Arsenal: The summer that was meant to be different

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People always say the same thing about their clubs, and now it’s our turn. “There will still be an Arsenal after Wenger.”

Those who have been a proud part of the ‘Wenger out’ brigade find it particularly easy to utter such a phrase. It also seems to come easier to those older fans that have known many managers over the years.

So, it’s easy for some to say, but for others it’s a little more difficult to come to terms with.

Arsène Wenger has been in charge of Arsenal since I was four, so I don’t know life beyond Wenger. It almost feels as if Arsène is Arsenal.

I have always trusted in Wenger and never questioned his position as Arsenal manager. I was only young when we were a dominant force in English football, watching Arsenal win trophies and cup doubles.

At that age you don’t look at football analytically, it’s more magical, more of a fantasy. Therefore I, like many other fans, probably have a rose tinted memory of Arsenal, and Wenger, as the team and manager that were the best in the world.

It’s hard to let go of that connection to Arsène and admit to yourself that the man, who was once so powerful in football, bordering on genius, now isn’t up to the job. I don’t want to believe it, but it is getting harder to ignore the facts.

The last few years have been clouded with uncertainty with regards to what funds have been available for transfers, why players want to leave our club and who has been in control of summer dealings.

It had been assumed that where big money transfers and players contracts had been concerned, the board had tied Wenger’s hands. However, this summer, despite how ill advised it was, Gazidis stated that we now have the financial firepower to compete with the best.

What has followed is a painful, shambolic summer, in which not a single penny has been spent on transfers. We’ve missed out on top class talent in the form of Higuain, in order to go on a wild goose chase for Luis Suarez and after a terrible opening game of the season, we have injuries and suspension, which further hinder an already depleted squad. Not ideal.

Wenger’s response was to suggest the quality of the team, which lost to Bradford in the League Cup, should be recognised by Arsenal fans. He has also claimed in recent weeks that he can’t find any players who would improve our squad. Has he really lost it?

For me, and I hate to say it, this season is the decider. After our financial position had been made clear, we as fans should not have to hope to scrape fourth again.

Photo via Ronnie Macdonald -
Photo via Ronnie Macdonald –

Arsène Wenger is a legend, and regardless of what happens, should be remembered in the highest regard. I want him to prove me wrong this season and secure Champions League football and a trophy, but it’s hard to envisage.

Please Arsène, listen to the fans and sign some quality. The majority of us aren’t against you; we want to be successful again. We want to see you smile again.

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