That’s what the fans were loudly proclaiming last year. There were banners at Emirates Stadium. Hell, there’s a Facebook page for that hallowed chant… which is now no doubt destined for the scrap heap of Facebook pages.
Robin van Persie was greatly revered by the Arsenal faithful, for all of one magnificent year in which he produced his best football. The other seven odd years were average and injury-plagued. But last year was special. Did it make up for all those other years? The jury’s out on that.
But now he’s gone! Like so many other promising players before him in recent years. Why? One can’t help feeling that the ego’s of football players inflate in direct proportion to their popularity. Perhaps the fans are to blame for treating them like demigods.
Club loyalty plays second fiddle to personal ambition. Perhaps it’s just the lure of easy money. Certainly, 200 000 quid a week can buy a few Batmobiles and a some Harley’s besides. Is anyone capable of resisting?
And then, perhaps it’s a good thing he’s gone. An unhappy player does the team no good, as Cesc Fabregas proved a few years ago. Besides, the £24m due from Manchester United for van Persie, almost wipes out the cost of bringing in Podolski, Giroud and Cazorla, who by one friendly pre-season performance alone, look like the real deal.
Opening day of the English Premiership…and Arsenal kicked off the new season against Newcastle, much like they finished the last season – with a whimper.
The pleasure I once used to feel watching the Gunners on the field, has turned into anguish and even disgust, over the last few months. What has happened to the team, the Manager?
Wenger looks increasingly bewildered at the poor performances; temper tantrums in the technical area have replaced the euphoria we got used to seeing on his face. The team doesn’t look happy to be playing football – the lacklustre performance, the dejected looks, dropped shoulders, shouts out that they would rather be elsewhere.
In the weeks leading up to the opening game, the fans were promised the arrival of someone of “real quality.” Against Newcastle yesterday, the someone of “real quality” was left to warm the bench. What is going on?
Why haven’t the transfers of Fabregas and Nasri been finalised yet? It’s obvious these ungrateful shites don’t want to be part of the team; there continued presence can only be disruptive to those players who actually still have the club in their hearts.
The income could have been used already to attract real quality and experience to the club; instead Wenger continues to plunder kindergartens. Why not just convert the entire club into a training academy? Seems that’s all they’ve been good at for the last few years.
The fans have been rather patient and the trust in Wenger is still largely intact. However growing discontent begins to swell. How much longer will the fans put up with what appears to be the club’s slide into another mid-table wannabe.
On Resurrection Sunday, Arsenal’s title hopes for the season finally died.
Instead of ascending to greater heights, the spirit of this team appeared to be conclusively crushed at Bolton yesterday; a season of agony for the team, the Manager and supporters brought mercifully to an end.
Without a doubt there were moments of utter awesomeness during the season, but there were far too many moments of pitiful football in between. Arsene Wenger has magnanimously accepted blame for a ruined season, but some of the players need to shoulder much of that responsibility too.
There is much talent in this side, but unfortunately there is a much apathy too. While Wenger took every opportunity to remind us that his players had a great deal of belief, it should now be clear to him and those players that belief alone does not win games. You need to actually get off your ass and put in some hard graft – most times 100% is just not good enough. And many of his players failed to deliver that extra bit that is required to maintain a winning consistency. Mental attitude should of necessity be partnered by a physical aptitude; and this they failed to achieve.
There’s still a few games left, but it’s time to look to the new season.
As an ardent supporter, I’ve no wish to go through another season sitting on the edge of my seat wondering who’s going to screw up next. Wenger has little option but to clean out the cupboard and bring in some new players, preferably with noteworthy experience. He also has the tough task of convincing a core nucleus of his current players to stay a little while longer.
Whether Fabregas remains the captain, is another matter that needs sorting out. Personally I would like to see his body join his mind which is already in Spain. The team needs a captain who is focussed on the team, not on his personal fantasies.