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The past was not as good as some imagine

So, five league games unbeaten.  Not perfect by any means, but certainly better than the two defeats that preceded the change of captaincy.   And certainly not bad when the run includes three of the teams currently above us.

And even more so not bad when you remember that the heart of our team has been ripped out of us either by wreckless insanity, a kick around on international “duty”, insane yellow cards and the inevitable sheer bad luck.   Eduardo, Rosicky, Walcott, Fabregas, Adebayor, Clichy – these are the people who make a champsionship winning team and none could start against Aston “if you go down and they’ve got the ball, hold your head” Villa.  Take out the young up and coming players like Djourou and Song, and you can see how far back we are being pushed.

Two things occurred to me last night as I thought over this.  I happened to glance at the Championship league table, and saw Charlton preparing themselves for the drop into League One.   That reminded me of the time when Charlton were punching way above their weight, challenging in the top half of the EPL.    But after the club failed to get into the Champions League, after challenging for a place, the muttering started.  The common phrase was “Curbishley has taken us as far as he can – time for someone new.”

Curbishley eventually had enough, left the club, and they went into freefall – and now look where they are.

The other thought arose from reading “Arsenal: The Official Biography” which I was given for Christmas.  It made me think, following all those endless “best 50 goals” type DVDs, just how easy it is to forget.  Somehow the past is an eternal Unbeaten Season, in which Henry scores a wonder goal in every game, and Pires gets a tap in.

But just read the ups and downs of 1999/2000, as an example, and you’ll see what I mean.  It was not all wonderful – it had its ups and downs – but ultimately Wenger delivered everything he promised and more.

There is a danger. a danger that the mumbling and muttering of discontent will eventually make Wenger think, “I’ve had enough” and go on to take any one of the million other jobs he could walk into.  It would give me no pleasure to watch the subsequent decline.

6 comments to The past was not as good as some imagine

  • Colonel Mustard

    but just a small bit of compromise would have seen us step up a level. we persist in leaving good players go without replacing the quality lost. its insane. we have’nt had a decent signing in years. We will lose Cesc also, its inevitable. This team is not Wegners social experiment in football. not his toy to prove the big boys don’t need to spend to win. What happens when he leaves anyways or retires. we survived worse. His legacy is hanging by a thread. We have had 4 seasons of this, the fans have been more then patient as he pits the kids against men. I have had enough. time to get real.

  • jbh

    Er….. No. We’ve had FA cup 2005, CL final 2006, Carling cup final (with the B team), contending in PL last year. And top 4 positions (CL) for 10 years. Fabregas has had 4 finals in that time as well winning 2 (including Eur Champ win and FA cup win) and contending for PL, so why would he leave? Sorry that you have had enough (Col Mustard), but I agree you should go support another team (if you don’t already). Goodbye.
    Hleb was not offered more as he was not worth the money he wanted. Same with Flamini – he was/is not worth 140k a week. Nasri and Denilson are doing just fine in their positions (a couple of bright spots in an inconsistent season – and we are only half way after all).

  • don't believe the hype

    That’s so true Tony – people only remember the highs of the past, like heavily edited highlights. Even the greatest Arsenal teams of the past had to have their growing pains and their lows before they achieved the highs we all love and remember.

    As for Hleb and Flamini, the latter had previous, so his defection should not have come as a surprise. As for the former, his comments about trying to entice Cesc to come to Barca says it all. You never hear TH talking like that because he has too much respect for the club that gave him the platform to make his name.

    Colonel Mustard you should show some respect for Arsene. He is not ‘experimenting’. His genius has enabled us to remain competitive while we had to tighten our belts in order to move to the new stadium, even in the face of megabucks Chelski and clubs willing to risk it all with barely manageable debt. The quality is there, but maybe not showing itself as quickly as Arsene hoped. As for 4 years, that is nothing ask Liverpool how long they have waited to be in the position they are in? Ask Chelski how long it took before they won the league – ask those teams who last won the league when it was in black & white? You have been spoiled by the very man you are slating, which is why you have the expectations you now have. Do you really believe there is someone out there who could do better with the resources available? What is the point of winning something now, if the cost is the long-term future of the club?

  • MoMONEY

    Wenger runs a club the way it is supposed to be run… The people calling for his head are IMO arrogant to feel they know enough about the club to make decisions… Wenger knows what he is doing and has proven it. Period. If you are frustrated by his transfer policy go play Football manager, but running a real team in the modern world is done by people who have the credentials. Wenger has them and more and will prove it very soon. I feel like the board supports him fully and that is good news but the recent fallout with member makes me think if his position is part of the argument… I hope Wenger stays as long as possible…. Call me blind, ignorant, or a follower but I know a good leader when I see it- and Wenger is the best manager around…

  • Colonel Mustard

    jbh it nearly 2009 mate…..read my comment again idiot…who ever goes and supports other team…I support Arsenal and not Wegner persistence with below standard players. So jump off the cliff with the rest of the lemmings. Last season on the verge of doing it Wegner goes and sabotages it again. At the start of the season we ALL said the buck would stop with him because of stubborness not to strenghten. So take it like a man. He has got it wrong. admit it. time to bring in quality players.

  • Ole Gunner

    Colonel Mustard,

    I had forgotten that it was your own hard work that took us to the “verge of doing it”, and that dirty interloper, Wenger came from nowhere and ruined it all.

    Arsenal fans are living in cloud cuckoo land thinking they know better than this amazing manager. It’s the most depraved kind of delusion.