Written by TotalArsenal
Your dreams are china in your hand…………………..
‘Don’t push too far your dreams are china in your hand’. The lyrics of this well-known, and somewhat tacky song by T’pau in 1987, came to my mind when I read recent comments regarding Arsène Wenger’s position on a variety of Arsenal websites. The song is (roughly) based on what happened to Mary Shelley after she published her world-famous book ‘Frankenstein’. Her enormous success created dissent and jealousy in her marriage and friendship, and in a way, she created her own monster. Are we perhaps pushing our Arsenal dream of winning major titles and being a world force in football too far at the moment?
It seems we have arrived at a crossroads. Most if not all of us, expect Arsenal too push harder for trophies and are not happy with our achievements in recent years. Quite a few are even calling for Arsène’s head as they are unhappy about his recent decisions on players he bought and/or nurtured, his (lack of) tactical nous at times, his chosen style of football etc, etc. However, there are also still a lot of supporters who would like to give Arsene at least another year, and there are even still a few who passionately argue that he has done very well, given the budgetary restraints since we moved to the Emirates, and that there is no problem at all.
Should we aim to push Wenger out, so we can give our desperate dream of winning major trophies another and different impetus? Or, should we be a bit more content with what we have achieved, and trust a man with a great vision to finally deliver the silverware? And, is there a risk we could push too far and too hard and as a result shatter the china once and for all?
What would be the benefits of Arsène Wenger leaving?
- The biggest initial benefit would be that scintillating feeling of a new beginning, of renewed hope. It has been a frustrating few years for most Arsenal fans, caused for a big part by our incredibly high expectations. More and more of us are complaining about the annual ‘Déjà vu’ syndrome. Recent seasons have shown a similar pattern towards the final months: during the course of a few weeks we lose out on all the trophies, and everybody gets depressed again. A new manager, with a few new signings and a few departures would, at least for the time being, fill our hearts with hope again.
- There would probably be fewer arguments, over time, between the pro-Wenger and anti-Wenger brigades: so maybe a bit more harmony between the fans.
- Success cannot be bought automatically, but by recruiting the likes of Guardiola, Mourinho, or Rijkaard our chances of winning trophies would probably increase, although there are no guarantees! And, if we were to attract these kinds of top managers, would the club be prepared/capable to give them the large sums of money they require in order to deliver the coveted trophies?
What would be the risks of Arsène Wenger leaving?
- The biggest risk is that whoever becomes the new manager, does not achieve instant success and we do not qualify for the Champions League in 2012-2013 and, possibly, beyond. Wenger, despite significantly increased competition over recent years, has been a safe pair of hands in keeping us in the CL. As we all know, this is of vital importance both for our finances as well as our ability to hold on to, and recruit, the best players.
- Key players could decide they want to leave when Wenger leaves (to join him at his new club, or just leave).
- We could become pragmatic and result-orientated and our style of football is sacrificed as a result (ok, I am being subjective here, but I am quite sure this will matter to a lot gooners).
- We could become one of the many clubs who keep changing their manager every 1-3 years because it is just not working out (look at Real Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Milan, Inter etc etc).
- As a result, we could even become a mid-table team who cannot get into the top-4 anymore for a long, long time.
This simple, and quickly produced, and I am sure by no means complete, benefits and risks analysis shows there are simply no guarantees that either Arsene Wenger’s staying or leaving will lead to trophies. In my view, the risks are higher than the benefits, but that does not mean we should not opt for change. We could take the risk just to make us feel better, and push our dream to the limit: all or nothing? But be aware, that if the dream gets shattered it could take a long, long time before we will be up there again. We could be on our way to producing our own ‘monster’.
Or we could stick with what we have and give Arsène Wenger one more chance, back off a bit, and let him complete his mission. Nobody puts more pressure on Arsène then he does himself, and recent adversity will only help him to focus on what needs changing to make the final step to success. Personal growth, managerial achievements and trophies for the club do not only depend on the manager’s ability to develop a vision, to lead and to dominate (which Arsène has in abundance), but occasional doubt, humility and willingness to make changes are just as important.
I am absolutely convinced that, after a short period of reflection and consultation with key people inside our club, he will make significant changes this summer.
A few weeks ago, I was adamant that Arsène should go: that it was time for change. Having thought hard and long about it, I now believe we should wholeheartedly give him another crack at the whip.