I wrote about the lack of respect being shown to Arsène Wenger here. You’d have to be living under a rock on Mars not to have noticed that it has reached a new level in recent weeks.
I have received emails accusing Wenger of “turning our club into a joke” (amongst many other accusations). Here is my response…
As a wise person put it… (hat tip to @GizaGooner)
Alex Ferguson left United at a time they needed him in order to save his reputation.
Arsène Wenger stayed at Arsenal at a time we needed him to save the Club’s reputation at the expense of his own.
He could have left in 2006 or at any time afterwards – there was no shortage of offers – made a huge amount of money doing the circuit of Europe’s top clubs or managing France, winning Champions Leagues etc like a Hiddink, a Capello, a Mourinho or a Guardiola.
He knew that Arsenal would go through a tough 5-10 years while the stadium was paid for.
He knew that we would not be able to compete in the transfer market or in terms of wages with clubs with no financial restrictions such as Man Utd, Chelsea, Barca, Real, Bayern and, more recently, Man City and PSG).
He knew that it was likely that this meant he would have to sell his best players every year etc.
But he didn’t go. He stayed.
Because he had played a massive part in pushing the Club to build the new stadium and training ground and he wanted to see it through.
And despite all the limitations placed upon him, he has kept us competitive at the top level, not only domestically but also in Europe.
Every single season.
No blips, no Chelsea-style implosions. No Liverpool-style bad seasons. Not one Man Utd-style slumming it in the Europa League.
Every single year.
It’s just a crying shame that so many of the club’s “fans” fail to appreciate what he has done for our Club and will jeer the greatest manager in our history out of the door.
As @GarethCMurray pointed out on this week’s Arsenal Autopsy, when Chelsea were battling relegation this season, the fans backed Mourinho to the hilt, singing his name at every match. And he’s a colossal cunt (sorry kids, but he is).
George Graham was a brown-envelope-pocketing cheat who presided over “boring boring Arsenal”, and left us to manage them, having dragged our proud reputation through the mud.
Arsène Wenger has never been anything but polite (despite enormous provocation), never done anything whatsoever that could call into question the probity, honesty or class of our great Club. And yet…
If you go to White Hart Lane, Anfield, City of Manchester, Goodison etc – even St James’s Park – you will hear passionate fans getting behind their teams during matches, pushing them to do their best for the Club, despite their often seriously massive failings on the pitch.
As I’m sure some of you did, dear readers, I went to Highbury regularly in the 80s when Arsenal were absolutely awful, and often finished not only below Sp*rs, but mid-table. But the atmosphere was fantastic. Just as good as at all those other grounds. The surge of the North Bank etc. No longer.
Now, all you hear at the Emirates is groans when our team don’t quite play to their potential. Boos at the final whistle, despite the fact we’re still in the race for the fucking Premier League title for fuck’s sake. People shouting “Fuck off Wenger” and holding up banners telling him so.
It shames me that no longer can I proudly say that Arsenal fans (most of the away fans excepted, who are still fantastic) are the best in the World.
It is the spoilt, entitled whingers who call themselves Arsenal fans that are truly the ones who are ruining the reputation of my beloved Arsenal.
You should be ashamed of yourselves, but I know you won’t be, so I’ll be ashamed of you instead.
Labenal ( @GoonerEll)