Stone Cold Friday: When Dark Forces Change The Tide
Right, it’s Friday, I’m late and he’s Darius…
Who would have thought that a young 25 year old lady would etch her place in football history and folklore? For when she left home for work last weekend, she had no idea she was about to bring down a juggernaut.
Imagine the irony when the dark forces of the footballing establishment accuse other mysterious dark forces of plotting their downfall. That’s what happens when you get fat, dumb and happy for you’ve been shovelling in a narcissistic cesspit of self gratified entitlement; it’s hard to see the wood from the trees.
It’s an environment that has cemented a misguided self-righteousness about the power certain individuals assumed within a Neolithic establishment; an old school footballing culture that has a re-entry problem into a civilized 21st century.
And yet there is a profound lesson from the firestorm that has just engulfed the two relics that are Richard Keys and Andy Gray.
The establishment should be afraid, and very afraid at that. History will teach us that revolutions are violent, and I suggest that we are in the midst of a generational revolution. Metaphorically, the exit strategy offered by Sky couldn’t have been more violent for the protagonists.
It’s a revolution that the Arsenal has been part and parcel of; yet the role which Arsenal has played for the best part of a decade has eluded many who fail to grasp the bigger picture. Unsurprisingly, it will take years for Arsenal in general and Arsène Wenger in particular to get the due recognition and respect for blazing a trail that will change the way football is played and managed around the world.
Immeasurable Virtues that are easily forgotten include the audacious ambition of the club; the courage of the manager and the key people within the club to develop a vision and stick to it sometimes in the face of adversity; and the belief in an ethos and style of entertaining football.
Yet in this arduous journey, Arsenal has had to fight the might of an establishment hell bent on self preservation. An establishment that has permeated the psyche of a section of Arsenal supporters and made them believe that there is absolutely no place for the revolution that the club is trying to inflict on the footballing landscape.
We are told that football is all about short-termism; all about the trophies; all about the glory; and to hell with anyone else who questions whether such an approach is viable, let alone affordable.
Players are judged by how expensive they are as opposed to their value on the pitch and to the collective of the team. Transfer fees are inflated in defiance of the laws of economics and common sense; and a style and brand of agricultural football is promoted as an alternative to entertainment.
Arsenal is fortunate in that we have had the leaders who have not shirked from the responsibility of doing what is right for the club; or not succumbing to the so called dark forces and giving up its vision. Building a team based on a steadfast youth development policy, moving home to one of the best stadiums in the world, setting the bench mark for how clubs should be managed financially for long term stability, and consistently challenging in the top echelons of the game; are all the more remarkable if you think about it.
“But we haven’t won diddly squat for 6 years”, the shouting rabble remonstrate with arms flung out in exasperation.
As the Grand Oral Disseminator so eloquently put it a couple of days ago – Arsenal are 90 minutes away from winning a trophy, yet the media and pundits who have created an art form by reminding Gooners about our trophy drought at available opportunity choose to remain silent. Actually, they spoke more about United mugging Blackpool off 3 points at the seaside.
The issue isn’t really that we haven’t won a trophy in 6 years – that’s a spent story. The issue is that the inevitability of Arsenal winning a trophy is plain to see and it makes for uncomfortable reading. It’s not going to happen by us turning up at Wembley and not performing; it’s going to be damn hard work, but this team will do it.
More importantly, it isn’t unfeasible that a first trophy will be the beginning of an era of dominance by this Arsenal team, and the icing on the cake of a club that is already very successful. The way Arsenal will have achieved this magnificent feat challenges the very core of how football is run and managed, and this is not something the establishment is prepared to contemplate.
But who would have contemplated a week ago that Sian Massey would shake the system to the core and put their noses out of joint, without breaking a sweat. All she did was go to work.
It’s also time for other dinosaurs to move on and make way for a new generation with new ideas, new expectations and more importantly free from the shackles of old school prejudices, clichés and tired arse analysis that have no place in modern football.
With the exit of Keys and Gray, their tails firmly in between their legs, there is an opportunity for a generational shift in football. Folks like Alan Hansen who hasn’t really recovered from his trauma against Arsenal 22 years ago should be given the long walk into footballing oblivion. The BBC remains criminally negligent for dereliction of duty to a licence fee paying public by subjecting viewers to the thoughts of a pundit who should be in a museum.
Arsenal has and will continue to play a key part in this – both on and off the pitch. It’s not an easy job, but someone has to do it. Let’s each make sure we do our part in carrying this magnificent team across that line.
Posted on January 28, 2011, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged Andy Gray, Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Richard Keys, Soccer. Bookmark the permalink. 187 Comments.