th, he was in fact over achieving considering that Stan Kroenke is our owner. He loved us so much that he tolerated his employer having a lack of ambition. Boy did Stan Kroenke exploit that, letting the Frenchmen be his shield, the one person who would tell the press all that he wanted them to know. At any point Wenger could have protected his legacy by taking a job where he would have added to his medal collection. He could have put pressure on the board by (like Emery) being honest about the funds he had to play with.
He, like us was lied to about how building the Emirates would change our prospects. It’s safeguarded our future, but he would have hoped once the stadium debt was paid off, we would indeed compete with Bayern Munich. Our biggest mistake was putting too much emphasis on financial fair play and not factoring in other revenue. Under the current TV contract, we would have been fine staying at Highbury.
His biggest critics argue that when he finally had funds to spend, he targeted the wrong areas. Yet until his last day with us, he never spent what his rivals did. The likes of Ozil and Sanchez were overdue considering how many times he made a profit in the transfer window. Those who point to us buying Lacazette and Auba fail to mention these funds were raised by the loss of Gibbs, Gabriel, Walcott, the Ox, Giroud, Coquelin and Sanchez. If you said this 12 months ago you would be accused of being naive and blinded by the past.
Those same fans are now saying we shouldn’t judge Emery until he is backed. Yet for a decade it’s been clear who’s in the dugout isn’t the issue. History shows you get what you give, the more you spend the higher you finish.
We mocked Wenger for finishing 4th, yet now we celebrate that like it’s success. 12 months ago, the idea of only having the Europa League to play for was rock bottom, a year on we are in an identical situation. Yet why only now are we meant to feel sorry for our manager based on Mr Kroenke? It’s because some Gooners are too proud to admit they spent time forcing out the wrong man, the banners should have been aimed at the man counting the cash.
Some who have become YouTube sensations based on disrespecting the greatest manager in our history, now are not big enough to admit they were wrong. Yet when we were drawing with Liverpool earlier in the campaign, they were happy to make comparisons with the old regime.
It’s like ending a 20-year marriage then realising he/she was never the issue, that the grass isn’t greener with your new partner. You can’t admit that in public because you made such a noise about how rubbish your old life was and yet nothing’s changed. Wenger did try to warn us. He was loved by the press for never dodging a question.
So even on an eve of an FA Cup final., Knowing his popularity was fading he spoke about never forgetting the lack of respect he endured in his last couple of years.
From a PR perspective it wasn’t going to mend the fence with those abusing him, but he had to point out how hurt he felt. How he given his life to us, put us above his family, how he turned down top jobs while being asked to sell his best players every year. I’m sure he sees the irony of how now the likes of Arsenal TV have realised we will never win the title under current model.
In Le Prof’s last game at the Emirates, Richard Keys said, ‘Anyone else think Arsenal will regret this?’ I think we will. But there are some Gooners I don’t feel sorry for. This is the change you wanted, you didn’t want to listen to concerns regarding Mr Kroenke. To paraphrase Aladdin, ‘you want to be the genie, well now you get everything that goes with it.’