Another Guest post from
There’s something special about this week, I’ve wanted to write about it all summer, yet when it came, I felt weirdly empty and lost for words. I’ve struggled to come to terms with what happened last week, even though I was probably one of the few who truly believed something like that or more would happen. I’m talking about our biggest record breaking signing, ever, Mesut Ozil.
See for me, I’ve long loved Ozil’s new manager, his name is Arsene Wenger, he’s the greatest manager Arsenal has had to this day and I doubt many will top his tenure. It’s a bit of a cliché to say that Ozil came at the best time, it is hard to say when that time is, but it certainly helped the club, the fans and the manager.
Yet when Ozil was announced, I wanted to go around and laugh at those who doubted it would happen, doubted Arsene, doubted Gazidis and Law (almost everybody), those who talked about them all summer like they have no place at the club, like your average Twitter user somehow knew more, your average Arsenal blogger had all the answers and all the right questions with it too.
But I didn’t do it, I had 100’s of Tweets favorited, 100’s of mates to text, Facebook friends who I’m sure would defriend me after a little online Ozil party. I just thought to myself, we’ve done it, this is great, this is great for our future and no one can take that away from us and all I want to do is celebrate.
All year I’ve defended players he’s defended, whenever I’ve gone to a game, I’ve never booed or abused a player, I’m always the first to defend a player who I believe has quality but is not finding form, the likes of Kos and Ramsey and even Gervinho. I also defend those who have never quite made it at our football club, even if secretly I think they are not a very good player (sort of like AW does).
People truly believe I act or think the way I do because I want to be some kind of super fan? They don’t think I want to look out for the club, its players, staff and fans?
95% of my thoughts are Arsenal and Politics and Sex and Love, the other 5% is just food.
I want the best for us; I want the best for the club, the fans and of course the world (a world where Arsenal is winning, until we’re sick of winning).
For me the best supporter, the best fan of the club is Arsene Wenger, he’s a model supporter, it’d be pretty difficult for me to be a better supporter than he is.
He looks after young players, nurtures them, makes them better, keeps faith in them after injuries, despite our fans wanting them sold, and even when they turn their back on him and leave (Robin), he still continues to do the same for other players (Ramsey/Diaby). The man embarrasses my level of support for my club.
I don’t want to be some kind of supporter police, telling people what they are wrong about, that they are carrying on ideas that do not match reality nor rational thought. It’s not my job either to look out for the club, its players, staff or fans, I am just one person, I have a few that think like me. But making sarcastic quips at people for what they think and why they think it, I do it because I love the club, I love the manager and I love a lot of the fans I interact with.
And I also do it because I see that people are adamant that they love the club, but they don’t show it, is it some kind of secret love where you only drink Peroni and shout at the t.v.? I don’t think that’s love, I think these people fell in love with a quick shag and didn’t realize who they really were and now constantly want them to change. You can always tell how much someone loves something or a person, by how often they put themselves or their thoughts or their feelings before it, or before that person. Love is not a competition, it is just love.
And just like I enjoy being friends with faithful lovers, I enjoy being friends with faithful Arsenal supporters, who stay true to their love. I enjoy questioning things, questioning them until I get an answer that satisfies my rationale, my mind, I don’t enjoy condemning situations or people. Of course, people do not like being told what to do or how to think, this is self-evident in many situations, they want to somehow get there themselves, or to think they got there themselves.
But this week, it changed something in me; it made me not want to tell people what to think or why they were wrong, I didn’t need to, perhaps I never did. Our manager did it for me in a way. All year we’ve had people speculating about what Mr Wenger is like, that he would never spend, that he only seeks cheap solutions to expensive problems. That he’s done finding gems, that he’s a relative panic buyer and that he doesn’t have any plans anymore.
But every year he surprises, every year he answers critics, piece by piece the British media try to make him out to seem clueless, pundits, bloggers and the odd bloke at the pub, predicting his demise, predicting it’s his final season, when the likelihood is that he’d be signing a new contract (I’m certain he will) and finally have a fair crack at the title, that I don’t think he’s had since 2004 and we were invincible.
The worst part is, when he proves a certain group wrong, or when our club prove others wrong, they use it for fuel, not to apologise for their irrational conclusion, but to further insult, attack, misinform and panic others and like the sheep they are, they follow.
I wonder what Usmanov has up his sleeve now; it’s probably drenched in pharmaceutical sweat and oil.
This is not to say he doesn’t make mistakes (it’s obvious he makes them, every manager makes them), this is not to say he is the definition of perfection, I just believe, due to the evidence presented towards me, year after year, we are far better off with him, than without.
It was an emotional game (Spurs), Monday was an emotional day, but the man is paid to keep it under pressure and he does, he always does, he always keeps calm when others are panicking, you see it every match and every window, he has the edge, even if he doesn’t always get the targets he wanted.
I’d say every one needed to be reminded that he could still do that, that Arsenal could still do that, but if he hadn’t, for many, this would be their wish for him to leave.
But in a window, filled with misinformation and mistrust and greed, I am still forever impressed that they pulled it off. And even more impressed with the targets we’ve been after all summer and the targets we will be in January and next summer. We can be confident in our proceedings and our pursuits, we are a far attractive club with Ozil, but we were with Cazorla, as we were with Robin and Cesc and Henry and so on. We’ve always been an attractive club with a manager that romances players to sign contracts for us and he does it well.
The thing that annoyed me the most this week is this: Arsenal bought Ozil through the self-sustainable model. No hand-outs, no billionaire showing off what he can do for the club, silent Stan was silent and he will continue to be as the value of our club rises, without his help, without anyone’s help but our own revenue.
But no one, no one talked about this, it wasn’t covered anywhere, it wasn’t celebrated in the news, it should be celebrated by us. They should be lauding us.
They lauded Dortmund all last year (for good reasons), who struggled to keep Gotze and look like they’d struggle to keep Lewandowski, let alone Reus and Gundogan (who we’ve been interested in for a while).
We’ve done something amazing and will continue to make amazing purchases at a time 2-3 of our in domestic rivals have more spending power than we do. We will catch up and we will do it without help or as I like to call it, cheating.
This is a fantastic achievement, both in business terms and in football terms. We should be proud, I hope most of you are.
I don’t think you can be a super supporter, I think if you are true to your club and its values, you will just enjoy being a supporter a lot more.
I love Arsenal so much more because of Arsene Wenger and I love Arsene Wenger so much more because of Arsenal.