The debate can wait. There is a league to win
By Ian Trevett
Sometimes, when my judgement for good taste fails me, I will listen to 606 or TalkSport while I’m driving. The best bits are when you get a Spurs, United, Chelsea or Liverpool fan ranting about how their manager has lost the plot and slagging off one of their under-performing players. It never fails to bring a smile to my face.
On the other hand, my heart sinks when I hear a gooner on the radio, laying into the team/players/manager. Doesn’t he realise that he is now making a Spurs fan very, very happy?
Of course, the talk-ins have an agenda. They want anger or controversy and any restrained, rational contributions are censured out of sight. (Gooner: ‘Hello, I am an Arsenal fan and I believe that the manager is doing a good job for the club.’ TalkSport receptionist: ‘Ok, I’ll put you through to Alan Brazil’ Click. Sound of phone going dead.)
There is a big debate to be had. I want Wenger to stay and lead us to the success that I am certain he will deliver. Not everyone feels the same way. But now is not the time.
We are getting slaughtered everywhere: TV, radio, internet, newspapers. Wenger has a desperately hard job in building up this team for the last games of the season. Our job is to help him – whether you want him here next year or not.
It isn’t a case of supporting him out of blind loyalty – we still have an excellent chance of winning the league – a fact that seems to have escaped many gooners. The defeatist attitude of many is astounding. I have seen so many posts saying we won’t win the league, well certainly not with that sort of attitude. I understand the anger, but hold it for now.
As I have already posted, we have been here before. Thierry Henry saved our season in 2004 with 15 minutes of magic. We lost to a brutal United (with the usual nasty, cynical Scholes fouls) in the FA Cup semi-final, then a devastating loss to Chelsea in the Champions League. A few days later the league campaign looked like it was about to implode as well. Losing at home to Liverpool, Highbury was like a morgue. No atmosphere and a despaired resignation among the fans. Thierry wasn’t having any of that and took on the Scousers on his own. Everyone remembers the joy and pride of 2004, but a week of hell almost killed it off completely. We could do with a similar spark of genius from Robin or Sami, but a bit of support wouldn’t do any harm.
Can we do it? If we can scrape any kind of win at West Brom, then definitely yes. If United beat Marseille, they will have to play two Champions League games in a week in April, plus a massive semi final against City at Wembley. If they make it to the semis of the Champions League, our league game will be bang in the middles of two huge European games.
I know many will dismiss my support of Wenger as being blinkered and I will happily debate this with anyone. But not now. We have a big game on Saturday. The team is ravaged with injuries and devoid of confidence. Don’t make it worse. You’ll only make a Spurs fan happy.
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If you think things are up and down now, try the world in 1910, when Arsenal went bust and then arose from the ashes to form the modern club. Making the Arsenal. Details here.
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