I’ve been very busy with work of late and therefore haven’t had time to focus on Arsenal Truth or write any posts, but last night was very telling. I was in the gym trying to regain a semblance of fitness when I received a mocking text about Arsenal changing goalkeepers. That’s strange I thought - why? Because I had no idea Arsenal were playing last night.
With every day, every week and every season, I seem to care less and less about the club that captured my imagination when I was a 10 or 11 years old. I can honestly say that whether I went, watched or listened to Arsenal, I never missed a single game in over 30 years. It was more than a passion, it was a ritual.
But that seems like a different life right now, and it all changed when it eventually dawned on me that unlike any other Arsenal manager I’d ever known (including Bruce Rioch), the club is basically dead for as long as Arsene Wenger is at the helm.
Slowly but surely, the futility of his decision-making and all-round ideological ignorance just wore me down. At some point, around 5-6 years ago, the penny dropped, and if you’re reading this and yours hasn’t then you probably don’t have one to drop.
I knew there would be wins and good performances from time to time, or a lucky domestic cup victory if the draw was favourable, but ultimately I knew that competing at an elite level was comprehensively beyond Wenger or any manager in possession of such stale, one-dimensional ideas and tactics, no matter how much money he has.
At most clubs, managers only get a few years to live up to expectations, and that gives supporters hope – hope of change. That hope is critical, yet as an Arsenal supporter there is no hope, no future, just the same complacency and bourgeois mistakes being repeated ad infinitum.
I also began to detest the manager’s evasiveness and lack of transparency, his refusal to admit or accept the burden of responsibility, not to mention his all-round pig-headedness. Slowly but surely, the man that should have been forever ingrained in my memory as one of the greatest Arsenal managers of all time had eroded his reputation to the point where he had become a figure of fun - a clown, a buffoon.
I didn’t need last night to tell me that Wenger is not only done as a top flight manager but hanging around like a bad smell. He is outmoded, outdated and has nothing left to offer the game. His tetchy media protestations are the derisory flailings of a manager that no longer has any semblance of how ridiculous he sounds. His boundless propensity for emitting lame excuses is an insult to the intelligence of any right-thinking supporter, and his pompous ego is distasteful. Following yet more inexcusable embarrassment in the Champions League last night – a competition Wenger is not fit to manage in, he snarled defiantly at the media through gritted teeth “I know things that you don’t know”.
So what are they then, you senile old fart?
In Wenger, I no longer see a football manager, I see a neurotic zealot failing miserably to hide his narcissistic personality disorder. The obstinate ticks and twitches that flare between his wrinkled eyelids whenever he is questioned gave the game away years ago - the fear of losing control, the desire to shut people up before they say too much, his reputation forever hanging by a thread, propped up by wheeled-out ex-players and equally clueless bloggers.
This revolving pantomime has ceased to be about football anymore, but a perverse window into the irrational mind of a manager driven by a duplicitous hunger to mask his own incompetence. It’s almost like those early Wenger years were the behaviours and actions of a completely different person. If you look at him then compared to now, the transformation is startling.
I start every season enthused, not necessarily to write about Arsenal these days, but to write about the Premier League as a whole. But the PL is in the doldrums right now. Success is cyclical, but with every competitor floundering there lays a golden opportunity to fill the void, currently being wasted by the perpetual mediocrity of a mentally unhinged manager who has decimated his reputation through his own hubris. And to add insult to injury, he is aided and abetted by the utter ignorance and complacency of everyone at the club, from the money laundering Gazidis and Kroenke to the puppet Chairman and the majority of the club's own dopey supporters. There should be mass protests after this sort of accumulated shite, but no, they'll all be sitting there again come Sunday pissing their money down the drain with their brainless optimism.
One wonders exactly what would have to happen to get Wenger out. The selfish cash hoarder who hasn’t got the bollocks to spend the club’s money in case a loss might make him accountable, knows he’s incapable of performing to the requisite level, yet refuses to do the decent thing and step down in the face of the board’s gutless refusal to act.
On a lighter note, I watched a great video on ArsenalFan TV last night. The channel interviewed John Lydon, someone I really admire and almost got to spend some time with recently. Alas it never happened, but I’m consoled by the fact that there will be other opportunities.
Anyway, in this video John talks about Arsenal, and he’s very entertaining as always.
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