Saturday, 11 September 2010

a calm assessment

An hysteria free assessment.
Paying hard earned money for my season ticket it is reasonable to expect that each game I go to see has an Arsenal team trying to win the tournament that the game relates to. With this in mind I also have an expectation that we have a squad that is able to compete in a season's worth of tournaments. If this is not the case due to financial constraints then there needs to be clarity to each and every person that commits their wages to the club. If the board or the manager are unable to produce an Arsenal team that wins games, trophies and the moral high ground at the behest of debt and financial planning then let's have transparency.

Let's get one thing straight Arsenal are NOT in crisis. The facts support that Arsenal are a) a successful Premier League Club b) solvent and c) by and large fulfilling the remit that Football is meant to entertain. The issues that are raised time and again relate to the recent history of the club and how from a position of winning Premierships or being runners up, winning FA cups and reaching the ECL final we are presently looking unable to recapture this level of success.

A touch of realism is also useful when viewing our place in the scheme of things. Domestically one of the big boys, in European terms also rans. No big deal that's just true until such time as we win the Champions League.

External factors.
Yes the landscape has changed amongst our competitors, with the private ownership of clubs, the bottomless pits of cash available at clubs and the level of wages available to attract players. However Arsenal's unbeaten champions were assembled without uncontrolled spending.

Internal factors.
Realistically there can only be two possible explanations from an internal point of view;
1. Lack of funds available
2. Managerial choices

If Arsenal are in the middle of a long term belt tightening period then that explains some things, although there are more questions related to this that need to be asked; ie. Is Arsenal run strictly as a business or as a football club and where does the twain meet?

If the personnel employed to play football for AFC are choices made by a manager who has freedom of choice then the quality of some of those players needs to be commented on.

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. What is clear is that as a paying Arsenal supporter I want the club to win stuff, I want to be entertained and I want some openness from the club. It's not about a division between the Arsene Knows Best fans and the fans that have the perceived 'audacity' to ask questions. Its about wanting Arsenal to be better than we currently are, it's about Arsenal recapturing what Wenger gave us for all those glorious years. Most of all it's about having an opinion about the Arsenal.

And above all it's caring about the Arsenal. And today I'm going to the Emirates to see us give Bolton a metaphorical kick up the Arse! Now that's one thing we can all agree on.

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