Have Arsenal Become Unloved? By Dan Smith
Why I never wanted Arsene Wenger to leave was his love for the club. I wrote at the time when the debate existed ‘be careful what you wish for, because now you might get it’. Some gooners will be too proud to admit it, but those who forced out the greatest manager in our history for the sake of YouTube views could not have imagined it would be this bad.
This is not about how far we are away from Liverpool, or even if we fail to return to the Champions League.
I said it when Ramsey was being disrespected by our board that when he left for Italy, with us in his heart, you felt he was the last member of an era of players who you could claim really cared about the badge.
If Mr Wenger was still our manager, I predict that Ramsey, Wilshire, Cazorla, Monreal and Koscielny would all be as well. None of them are perfect, Mr Wenger wasn’t perfect, but you would never question their commitment to the crest.
If I asked you now who do you think is proud to be a Gooner?
Who’s our leader?
Who’s our Mr Arsenal?
For over a decade, thanks to Stan Kroenke, we stopped being challengers for the title. We sold our best players, and with the massive TV contract they don’t seem to care like they once did about qualifying for the Champions League.
In the last couple of years their priority has been saving money at every turn.
The wage bill has been slashed which will only keep happening when we lose Auba and Laca. We clearly don’t want to pay a manager the salary Mr Wenger was on. We are one of the most indecisiveness teams when it comes to transfers, and all the while prices for tickets and merchandise continue to be way over the odds.
Worse than all of that though, is they have mismanaged us so poorly they have made us unlovable.
I wrote this week that being Arsenal coach should be a vacancy that is so appealing to every coach around the world.
A chance to live in London, great youngsters, a 60-000 stadium, great training facilities ,and a history that always had us known as doing things the ‘right way’.
With your employer also happening to be a Billionaire the resources could also be there for a decent wage and a huge transfer kitty.
Why do you think, even in their dark moments, Man United never struggle finding high profile candidates?
If ever there is a crisis, there is the class of 92 queuing up to help out.
Where’s our group of legends who, no matter what, love the gunners and would do anything to return?
Arteta by the way is not a legend. He was meant to be our leader when we suffered some horrible results, so why now would he have the skills to demand standards from a dressing room when he didn’t when he played for us?
You trust more a Henry kicking down the door telling certain talents that the current standard is not good enough. Being on radio and television and being a critic doesn’t count.
There is even talk of Arteta not being 100 percent sure of joining us, as he’s not sure he wants to leave Man City.
Think about that. Our former captain is given a chance to manage one of the biggest clubs in the country despite no experience, yet might prefer to remain being an assistant. A lot of that could come down to the respect he did have for us being affected by our recruitment policy, where he should have been made to feel more valued. He’s been interviewed more than once yet it’s clear he’s not everyone’s preferred target. Compare that to the Champions who couldn’t speak highly enough of him.
For the record City are believed to be bemused by how we have conducted our negotiations. Again, we used to be known within the game for our class – now we are being laughed at.
Vieira is another ex-skipper who was angry with how he was treated by our recruitment policy when we were last looking for a boss. How will he feel being overlooked again when he actually has more experience that their number one target?
Is Arteta our only number one target because it’s believed others have been put off by the lack of ambition. Once upon a time everyone in the world would be interested in this post.
Why I’m open about a former player replacing Emery is; in the last 18 months we lost our identity. If nothing else we would be commended by neutrals for being entertaining, always playing the game the right way. Now we lack any kind of ethos.
Then there’s our fan base…
Due to a rise in social media, some have embarrassed the rest of us by believing freedom of speech means you can say and do anything. The next generation of fan is being educated that you should go to a stadium with a sense of entitlement, people act genuinely offended if they don’t get their way.
We were never like this at Highbury. Football was an escape. If the world around wasn’t very nice, you had the comfort of 90 minutes where anything and everything could happen. Now watching Arsenal isn’t fun, listening to your fellow Gooners isn’t fun.
Some act offended when we don’t win, like someone has done something criminal to them.
Sport used to be about sometimes you can win, sometimes you can lose. It didn’t lead to shouting, swearing, players being driven out of clubs.
They say things go in cycles, that the cream rises to the top, that good things happen to good people.
I don’t hope that we win the Premiership again.
I hope that we become a club you can love again…