About three years before finally being shuffled out of the club I implored Arsene Wenger to resign we had just won the FA Cup beating Hull unconvincingly, many took my post as intended a love letter to Arsene asking him to go to stop the noise destroying our club from outside and in, others didn’t see that and attacked me for being mad to ask him to leave after winning the cup final. I expect the same today for those who don’t read to the end.
There were issues with the fans already according to many we were not good enough, signings were average the squad was full of “dead wood” and Arsene just wouldn’t adapt to more defensive tactics or bring in the new Gilberto.
The refrain from the stands was often “we want our Arsenal back”, my question was always what Arsenal, the one of Arsene’s early seasons, the Arsenal of George Graham, or maybe the Arsenal of Terry Neil, I guess it depended how old as a fan you were to what Arsenal you were referring to.
The Arsenal I have always wanted back is the one run by a Board of Directors who had a long history with the club, but that is pure fantasy what top side is owned independently without foreign investment? I have to accept the game has changed in that respect.
In the early days of Emery’s first season we smashed a poor Fulham side who went on to be relegated 5-1 at the Cottage, Arsenal fans rejoiced and the sound of “we’ve got our Arsenal back” reverberated from the away end.
A mere two years later we sit in 15th place with more losses than wins after 12 games, our worst start since 1974, not sure that was the Arsenal any of us wanted back and it was before my time on this small blue dot commenced.
It was an awfully long way back to where we ended the 90’s and started the naughties courtesy of Graham and then Wenger.
Now we look back in hindsight I have to ask, was it that bad with Arsene? Ok we maybe weren’t title contenders but on the flip side the team still managed to give us some hope we were only ever one or two players away. Where are we now? Five, six, seven players away?
Ok it’s wishful thinking Arsene won’t want to interfere. Arsene wouldn’t want a second fiddle job and has moved on to pastures new, but I can’t help thinking Arteta needs help, and who better to give it than Arsene, the man that gave Arsenal players unbelievable belief gave young players opportunities, if you were good enough you were old enough. He was ruthless to players who were usurped, Debuchy signed to replace Sagna, got injured, Hector came in and made the place his own and Debuchy a decent player everyone expected to be first choice right back left the club soon after.
But if there’s one thing I want back from watching my club it’s freedom to play, playing with a smile and making me smile. Yes we didn’t always win but it was at least good to watch.
Come back Arsene all is forgiven make me smile again.
Gooner in Exile