If Criticism Is A Joke, Why’s No-one Laughing?
You have no idea how strong the urge to title this post with a Dexy’s moment was, “Jackie Wilshere Says”. In my mind’s eye, the football lyrics are already forming and it would require deepest apologies to Kevin Rowland for destroying Dexy’s last decent moment. Another day perhaps.
On a day when Davor Suker took his first tentative steps into the Arsenal Hall of Infamy, sitting alongside such luminaries as David Hillier in an honour guard toward Peter Storey, The Sun took up FourFourTwo’s novel approach to assessing the wealth of the Premier League. Their methodology is bizarre in taking the purchase price plus spend on transfers and wages, dividing it by the number of points since the change in ownership. Arsenal’s works out at about £2.5m per point, a mere snippet against Liverpool’s £7.5m.
According to the table, Manchester City have spent £793m on transfers and wages since petrodollars arrived in the North West. Even with their prolific spending, that seems to be underestimating matters. It is hard to see what the table is trying to prove other than the depths to which the quality of some squads had dropped and the amount of money required to repair the damage. Oh…Stan Kroenke, meanwhile, is not ‘regarded as the biggest shareholder at the Emirates‘; he is. But he didn’t take his majority shareholding in 2007.
All this is a sideshow. The main attraction has been the focus on Jack Wilshere‘s comments about his future and the Arsenal manager. Wenger has no friends in the press, the club even fewer. Wilshere nailed the underlying theme behind this unrelenting and piercing criticism,
We do get a harder time from the critics than most teams but we haven’t won anything for six years and that’s not good enough for Arsenal
Which means failure is easy for the feeble-minded to prey upon, to create sales and attention for themselves. A shame that they do not like the same intensity applied to scrutiny of their words. Print media is not at its zenith and seems incapable of understanding its own part in the medium’s decline. With the prominence now given to their own websites and the columns therein, you would hope that the standards would improve. They have not. Analysis is being replaced by opinions, views devoid of intellectual merit and mistaking the need for vituperation in controvesy. There is no need for that or hypocrisy; provocative thought can be provided without sensationalism.
Wilshere’s intolerance of the critics is barely disguised by his contempt,
It is harsh, though, especially on the boss. He has been there for 15 years and been great for Arsenal. The criticism Arsene gets is just a joke.
There is an element of deja vu with this. Wind back several years and these are the words that could have been uttered by Cesc Fabregas, right down to the intensity. Even down to the loyalty. With Wilshere there is perhaps more emotion attached to the loyalty, barely leaving the doorstep to join Arsenal before the end of his first decade on this planet. The bonds he speaks of with the rest of the squad echo the friendships bound between Fabregas, Flamini and their circle, a group that slowly disintegrated,
I really am happy at Arsenal at the minute. Obviously I want to win things [but] I want to do it with Arsenal. I have been at Arsenal since I was nine and I have grown to love the club. There are players there who have been there as long as me and I think we are starting to build something special there with the likes of Emmanuel Frimpong and players I have seen in the youth teams coming through.
In a couple of years, they’ll be big players for us.
I hope that this generation delivers. There are echoes of the England national team in the Arsenal setup. The squad that has just broken up was the Golden Generation. It never materialised in its entirety, glimpses but never the full view. This time, with time, perhaps it will be different. Perhaps not, perhaps there is more turmoil to come. Perhaps, maybe’s. No guarantees and nothing certain. That is football and I find it barely credible that people believe nothing is happening to change matters.
It is inconceivable that the manager, players, coaching staff and everyone is not working their hardest to repair the damaging start to the season. We are at an early stage although in the next five to ten games, the season’s die will be firmly cast. The upcoming run of fixtures are, on paper, eminently winnable. It is the sort of run that can lead to confidence being built or destroyed. Whilst this is happening, we need to get back to supporting the team. Not following, not being fans, adhering to the dictionary definition of the word supporting,
To keep from weakening or failing; strengthen