FTK Blog: All we now have left is our dignity…

Before I begin this blog, I had better get rid of those of you who will disagree savagely with my words, So please do not read further if you are one of those who are unable to accept that Arsene Wenger is capable of making mistakes under ANY circumstances. Commonly known as fanatical AKBs (Arsene Knows Best). Equally do not read this blog if you are sick and tired of Arsene Wenger and wish that he would either leave the club now or get the sack. Commonly known as the WHA brigade (We hate Arsene). The problem with trying to reason with these two extreme ends of opinion, is that the debates become increasingly irrational and facts and reality are the main casualties. Yes I can sympathise with those that say Arsene Wenger has to look in the mirror and stop wringing his hands and stop claiming not to know why his selected team played so poorly, for he is the manager who is paid to motivate his players to perform and select the right individuals. Equally I can express disappointment that he has chosen not to buy new players in the January window, yet Arsene Wenger has his reasons. We have to conclude that the players he needed were just not available. So what is clear is that something is not right at the Arsenal at the moment. The fans, and I include myself as one of them are not having their expectations met. The challenge is how we as a club respond to defeat and disappointment.
Imagine if our Troops in Afghanistan having lost a skirmish against the Taliban, were to be told. The General leading you into battle is incompetent. The morale of those troops would sink dramatically and we would probably lose the war if that General were not replaced. Equally if they were told that they as Troops they were not quite good enough and needed to be replaced by other battle groups, the morale of the Taliban would surge and the entire operation would be at risk because we would have encouraged our enemies whilst lowering our own morale. So the time to make frank assessments is after the shooting has stopped and then a debrief and assessment is made as to whether the tactics were correct. In essence everyone would be that much wiser after the event without damaging morale of the troops and giving the enemy encouragement. This is how I would the leaders of our armed services to respond, if they are going to win the war.
I wrote a blog recently indicating that I would support this Club and our Manager totally until the end of the season. It is then that the extremists on either side of this debate can make their final assessment. NOW IS NOT THE TIME. If we use the military analogy above, we are in the middle of a series of battles whose outcome could decide the result of the war. Ok we lost to Manchester United, but if we beat Chelsea, then the pendulum swings back towards us, and then if we are able to convert future draws into victories, and remain unbeaten by the teams beneath us, why should we rule ourselves out of contention for the title? Ok the above scenarios are probably too optimistic given the last team performance, but be honest all of you. The transfer window is shut. We have NO NEW PLAYERS. We have what we have and we have to make the best of this whether you like it or not. We have to support our club at this time. If you can’t support your club because of an agenda against the manager, I would remind you that NO-ONE is bigger than our club. Arsene Wenger came, and Arsene Wenger will go… THE ARSENAL will still be here.
Let me say this, it is very easy as an Arsenal fan to lose it completely and become very disillusioned and angry. Believe me, I felt totally humiliated by the Arsenal performance. I felt ashamed of the fact some players on that pitch were even wearing an Arsenal shirt. They shall remain nameless, as attacking our own when they are in need of support is illogical at this time. Save it until the end of the season. I also felt very sorry for Arsene Wenger who had staked his reputation on those players and the manner of the defeat must have hit him hard. Let’s not beat about the bush. This Arsenal performance was an utter disgrace. We have to move on. This game is now over. Manchester United have their three points and now we have to face Chelsea and Liverpool. I need you all to understand that this defeat is in some ways a defining moment of our season and still further our future. We had no reason to fear United with a second string defence, Rooney walked through our defence like a knife through butter as we ball watched. We cannot afford not to learn from this humiliation.
I am very happy that Arsene Wenger was disappointed enough to use words that by his standards represented damning criticism of his players. His interviews confirm his anger at the way that Arsenal played against Manchester United. To say that he didn’t recognise his team is an amazing admission. Using words like poor, naïve or that was a ghost of the real Arsenal is something that at last tells us that the game is up for some players, they have been caught out on the biggest of football stages. At Liverpool Wenger apparently said that some players on the pitch were not fit to wear the Arsenal Shirt, there followed this 10 games unbeaten. What is my position after this defeat? I am not worried. I am disappointed and angry but when all is said and done I shall go back for more and hope that this Arsenal team realise that unless they pull out a big performance against Chelsea, then the tidal wave of criticism will swell threatening to engulf anyone associated with the club.
I am certain that Arsene Wenger will learn a great deal from this defeat and if we are to avoid another humiliation at Stamford Bridge next Sunday, then he will have to identify the faults honestly and deal with those players. Lets hope that there is no more hyping up of ordinary squad players to the heights of a Pirez or a Vieira. These players are very well paid to perform, I have said it before and I will say it again, I expect Arsene Wenger to deal with these matters in the Summer transfer window. Winning a trophy this season looks more difficult with every setback, but if we are seen at least to be giving 100% on the field of play then we shall at least still have our pride. So close this book of shame, and let the Mancs have their fun baiting Gooners, just take it on the chin and shrug your shoulders, accept defeat with grace but with one caveat. We are the Arsenal and the season is not yet over.  What more can we as supporters do? Booing doesn’t help, but raising the volume positively will. When the going gets tough, The Arsenal get going. Let the Arsenal hating media and our rivals gloat and write us off. This complacency may be their undoing if and when we triumph.
Confidence is something these players should have in themselves by now. In terms of humiliation at least we didn’t have to suffer the sight of two Arsenal players arguing as in the game against the Scum where we lost 5-1 and Adebayor head butted Bendtner. At least we didn’t sit there clueless wondering why Arshavin wasn’t on the field as in the semi-final of the FA Cup at Wembley. Admittedly this repetitive humiliation must decrease the chances of us holding onto Cesc Fabregas this summer, as even he couldn’t be bothered as the minutes ticked away and three nil. But that is a debate to be had after the season has ended. Now I am calling for those rational fans reading this blog to support our club at its time of need. Please let Arsene Wenger manage and prove that he still get results against all odds. He has done it before against the very best in Europe. Real Madrid, Inter Milan, but we always seem to stumble against our home based teams. Defeating Chelsea on Sunday will at least get that monkey off our back. So support this team and our Club, let Arsene Wenger do what he has to get a result. Your role as fans is not to withdraw your support when things go wrong. We have been through too much to give up now ffs! If we lose on Sunday as long as we fought hard for the shirt and the fans I will accept that too. I will resign myself to the fact that 11 points behind the leaders then this will not be our year. For all we now have left is our dignity.
ARSENAL ‘TIL I DIE….

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