It is no longer enough to have beautiful football, we want to win

May 05, 2016 10:13

Usually the Emirates stadium is filled to the brim with eager fans lapping up the Arsenal football. But last Thursday night, large portions of the stands were left vacant, season-ticket holders opting to stay in rather than watching the 2-0 victory.

It could just be the inconvenience of a Thursday night kick-off, but I think that there is a deeper reason for the sparsely populated stands.

The familiar placards reading 'Time for a change: Arsenal FC, not Arsene FC' were out in force again. Arsenal fans are disillusioned. Under Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool fans once showed this same sense of resignation. I fear that we’re sinking deeper into a similar hole of mediocrity. To paraphrase the advert, we're good, but not quite Carling. We don't have that spark that ignites Leicester, or the hunger and desire that Jurgen Klopp has brought to Liverpool. It is no longer enough to have beautiful football, we want to win the Premier League.

The Arsene Wenger era seems to be coming to a grinding halt. The short-lived euphoria of two consecutive FA Cup victories put a handsome gloss on the recent years of failures. Now that the joy has subsided, it feels like we have woken from a dream and have to face the harsh reality.

I still maintain that Wenger should have retired when he won the FA Cup, on either occasion. But in interviews he has said that he cannot imagine life without Arsenal. That's the problem. The board cannot imagine life without Arsene either. They are too scared to wander into the unknown, to enter, as Shakespeare wrote, that 'undiscover'd country from where no traveller returns'. They prefer the security of Arsene Wenger.

But the ‘Wenger Out’ camp demands immediate change and highlights the fact that Stan Kroenke and fellow shareholders are running the club like a business, rather than a club for the fans. They're right, but their demands cannot be fulfilled in the blink of an eye. They think that if Wenger is given the chop, a Jurgen Klopp or Diego Simeone will stroll in and take Arsenal to the Premier League success that they have always deserved. It is not quite so simple.

If Wenger leaves, we potentially face many years of uncertainty and failure. If that's a risk you're willing to take, then I admire your courage. But if you're more one for safety and occasional success, then you have every right to support Wenger.

It's all starting to sound like the Brexit debate. Maybe Arsenal should hold a referendum.

Joshua Korber Hoffman is a 15 year-old football fanatic and Arsenal supporter. He writes a football blog called The Young Gun, in which his love for writing and the beautiful game intersect.

May 05, 2016 10:13

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