Arsene Wenger is the best for Arsenal.
I think this is the last of the articles contributed by the stand in team, and I would like to thank YW for extending the opportunity for all of us to pen a post or two, for it has been an interesting experience. Certainly, I think it gives an insight into the commitment of YW, who has been churning out a daily blog for at least the last 4 years or so.
This is the 3rd of my posts, and I wanted to set the record straight on something which can cause a lot of argument. Expectation. It is, I think, the basis of a lot of division amongst Arsenal fans, and blogs. There is a lot of miscommunication about expectation. There are those, amongst the more doomerish crowd, who believe that every pro Wenger fan thinks that we will win the title, we will win the champions league, and so they take great delight in pouring opprobrium on who they call the AKBs, when we fail to win a trophy, as has been the case in recent seasons.
As an AKB, let’s set the record straight. I do not expect to win a trophy, in the sense that, I pay for my season ticket and if they do not deliver I will forfeit it as it is not good enough etc. When the AKBs speak confidently about the team, like Frank last year, it is just about positive expectation in the form of a prediction. It is hyping up the team and saying we are better than Barcelona or whoever. Come on, we know we are one of the best teams in the world !
However, the doomer crowd, it seems, expects that we should win the champions league or the premiership as in a demand. Anything less is a failure. There are slightly more moderate doomers, perhaps less expectant, who want, “a trophy” – even if it is the Carling Cup.
But the AKBs do not “expect”, in the sense that it is a demand, the premiership or “Champions League”. I have long debated doomers on this subject, and I do not believe that I have ever received a credible reply from any of them, as to why we should “expect” to overhaul Barcelona, Manchester United or Chelsea, on our resources. There are some proffered answers, like, we have money and the board are not spending, or, Wenger is at fault because he has not spent. These answers try to suggest that we have the resources. But when one points out the sheer magnitude of the resources available at Man City or Chelsea, the doomer position is then that we should be buying players that are available for less money. Players are then suggested who were available once, for such and such a sum, and Wenger did not act. This is held up as an example of Wenger’s stubborness and lack of acumen in the transfer market. For me, arguing that we should be more efficient in the transfer market is highly ironic; it is an involuntary admission that Wenger’s philosophy is right, and incredibly, ignores Wenger’s record in the market anyway, which is pretty much unparalleled.
People do not like being cornered in arguments. So they wriggle. You cannot, it seems, argue that it is about resources. If you do, they argue that it is about philosophy – “Wenger doesn’t teach defence”. On the other hand, if it is not about resources, why then complain about the lack of funds from the board ? The doomers want to set the bar incredibly high, the premise is that we should at least win a trophy, if not the major 2 trophies. It doesn’t seem to matter who is in the firing line. There is no loyalty to the board, Wenger or the players – it’s the club that counts.
Whilst the loftiest of the doomer expectations are not quite being met, I will still believe that Wenger is the best for Arsenal. Not just because of the free flowing beautiful football, the stability of the club, the fantastic stadium, but because, ironically, he is the one who should be able to deliver what the doomers are demanding. He is managing to overachieve on a relatively small transfer budget. Yes, it is true that we do have a high wage bill, but it is also true that there is still a pool of players who are beyond our reach. For this reason it is wrong, and has always been wrong to suggest that we have underachieved. We have always overachieved. If one was to look up our net spend, one would not expect to see us so high in the domestic tables and made so much progress in the champions league. This is why Wenger should be lauded and not castigated in some quarters.
On the news front, the word today is that Sebastien Squillaci is due for a medical at arsenal. Let’s wish him luck with that and hope he will be a good acquisition for arsenal. There were also some rumours that Schwarzer failed a medical (this was on Talk Sport – so do we discount it ?!).