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Thursday 9 April 2015

What Is It About Wenger That Polarizes Arsenal Fans So Much?

Good night or morning to you, depending on whenever you are reading this. First of all, it was nice to see Wilshere, Diaby, Arteta and Gnabry get more game time, in yesterdays 4-1 over Stoke for the under-21 side.

Its strange to think that I have just named 3 central midfielders, all vying for pretty much the same position, that are out injured at the moment and there is no real fuss about it at all, i'm not sure many clubs in the Premier League would really be able to say that. It's also nice to see Gnabry play again as he looks a real talent and unlike in previous seasons the squad depth at the moment will mean we don't have to rush him back into the first team squad. It's good to let young players quietly make their comeback.

Anyway enough rambling and to the main reason i'm writing this post. I was reading through a few other Arsenal articles, and by extension, the comments on those also. I was shocked to still read about how heated people become over the manager. What is it about Wenger that makes people vehemently defend or criticize? 

It was absolutely ridiculous the stuff I was reading, not that a particular person wanted Wenger to go or leave, but that people resorted to name calling and making fun of a person for having a particular view on the manager. I don't see how some Arsenal fans can treat other Arsenal fans like that (well 
any person, for that matter).

How does it make any particular person an idiot for having a certain view? Why is is that as soon as Arsenal lose one game we start hearing mutterings from people back and forth, having a go at each other that is only temporarily put to rest by a good run of form, although is always, quite clearly, lurking in the background waiting to explode. 

I honestly cannot understand how people can get so angry and how it polarizes them into thinking that they have to be on one side or the other. There's even names for these groups (as i'm perfectly sure you are all aware) The AKB's (Arsene Knows Best) and the WOB's (Wenger Out Brigade). It really is farcical. I am sure that these people believe that what they are saying is in the bests interests of the club, and who can say that they are wrong for having an opinion? No one. However, to categorize yourself into a certain fraction within a fan base does Arsenal no good at all; it just makes things worse.

Sure, you may like Arsene Wenger and think he has done a great job for the club; but if you cannot accept the facts that he has made errors then you are just as bad as the other 'group' who want him out. Take the start of the season for example, everybody knew we needed the centre back and of course the manager did as well, but he didn't get one. That was an absolutely ridiculous decision by Wenger; there is no defending that. Likewise with the other 'group', according to them Arsene can do no right and no matter what he does, it seems, they will never be happy with him. They also never seem to give him any sort of praise at all; for example, for so long they were complaining about not winning any trophy at all; and as soon as we won the F.a cup it was being labelled as a 'second rate' trophy). There is just no pleasing some people.

Another point I want to make is that I also can't understand how some people can be so disrespectful about the manager. I think it is quite obvious that he wants the best for the club and works extremely hard for it. Whether you like him or not, he will be regarded as an Arsenal legend in time for what he has achieved at the club and I think he deserves a bit more respect from certain fans. Why is it that past players who, whether they were useless or not, stayed loyal to Arsenal, are always fondly spoken of, yet Wenger, who has been extremely loyal, does not get this same level of respect from some fans? In brief, the point i'm making in this paragraph is not that it's wrong to want Wenger gone (far from it), it's that it's wrong not to be respectful about it, I am only speaking about a very small minority of the fan base, though (the shouting at the train station after the Stoke game kind).

So what is it about Wenger that divides fans so much? Perhaps its just that familiarity breeds contempt? Maybe its just the way that he says things and not what he is actually trying to say that puts people off? Is it the obvious, simple answer. that some people have different measures of success? Maybe it's just Social Media and modern life has affected how people think that everything becomes so much better or worse, thus splitting people so clearly?.. (While i'm on the point, I remember listening to a podcast, 'The Arsecast', on the excellent Arseblog site, quite a while ago talking about the influence of social media on football, which was really enlightening; I can't exactly remember when it was, perhaps someone can let me and everyone else know in the comments?).. However, I think while it is a mixture of everything, I believe it to be down to one reason, the one reason both have in common; and that is that they are passionate about Arsenal. After all, why would it become so heated if it wasn't?

Let me be clear, I don't have any problem with someone thinking Wenger should go or stay; I just think that for there to be such a big split in the fan base is ridiculous and for this to cause people to fight is, well, against the whole idea of supporting a club in the first place. I think it's beyond time, and (although it is quiet at the moment, we all know that we are one or two results away from that mutinous atmosphere returning), that we support the club as one entity. No separate groups or any of that nonsense, just one; that you are an Arsenal supporter. You are an Arsenal fan, that is why you are here reading this; not because you think Arsene Wenger is the best of worst thing that has happened to this club. So get over it, have your opinion and give your views, but don't call another Arsenal fan an idiot, or worse,because he thinks differently. 

Right that was a bit of a rant, anyway let me know what you think on the subject in the comments.

until next time, have a good one.

Subjectively, Cosmic Kid.


  1. The reality is that the notion of internationals is outmoded and outdated, based on a model of nationalism that has moved on and been by-passed. As we’ve said here before, the fact that a player can play for England without being born in England, or indeed without actually having been to England, is all a bit daft.

    This season, Arsenal has produced two brilliant youngsters for our team: Coquelin and Bellerin. Next season we’ll probably see another one – if we are lucky two more. Whether any of them are English or not is irrelevant, not least because as I’ve so often said, you don’t have to be English to play for England. Zelalem for example had a choice of various countries he could play for – and could have added England to that list if he had wanted to. Many other young men are in the same position.

    The only question worth asking is who those two new top players emerging from the academy are going to be. Gnabry was superb before his injury that took him out of this season. Zelalem looks to be wonderful – but one never knows until he steps up.

    And maybe there are others there to surprise us.

    The academy system is working. It just isn’t producing young men who can play for England that’s all. And that’s not our problem. Arsenal is doing its bit to bring through wonderful players who entertain us. It would be unreasonable to ask for anything else.

    1. One thing that Arsene seems to forget each season is that, not only is every win is worth 3 points and every draw is worth 1 point, but that a victory or draw in September or October is just a valuable and is worth just as much as one in April or May. Jose seesm to understand this point and has accumulated sufficient points that, by now, he does have the title assured even if the team is just getting by. Arsenal, unhappily, as most of us would rather forget, frittered away too many points between the start of the season and January, often while playing teams they should have soundly defeated let alone held to a draw. The best we can now hope for is finishing 2nd or 3rd. I, for one, would also like to see MU finish 4th or 5th (let alone further down), but it looks now as if 4th may be the lowest they will finish up (too bad).

    2. My worry with letting Corporal Jenks go is that Debuchy’s time frame is probably a couple of years, possibly three tops? If Sagna got let go through age (I see offering him uncompetitive contracts due to age as letting him go), I don’t hold much hope for Debuchy.

      The season after next I would much rather have Jenks and Debuchy with plenty of years ahead of them both fighting for first spot and being backup between them.

      How we amicably reach that stage is why Arsene is renumerated as he is.

      To not do so, is short sighted, in my opinion. We will be in a situation a short way down the track where we either have to go through the hunt for a replacement and use the same sort of funds that Jenks would recoup on outlaying for a backup.

      Or we sign a green youngster and cross our fingers that Bellerin can manage 65 games in a season.

      And as I write that, I understand that we will bank the £10m on Jenks and do exactly that. Or just play Calum “I haven’t got the legs or the positional sense to be a fullback in this system” Chambers there when it all goes wrong.


  2. @Cosmic Kid: We seem to have more of a game plan about us... even though it's landed in spurts. I'd like to be convinced we've turned the corner, but we still have a Monaco in the locker. We still have a Spurs there too. Still, we'll find out against an in form United and Chelsea in a few weeks.

    The fitness has improved. Part of me hopes Shad has got more say and he's working magic. The cynic worries our players get injured in 3 month cycles... and so many of our players only landed back in the team at Christmas. Still, the players look strong and fit at the moment. Be interesting to see what happens when we come back next year.

    There are loads of big questions. I do remember feeling buoyant like this the last 3 years running though. I do remember predicting in early December this would happen and we'd all feel like this.

    So, positives everywhere... but the cynic is still there. Lurking. Is this really change? Or is it just a disappointing season wrapped in a great finish. As per usual...

    We'll wait and see.

  3. I saw the u21 highlights against Stoke, and I thought Wilshere looked good. He seemed to have that... aura about him that he does when he's playing well and with confidence (I know it was only u21s!). Tough to tell too much from a 6-minute reel, but what I always liked about Wilshere that very few players have to a genuinely high level is an appreciation of space around and particularly in front of him. At his very best, he seems to know when to pass and exactly when to drive into space or drop that shoulder to commit the man and create the space. But then he'd usually give it or find the long pass to create a chance for someone else. I felt he was forcing the issue too much before he got injured, trying to do too much in possession instead of sticking to what he does best. His game is all about timing and split-second decision making in terms of passing or driving. When that goes a bit wonky, he can look a liability. But when he gets going, there are few better than him at what he does. He, like Ramsey, should just focus on his natural game and instincts. He still has a lot to offer this team and I'm not even paying any attention to these City rumours. Would make absolutely no sense at all selling such a talented, homegrown midfielder at 23, who's missed the best part of a couple of years of football and has a long career ahead! The fact that City is so keen on him apparently, as is Chelsea on Henderson, should tell us something - the likes of Walcott and Wilshere, top quality homegrown talent, will only be in higher demand but lower supply. We've done the work to give these guys the opportunity to get to where they are, often at the expense of our success - it's time to reap the benefits!

  4. Arsenal’s lack of titles coincided with a time when clubs were going down the route of having a rich benefactor helping the club on several fronts. Wenger knew that this was something that cannot be completely trusted, as the likes of Blackburn Rovers have shown. Blackburn were successful in the 1990s when they were backed by Jack Walker and the club’s slow decline into the Championship since the demise of the millionaire is a perfect example.

    Now club is immune from falling into bad times, but it can certainly be prevented by putting together a strong infrastructure. Wenger ensured that this was the case by building the club once again starting with the Emirates stadium. One of the finest examples of great architecture, the Emirates stadium will have the ability to sustain the club for several decades going forward. The investment into this mega project – without the support from rich benefactors – meant that Arsenal were not able to flex their muscles in the transfer window.

    A decade-long wait for top names resulted in huge frustration for Arsenal fans, who witnessed names like Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, and Samir Nasri moving onto pastures new. Arsenal, it seemed, were no longer in the consideration of top names. Not many had the patience to embrace Wenger’s long-term vision.

    The signing of Mesut Ozil in 2013 for a whopping £42 million finally heralded Arsenal’s arrival back to the big game. Since then, Arsenal have shown an appetite for signing top quality names. The tendency to feature never-before-heard names from the youth squad in the first-team has been slowly diminishing. Arsenal’s ambition in the transfer window has seen them sign players like Alexis Sanchez – players who are at the peak of their careers and who may not have the resale value of a young talent.

    Chris Smalling is the latest player to be linked with a move to the Emirates stadium. The 25-year-old is close to featuring in 150 appearances and is probably at the start of his best period. United signed him from Fulham as a 20-year-old when he was yet to prove his potential. Previously, this used to be the kind of player Arsenal used to go for, but the club are now in a position to invest in ready-made talent.

    It is no wonder that Wenger has criticised the English FA’s plan to introduce more homegrown players in the team.

    The average Arsenal starting line-up this season is much better than what the club used to have five years ago. Players like Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, and Santi Cazorla provide a range of qualities that will help the club win different kind of matches. These qualities will undoubtedly be needed when Arsenal take on Liverpool at the Emirates after the international break. Arsene Wenger has tried to downplay the possibility of a Premier League title this season, but the fact that Arsenal have the momentum and a potentially easy finish mean that it is tough to overlook them.

    A victory against Liverpool on April 4 will be the seventh consecutive league victory for the gunners. Arsenal are backed at 5/6 to continue this amazing run, while it remains a must win game for Liverpool. The Merseyside outfit suffered a defeat against Manchester United in their last league outing. They are backed at 3/1 to get an away victory or at 27/10 to avoid defeat. Liverpool are yet to suffer an away league defeat in 2015.

    Wenger may be in his last few years at Arsenal. The Frenchman will remain one the club’s greatest ever managers no matter what happens from now, but maybe it is time to appreciate his work before he is gone.

  5. If Arsenal win the FA cup and finish 2nd in the league there isn't one Arsenal fan that could complain or at least should not after the start We had especially with injuries again. I know United fans will go on about their own poor start but bearing in mind they spent over 145 million on players and that doesn't even include Falcao who is costing them over half a million a WEEK all in they would have expected a top 4 place at the very least, outside of that and they lose 25 percent of their sponsorship income for failing to reach the CL again and that in turn would have probably meant a 3rd manager to start the new season 3 years running so I'd suppose they have done well with that pressure. Man.City have under achieved but you can't help but think that both the restrictions placed on them by the FFP and also other teams improvement was just as much to blame. Liverpool and the Spuds have been the real disappointments, Liverpool obviously lost Saurez and that alone is good enough to put them out of the picture and the Spuds appeared to put all of their transfer window eggs into the Schneiderlin basket somehow forgetting that United, Liverpool and Arsenal had already pilfered most of their players. With all of that is it any wonder that Chelsea stole a march especially with the easiest opening fixtures which Mourinho himself probably couldn't have hand picked better, hardly any major injury concerns and being clever in the transfer market again.

  6. Thanks for the comments everyone, really enjoyed reading through them all! Lets hope we finish out the season as strongly as we are now and take that into next season!