The Emirates Stadium – the ultimate symbol of a stunning club transformation
The club bashers are an odd lot.
This is something that tends to be borne out if you engage in civil conversation and avoid the interaction descending into a steaming pile of swearyness. Their logic tends to be flawed, their arguments unsound and inconsistent. They have backed themselves so far into the corner of discontent they genuinely have no idea how to get out of it.
Bearing in mind we are top of the league and have been for most of the season and are continuing to perform well in two major cup competitions I have, in recent days seen the club heavily and passionately criticized for the following:
* failure to replace RvP with a similar quality striker
* the 3% ticket price increase which would help fund such a replacement and other similar acquisitions
* the supposed poor quality of recent additions to the squad – specifically Giroud and Ozil
* failure to spend up our reserves, said now to stand at a whopping £100,000,000 – a sum that is small change for the Oilys but, misspent by us in a rush of blood to the corporate head – as AW has said – could set us back two or three years
* failure to deal with deadwood quickly enough in the past, continued abuse of Diaby
* signing an injured player despite the negative financial cost to the club for the short duration of the injury
* that old favourite, the medical team.
* Arsene’s new contract and salary
These are the criticisms that spring to mind from just the last few days – they are hardly consistent with a club in the position we currently find ourselves in and one is pretty much forced to conclude that the worst of the abuse is coming from those disenfranchised by the move from Highbury to the Emirates. For them, on pitch success is of little value, it’ll never bring about a return to the old days and the old ways. They are now effectively the enemy within and their spurious and largely unwarranted attacks simply have to be rebutted as and when they appear.
I can not think of any other club that finds themselves in our position in the league, playing the way we are playing, with the financial stability and power that was built from the bottom up, with the brightest of futures before us – ever being subject to this level of criticism.
Neutrals just look on in bemused wonderment.
Sadly for the club, I don’t see them going away anytime soon but I DO see them becoming marginalised by our success and rendered irrelevant by the club’s overall situation in terms of its fiscal prowess and unique levels of managerial talent and stability. Not to mention its truly outstanding squad.
About a year ago I was genuinely concerned that the ‘end of era’ prophecy could effectively see AW driven from the club by a tide of negativity rising on the back of the majority of fans. Thankfully, success on field and good sense off it has prevailed and Wenger’s signature on a new about-to-be-signed contract will underline the sea-change we have just been through.
Whether any other club would attempt what AW and Arsenal pulled off in the first decade or so of the 21st Century seems extremely unlikely given the challenges that have to be confronted. When simply attempting to continue Ferguson’s success is proving to be so much harder than anticipated, who’d fancy being in the shoes of Spurs, Everton, or Liverpool, where real change is required in order for them to truly join the top table of the European elite.
For they, as much as we, have witnessed first hand the birth of a super club.