Arsene pressed by the Press – Hill-Wood attacks supporters

*Originally posted 9th April 2011

The Arsenal wall of silence has come crashing down and this morning we’ve been woken by the cacophony of what has almost been a trial of Arsene Wenger.
A transcript has been produced by the press of the questions put by them to the boss and the answers he gave as his defence.
I don’t think that the answers, to the questions, Arsene gave or the statements he made are going to galvanize the fans and put us all on a firm footing of complete backing and faith. I’m not going to suggest that it should…
I think it is for each fan to judge this themselves, to take into consideration what Wenger has said, the points that he is trying to make & the reason he defends both his team and his actions so vehemently.

I do not agee with the Daily Star headline – Wenger decalers war on fans – so I won’t link to it.

I don’t necessarily agree with everything he said but my thoughts are these –
I have considerable pride & gratitude for what has been achieved by the club and the manager especially perhaps since the move from our beloved Highbury.
We have all had to put our faith in the future, the future as Arsene has seen it. The problem is you cannot predict the future, you cannot make the future exactly what you want it to be and most importantly you cannot sell the same vision of the future again and again and again without producing it.  After a while people just stop buying into it.
It’s almost like a bad timeshare scheme – ‘Yes, I appreciate that the complex is being built to perfection and the money I have invested has gone on all the finest fixtures & fittings, but I would quite like to have my time in the sun each year as promised now please’.
I think that is where most fans are now – they want their time in the sun, to bask in the glory as was foretold.
So there has to be changes to the blueprint and the vision – those changes have to happen this summer. These are not major changes, there does not have to be a complete overhaul of the club just some minor tweaks and adjustments here and there.
I think we all know what they are and I think that Wenger does too – he has faith, strong faith, yes but I do not think it is blind faith.
A friend of mine said the other day that it doesn’t matter what Wenger does now, he is damned either way.
I think this is true but I’m backing Arsene Wenger, I still believe that he is the right man and the only man to be manager of Arsenal Football Club.
The words he used during his time with the written press yesterday prove to me what the job, players and most importantly the club means to him.
He spoke of fight, belief & even love – love for Arsenal.
Wenger knows what we want, he wants it too.
It’s true what he says, look at sides lower down the league and the admiration and praise they receive for their perceived success which in relation to our own relative achievements is far from where we want to see our club. Aren’t they?
The measure of the disappointments so far this season,as pointed out to the board via the Arsenal Supporters Trust, are hard to take. It is only a matter of weeks since the season still had so much to offer and now we have maybe at best an outside chance of winning the league.
It is considerably frustrating but is it reason enough to want to pull down everything that has got us to the level we are, even if that level isn’t quite where we want to be?
As I said there are issues that need to be addressed within the squad and maybe some issues with Wenger himself. I believe that he will do he’s best during the summer to address these issues and improve things.
Maybe I’m being naive and that won’t happen, maybe this time next year we’ll be in this position again and I’ll be trying to make the same defense of the club and maybe so too will Arsene Wenger – but I don’t see a better option out there for Arsenal Football Club.
The fight that Arsene talks about has to be produced, it has to be shown in every game from now until the end of the season.
That determination and fight has to be shown by us the fans as much as the players – they need our support. They need to know we believe that they can achieve, that they can bring us what we want, what we crave, what we need.
In the words of George Graham – We are second top not second bottom.
Maybe the situation wasn’t quite as bad as this one seems to be when George said that, but we went on to win the league that season.
The players didn’t give up, the manager didn’t give up and the fans didn’t give up.
We are supporters, it’s what we are there for – to support.
I think the press have been a little unfair with Wenger – this could have waited until the end of the season, this should have waited until the end of the season.
Who knows, the stick with which to beat him may be even bigger by then…

Whilst I have been writing this post our chairman Peter Hill-Wood has aspparently come out and called Arsenal fans criticism of the club ‘Stupid’. Hill-Wood has also threatened to limit the relationship that the Arsenal Supporters Trust has with the club.
I’ll follow this story closely today and report more on it tomorrow. But needless to say this is not going to help the current situation between club and fans at all.
Usmanov must be rubbing his hands in glee right now!

We play Blackpool tomorrow and the indications are that Cesc will be back in the side, Ramsey is back in the squad but Theo & Sagna are doubts, with the latter undergoing a scan on his knee yesterday.

Wenger also confirmed that Almunia will continue in goal – which for me is the right call.
He may have only just achieved it but the much derided Spaniard did keep a clean sheet last week. That surely has to be some kind of positive…
The only other news I have is that this is supposedly the new kit for next season.
A lot of the players were doing promotional shoots yesterday apparently and I guess we’ll have to wait and see if this is what they were wearing.
So here’s hoping that United drop points today and we give Blackpool a pasting tomorrow.
Up The Arsenal!

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