By Tony Attwood
In the last two years of Arsene Wenger’s time at Arsenal there was a campaign by some supporters to get rid of him; a campaign amplified by the professional and amateur media to such a degree that it became the norm – the daily news story.
There was an assumption among many of the writers and broadcasters that this departure would result in a rapid improvement in Arsenal’s playing style and position in the league.
In the past year with Uno Emery at Arsenal there has been a campaign by some…. well we can just repeat the first paragraph of this piece because the situation is the same. Get rid of Emery – the daily news story.
But what I don’t understand is why people think that when their strategy failed (in their eyes) last time, we should do exactly the same thing again. And then presumably again.
Because the central problem is not getting rid of Mr Emery but of getting someone else to come to Arsenal. For potential candidates who are really excellent managers will take a look at the club, and realise that
a) There is a massive media campaign going on against Arsenal on an hourly basis which means the incoming manager would be under attack from day one.
b) There is a fan base that has turned against the team and now appear (at least to me) to be taking a “prove to me you are good and I will give you my support” attitude.
c) There is an ownership of Arsenal that world-wide is not renowned for investing in its “franchises” nor in getting them to win things. In fact with only one or two notable exceptions, Kronke clubs don’t win stuff. Why manage a club owned by people who don’t win things?
d) The fan base appears to want and expect a rapid improvement, but it is very unclear if the owners will allow the new manager to buy many players of if rapid improvement can be achieved in the face of this endless media attack on the club and its players.
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e) There are many people – a very large number of people in fact – who are making money out of pedalling the story of Arsenal as a failure. They also make up 97% of what they write or say (at least that is the percentage of transfer rumours that are untrue each summer). This is what they do. They are hardly going to stop now.
And above everything else, the managers who might come to Arsenal will be looking at the media and reading things like this:
And if that is not enough to convince any decent manager not to touch Arsenal with a barge pole then a few more, released in a ten minute period this morning should do the trick…
- ‘Best news in a while’, ‘He’s leaving in Jan’ – These Arsenal fans delighted with Emery decision (
- Paul Merson: Arsenal should be ‘breaking the bank’ to appoint 46-year-old (
- This should be his last game for Arsenal’: Some fans slam Arsenal star after Vitoria draw (
“Please don’t go” – these Arsenal fans react after learning player has agreement to leave in potential big-money deal (
- ‘Xhaka’s time at Arsenal is over’ – Fan rant will see Swiss star sold, says Groves (
Of course the problems then have knock on effects as with the Star writing “Shkodran Mustafi ‘cupped ear’ celebration shows Arsenal stars are sick of moaning fans.”
So we have the problem. Any manager good enough to take Arsenal back to trophy winning mode or a top four position (something that Mr Wenger delivered regularly for 20 odd years but was denounced for because top four is not a trophy and the FA Cup was not the league title) will be looking at that and think, “no I don’t fancy working alongside that lot.”
The power is with the media and the bloggers who have decided that knocking Arsenal is good for business and by and large that is not a very helpful situation.