By Walter Broeckx
When does your club needs you most? Is it when they are winning the league or other things ? Or is it when they are struggling? That is a question that might have a different answer to any supporter. As is the notion of struggling. Because what is struggling?
Is struggling being 6th in the league? Or 16th? Being in 6th place in the league now is not where I want Arsenal to be. But for me this is not struggling. This is a bad season. One bad season after more than 20 seasons where I had much more joy than I had sorrow.
In fact Arsenal being 6th in the league (typing it does hurt my fingers and feelings a bit) but it is no more than we had coming. Not because of Wenger as some might say. No it is more the natural way things go with any football club. Unless you play in Germany and are Bayern. Or in Spain and are Real Madrid or Barcelona.
Each top team has had bad seasons over the last 10 years. I remember Man City despite their millions not making it in to the champions league. Since Manchester United last won their last PL title in 2013 they finished 7th the year after that. Chelsea won the title in 2014 and the next season they added a zero to that to finish in 10th place.
The fact that Liverpool finished 8th, 6th, 7th and 8th since 2010 with only one second place finish in between shows that blips are rather natural in fact.
They have happened to all those teams. Except to Arsenal so far. Till this season. Of course I am not really happy with that. But this was something that was going to happen one day or the other.
The thing is that in the last 20 seasons and more I have enjoyed Arsenal so much that I can take it. The period that has seen us on a high for more than 20 years was so great that maybe eating some humble pie from time to time is not that bad. It is bad of course but if you eat caviar each day then maybe a fat burger from a food stall outside the Emirates can fill you just as well.
Arsenal supporters have been eating caviar. Well it felt like caviar to me these past 20 years. And after a while eating caviar becomes boring. And so we demand other things. Or more. And more.
When Untold started 10 years ago in the season 2007-2008 it was as a counter blog for all the negativity already surrounding Arsenal. Something I couldn’t understand to be honest. And in the 10 years we have had all the abuse one can imagine and more telling us how bad things were. About how we witnessed the worst team in Arsenal’s history. And that we were blind to see how bad things were.
And most of the time I just enjoyed what our players did on the field. Of course we had bad matches. Like any other team has them. But the trick is to (or certainly was for me) focus on the good things. When we win I enjoy the win. No matter the opposition we have beaten. It’s only… fill in name… so we shouldn’t enjoy it. I don’t know how many times I have seen this written.
Enjoying your favourite football club is like how to enjoy live. I don’t always get what I want in live. I have faced obstacles on my path and on the path of the people I care for. Instead of stopping before the obstacle and bemoan our bad luck I have always tried to look at it differently. Yes this is a bad moment but things could be worse.
Don’t worry, there will be sunshine after rain. Is one of my favourite song lyrics. Because it tells us so much about life and also football. We lose 3 matches in a row. The end of the world is near for some. I think: we are getting closer to winning.
Of course I know not everybody can think like that. It has to be a bit in your character. Maybe I was lucky to be born that way. Or it was my parents bringing me up that way. I don’t know but I just am able to see the sun behind the clouds even on the darkest day.
And that is why even in the ‘so many years without a trophy’-years I was always able to enjoy Arsenal and the football we played. At the start of each season I want us to win every match. I know this is unrealistic but I still hope we manage to do this. But I don’t go overboard when we lose our first match. Because I know to make the difference between what I would love to happen (dreams) and the reality of the world. And that reality tells me that Arsenal is a different team to other teams.
So yes this might be the worst season under Wenger so far. The first season I feel where things could have gone better. But if the man has let me down for the first time in such a long period I really don’t feel the need to ask his head on a platter.
The only need I feel is to get behind the lads and the manager. And to support them and wish they can still turn this season in to a special season. But if they don’t it will be just the worst season under Wenger. Un accident de parcours one could say. Just as most other top clubs have had over the years. And if finishing sixt is the worst season ever for Arsenal… then just be glad about it. Almost 100 years of top flight football… only Arsenal!
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