By Walter Broeckx
So after the protest during the WBA match there will be another protest during the Norwich match. If this continues like this Arsenal fans will not be known as Arsenal supporters but Arsenal protesters.
Now I am all for free speech and all for having the right to express ones opinion. But what I don’t get is that supporters who claim to support a football club go out with the aim to purposely harm that team.
Because that is what they are trying to do or what the result of their protest might bring. It will only add more to the bad or sometimes toxic atmosphere at the Emirates.
And that when we have 9 points still to play for. Nine points that could make the difference between finishing second or 6th. So why do fans go out and try to undermine a team that still has some business to do?
Now of course you might say that now that the title is gone it is irrelevant to finish in the top 4. But let us just imagine that because of the toxic atmosphere in this match we lose against a team fighting for survival and whose supporters will do all they can to build up on our lack of support and show their support for their team that is facing difficult times. Maybe we could learn a lesson from them?
But going back to finishing outside or inside the top 4. The so called 4th placed trophy.
So just imagine the team losing their balance because of the protests and losing. That could result in us falling out of the top 4. So will the protesters be happy when this happens? Ah, it might drive Wenger out. Well even if this happened (finishing outside the top 4) I doubt that Kroenke will fire Wenger. So your protest might result in Arsenal falling outside the top 4 but Wenger still being in charge next season. So a big zero as result but in fact then the protest will have made things worse.
Because if you look around a bit you will have noticed that big players only want to come to teams who play CL. So us falling outside the top 4 could mean that top players will change their destination and not come to us.
So let us go for the possibility that we fall out of the top 4 and Wenger is fired. Then what? Yeah, we won you might say…. But this will also mean that those top players (many of whom attracted by Wenger) will not come.
So we will have a new manager with a big handicap to start his Arsenal career. And this might lead to more unrest next season as the new manager will maybe not be able to make the club better. So more protests as then we might face a real mid-table season and no prospect of seeing any European football even the season after.
The next manager will always face a difficult task when replacing a long standing manager. Look at United where this still is a big problem and they even have to turn to the toxic one and hope for improvement. Yes we might appoint the goose who lays the golden eggs as the next Arsenal manager but that manager will still have to battle with the money machines of Manchester and Chelsea.
And still the club will have to work within a budget and with restrictions compared with those teams. Be it Wenger or anyone else. It is not because when Wenger is gone our club will start to spend like City or Chelsea. Simply because our club isn’t structured that way.
So at the end of the day nothing will change. Unless you drive Kroenke out and replace him with a rich sheikh who will make us Chelsea V3.0 of City 2.0. Are we really prepared to sell our soul to the devil? And even if this would happen we still would be just one of the rich man’s playthings. And we still would have to overcome them.
So all that protesting might lead to Arsenal falling down in the short and long run.
As for me I have always looked at myself as a supporter. In good and bad days. I still find these days good days to support my team. It would be much worse to be in the shoes of Norwich supporters these days. Or Newcastle or Sunderland. And as a supporter I only want what is best for my team.
If they cannot finish first any more, then I want to support them to try to finish second. And if that isn’t possible I want to support them to finish 3rd. In short I can’t find any excuse to undermine my own team by protesting at a match and undermine their confidence and in that way help the opposition.
Of course you have the right to protest. But not when our players need you. I suggest that you protest in other ways. Why don’t you organise a letter protest. Write in, in numbers every day to get those out that you want out. Bombard the club with thousands of letters each day. Then the club will get your message but the players will not be undermined!
And please forget about now setting a step back and then move forward when Kroenke / Wenger / whoever is out. Because it is a slippery slope once you start slipping down. Plenty of examples to see that. And once you have started to push our club on that slippery slope there might be no way of stopping it slipping completely. Plenty of examples to see that also.
If you really are a supporter of Arsenal you cannot but wish them to win each and every match. That is what I wish for Arsenal. And if you don’t… then I can’t really call you a supporter.
Nine points to play for. Do you want to keep the fundamentals of this club or do you want to see it destroyed maybe completely? For me there is only one answer: I want my club to win. Today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. And to do this I will do all I can to help the players out on the pitch. And by shouting in protest at them (because that is how it will feel to them) you will not help them and our club forward.
Maybe it is time to change the way of protest in a way that in the end you might see change, but without harming the players and the future of our club.
On this day in the 60s
- 29 April 1961: Everton 4 Arsenal 1. David Herd’s last game. He moved to Manchester United with whom he won the FA Cup, the championship twice and the European Cup although not playing in the final. The game made it 12 goals conceded in the last three and two wins in the final 12 games. Arsenal finish 11th.
- 29 April 1969: Although Bertie Mee’s third season ended Everton 1 Arsenal 0, Arsenal finish 4th, the club’s highest place in 10 years.