Never mind the buglers, where’s the FA Cup/4th place or better?
The fans are split, that’s a given.
But they are not split between AKB’s and WOB’s. Oh no, there are another set that sit between the two extremes. Just like in politics, the battle is won or lost in the middle ground. The vast majority of fans are floating voters. Within this middle ground there will be – and is – a full spectrum of ever changing feelings.
I would guess that up until Xmas the vast majority were happy and very much behind the manager.
Now? Who knows?
But it will be a whole lot less. And the amount they have shifted their positions will also differ greatly. Some will have had enough, while others may just have some nagging doubts.
Here is the crux.
They are all Arsenal fans.
They all want what is best for them. (Oh sorry – I meant “what is best for the club”). They all want us to win every game, they all want to win stuff, and they all want to be happy.
There is however, a basic divide.
Have the last 9 years been a success (as I believe) or have they been a failure? Therefore, has the manager overachieved or underachieved ?
David Dein recently said that the stadium move would have been impossible without the success Arsene had brought. Ray Parlour said that some of the loans to build the stadium were conditional on Arsene signing a 5 year deal. Arsene has told us he agreed to stay knowing that the league title was very unlikely. Ivan has admitted that there were indeed financial restraints that they had previously denied .
So taking those things into consideration, what was in Arsene’s job description? What did the board actually ask of him?
What was best for the club?
Arsene himself had said that his priority was qualifying for the Champions League with the financial rewards that follow it. He did that every year, and given his resources, that was an over-achievement. This isn’t my opinion, it’s a fact backed up by impartial data. The AST had an analysis done (I suspect they were disappointed with the results) which proved beyond doubt that this was the case.
People will point out that it’s not his job to make the club money, his job is to win trophies, but the reality is that his job is to achieve what his employers ask him to achieve. That may be very different to what a fan would want him to do.
If we finish in the top 4 and win the FA cup, I expect the undecided will once again shuffle towards us.
If we don’t?
Well we know all too well what will happen.