The summer of unrest has descended upon us, bringing in the usual speculations subdued by delays in transfer activities, caused by the Euros and worsened by terribly bad weather. There are not many things worse than getting up on a Saturday morning and realizing that there is no footy and it is raining outside. I check the list of football fixtures regularly, in case I slept for 3 months and missed the beginning of the season. Sadly, I am just deluding myself.
But I’d be damned if I am going to be miserable all day as I remind myself that it was the biggest achievement of the 20th century to discover that we can change the way we feel. I therefore will highlight a few reasons to be cheerful and one to be miserable, the choice is yours.
Reasons to be cheerful are three –
1. We have the best stadium and best training facilities in the country.
Emirates Stadium is the most technologically advanced football stadium in Europe, incorporating state-of-the-art facilities with stunning features from Arsenal’s Highbury past. Since its opening it has won several prestigous awards and it is widely acclaimed the most modern stadium in Europe.
‘The magnificent Emirates Stadium has become a landmark piece of modern architecture dominating the north London skyline. One of the most technologically advanced arenas in world football, Emirates Stadium provides a stage befitting for Arsenal’s ambition to remain one of the world’s greatest clubs.’
I can hear voices complaining that the building of the new stadium ruined our chances of trophies and will cripple us forever. That is not the case. Highbury could not be extended further due to environmental factors (including residents protests), the fact that parts of Highbury were Grade II listed objects and because of the safety directives at footballing grounds resulting from the investigations of the Hillsborough disaster.
To compete at the highest level, the Club had to build a new stadium. Did you know that monies received from premium seating and corporate boxes is nearly as high as the revenue from the entire stadium at Highbury?
Ashburton Grove is ours and that my fellow Gunners nobody can take away from us.
2. We have the best manager in EPL.
Arsène Wenger epitomises everything that is The Arsenal – class, culture, discipline and hard work. I have no doubt that many will laugh at me for saying that, simply because the team has not won in anything for 7 years. Does ‘not winning’ make him a bad manager? I think not. There are factors out of his control, including luck, poor referring, oil freely flowing from the soil in wrong countries and the unwanted transfer requests of players who want more money.
Wenger has never embarrassed the Club. There were some unfounded rumours about his personal life and a few refusals to shake hands with some dubious characters, but other than that he has been a gentleman through and through. I cannot even begin to imagine Fergie being in charge of the beloved Club. The arrogant, bullish, unpleasant little Scott throwing boots at players, with the hairdryer treatments, and embarrassing his employer by the horse racing dubious dealings. His notorious mind-games and manipulations are unpalatable.
Some of you could comfortably cope with SAF’s shortcomings in return for a few more trophies. Not me.
And who is to say that any other manager would win trophies within Arsenal’s financial constraints? Will any other manager stay and try to do his very best to achieve The Clubs ambitions?
We are often reminded that he failed to sign Ronaldo, Torrez, Mata and many others. No manager can sign all of the players, there are limits. Nasri and Hazard snuffed ManU for City and Chelsea respectively, it happens to other clubs too. Those that Wenger has signed over the years have not been bad, have they? Every manager makes poor signings, look at SAF’s Bebe, Veron and Anderson.
3. We play the most tantalizing football in EPL.
Again, I have to refer to sir Alex Ferguson and for that I apologise to GM and Chary. However, he is held by many as the best manager in EPL, to which theory I do not subscribe. He has recently issued a message to the season ticket holders (are the numbers falling down already?) stating that ‘There is no club in the world who can create the drama that we created last year’. On your bike Fergie, if you want drama, you come to the Emirates.
I attended a horse racing meeting a few years ago. Bob Wilson was there as a guest of honour; he delivered a short speech promoting his charity Willow. When he was asked about Arsenal’s chances of winning CL that season, he replied ‘We never do things the easy way’. Tell me Mr Wilson!
Nobody would disagree that we play exciting and interesting football. The technical abilities of players are superior to most competitors. And although concentration and motivation can be an issue at times, there is no other team as watchable as Arsenal.
Take away half a billion of pounds from City and 11 penalties from United, and then let’s compare who’s more successful.
4 Ok, I was to write only 3 reasons to be cheerful, but there are so many more!
The new season with all its excitement, joy and pain is about 9 weeks away. New fixtures, the prospect of watching Podolski, Jack will be back, we might even have a new captain! Only joking, Robin is going to stay put.
We, the fans have a role to play as our belief is passed on to the team, so let’s give our best. The trophies will come, they will be ours, do not worry about that. But for crying out loud, do not spoil the fun of being the part of the greatest Club in the world and when the first whistle goes in August and the aura lifts, embrace the feeling that something special may happen. Oh boy, bring it on!!
Written by evonne