By Walter Broeckx
When Tony started this blog he was doing it mostly because he had enough of the stream of negativity that surrounded the blogosphere around Arsenal and Arsène Wenger. He wanted to balance it a bit with this blog that since then has supported Wenger in what he has been doing for this club.
This blog has shown the problems we faced when building the Emirates, when moving to the Emirates, when adapting to the Emirates. And it also has highlighted that we had to do this on our own. No rich American owners who promised a lot but most of all delivered a lot of debt on some of their clubs. Or rich Russians who got the chequebook out and paid lots of money for all the superstars of the moment in order to win the Champions League. In which they have failed thus far. Or Arab millionaires who wave around their money as if it is monopoly money and also buying all the money greedy players on this planet that don’t give a thing about the colour they are playing in as long as they get the most money each week. Oh and even with spending all that money even Manchester Sheiky couldn’t qualify for the Champions League.
On this site most of the writers AND COMMENTERS saw the bigger picture of things. And we should be happy about the fact that many Arsenal fans are also able to see this bigger picture of things. Maybe it is time to say thanks to all of you who comment with such well thought replies to what we are trying to say.
How ever we cannot be blind for the fact that there are other people on the internet. People who want us to win now. For the moment I am not going to call them fans from other teams who just are trying to bring unrest to our fans. I am willing to believe that they are real Arsenal fans but that they are people who are impatient and want us to win a trophy today and so I will call them the impatient fans. They disagree with the youth project which in their eyes has failed for 5 years now. A youth project that is only starting to bear its fruits if you look at the fact that players like Wilshere and Gibbs look to have made the needed step up. Players like JET, Frimpong who are very close to do the same. But for those impatient fans it doesn’t go fast enough.
Those fans want us to buy players without trying to give that fine young prospect the chance of becoming a better player. If we would have let them have it their way we would have sold Song long time ago. Or even have given him away to any team that would take him. Now those people are asking, impatiently: “when will Song be back”. If we would have bought Melo like they had insisted we would have been first in the red cards table maybe last season and we never would have seen how Song developed in to a very important player and possible one of the best defensive midfielders in the coming seasons.
Many of the impatient fans have been asking Wenger to be sacked. They blame him for everything that went wrong. I think we all know what those impatient fans have been saying the last years: “he has lost it, he knows nothing, he is filling his pockets, blah, blah and more blah”. You can even read it here on this blog every now and then. They all hoped that the board would throw him out or that they wouldn’t give him a new contract.
Since Saturday however there is no doubt anymore. Arsène Wenger will be our manager for at least another 4 years. The board has underlined the fact that they are on the same wavelength as our manager and want the approach that we have started many years back when they knew we were facing a difficult time ahead will be continued.
This approach is based upon building our own superstars from kids age up and only adding to the squad when needed and nothing could be found in our own youth to fill up the gap. Wenger’s wet dream some have called it but it turns out to be the wet dream of the board also.
So here we have it in the open and clear for all who want to see it. This is not just a solo project from our manager. No the board is fully supporting it and want it to continue. Whatever the thoughts might have been in the past, this is now the Arsenal way. This is our way. And this will not be liked by the impatient fans.
At times we have been called AKB (Arsène knows best)-people. They have said to us that we only support the manager in person and what would we do if the manager would walk away? What would we do? Still support the club or follow the manager to wherever he goes? They threw it at us and wanted us to look like bad Arsenal supporters. We didn’t support the club, we supported the manager was their opinion. They made it look as if we are not real supporters of the club. They were the only true fans of the club and we were just Arsène Wenger fans.
But now it seems that the manager and the board of our club support each other and have the same goal and the same approach to reach that goal. In fact it is now clear to see that those who have been supportive to Wenger are the one that support the long term vision of the club, not just the vision of the manager. By offering him a new contract and by Wenger signing it they have told the fans: you can say what you want, you can think what you want, but this is the road we have taken en the road we will follow together. In fact it looks like that the way to look at things this site has always taken, is about the same way that the board is looking at things. And as the board (like it or not) is the owner of Arsenal and it is the board that is deciding on the direction of the club, it looks that we on here are the real followers of the club. And it seems that we are not “just Wenger fans” as they have accused us.
So for those impatient fans it must not have been a pleasant news that Arsène Wenger signed an extension to his contract. And then the questions comes up: What will they do? Will they still support the club now knowing the way it is going? Will they walk away now it is clear that the club is going further in this road? Or will someone of them buy all the shares, impatient as he/she is and do it in another way?
I think this is a time in the history of our club that some fans will have to think about being a supporter or not. Are they supporters of Arsenal with all what it represents and for the moment this is the Wenger + board approach, or are they Arsenal fans who only think about winning things and if possible today. A real supporter would choose for staying a supporter and supporting the club and the players. Someone who only want to win things will have other options if he wants to.
But to answer the question they have been throwing at me in the past: I would have stayed an Arsenal fan if Wenger would leave us. I have been an Arsenal fan since long before Wenger came along. I admit, I became also a Wenger fan for what he has brought us and for the way he has kept us at the top in those difficult years. But no matter what if Wenger leaves I will stay an Arsenal fan. So the question is, will the impatient fans stay Arsenal supporters if Wenger stays? And he does stay.
So time to choose: support the club and support the players and the road we are going, like it or not. Or you could leave and call it a day. But don’t complain if at the end of this decade or so the Arsenal supporters who have supported not only the club but also the board and the manager appear to have chosen the right path. Let’s do it our way, The Arsenal Way! And let us show some pride because we have the courage to choose another way. It takes courage and a brave man to go on new paths.
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