What a shame that it should come to this. You could write a book about it – ‘How to Decimate Your Own Legacy’.
Who was that person that guided Arsenal to three Premier League titles between 1997 and 2004? Seemingly intelligent, erudite and revolutionary – his name was Arsene Wenger. Totally unrecognisable now, he should probably be the greatest Arsenal manager in the club’s history. Instead, through his own arrogance and avarice, he has become one of the most obnoxious and incompetent managers in Arsenal’s long history.
While time and hindsight may declare who is or isn’t a club legend, it will likewise decree the complete opposite. For me, Wenger's journey really is an object lesson on how power, when unrestrained, can be allowed to corrupt; distorting the ego and exposing the ugly character beneath.
I fully understand how people want to hold on to the incredible success Wenger initially had, paint a rosy picture of it and hang it on the wall - ignoring his failures for fear of tainting those memories, but it’s not failure that is the problem, it’s HOW an individual fails.
Like the worst politician, Wenger has always tried to mask his hubristic tendencies. Cowering behind his reputation, he’s spent a decade trying to manipulate the agenda from every angle, often at the expense of doing the right thing for the club. On many occasions, controlling the narrative and attempting to stage manage people’s perception of him has come at the expense of what’s best for Arsenal, yet all he has achieved is to slowly chip away at the pretence of his competency and mortally tarnish his own legacy.
I didn’t watch Watford, but that’s irrelevant. After four paltry wins in 14 matches, the chickens have come home to roost yet again as Wenger oversees yet another shambolic collapse - the collapse to beat all collapses seeing as Arsenal are now Leicester City’s bitch. Wenger’s feeble excuses regarding financial inferiority have always been deflectionary garbage, but they’ve now been reduced to dust.
On the player front, it’s wholly evident that there are splits in the dressing room. Certain players are giving up, many don’t care. As has been obvious for years now, players turn up on their own terms not Wenger’s, and his only hope of rectifying that is blind hope.
What I find so ghastly about him, apart from his tactical ineptitude, arrogance and inability to man manage, is the endless stream of risible excuses that pour from his mouth. His half-arsed explanations have become so lazy, patronising and contemptuous, that even the most hardened Wenger acolyte must surely be numb to his ludicrous alibis.
Furthermore, how dare Arsene Wenger brand those who are perceptive enough to see through his serial incompetence as “farcical”? His seething contempt for anyone that dare question his management borders on despotism. His verbal press conference attacks, evidently contrived, are designed to prevent the media from bleeding the truth to what he arrogantly perceives to be a witless public unable to think for themselves.
“Judge me at the end of the season” – Wenger’s annual stock-in-trade response - are the words of a coward that refuses to be held accountable for his failures. The man is a thief and a control freak, hording and abusing power to preserve his influence and pilfering the supporters’ hard earned via a morally indefensible salary.
Wenger needs to stop this farce immediately and do the honourable thing; otherwise his career will come to a very ugly end. Although half the fan base is pretty much sick of him, he seems intent on alienating every last supporter until the bitter end. Yet, like all dictators, those with a mental disorder – Hubris Syndrome in Wenger’ case - are rarely able to constrain their behaviour.
But we must remember at all times, Wenger is not bigger than Arsenal and not synonymous with Arsenal. WE are The Arsenal. The supporters will support when the players have left and the managers long gone. And the supporters themselves will pass on the baton. The board and its employees are merely temporary guardians, whereas the supporters represent the institution ad infinitum.
Arsenal needs root and branch change. First Wenger, then the two unaccountable clowns that sit at the top table - Gazidis and Kroenke, who display their ineptitude by refusing to do what any other club in world football would have done years ago, handed Wenger his P45. But these scumbags have rigged the game – they’re all in it together, palming each other off with bonuses, salary increases and “dividends” at the supporters’ considerable financial expense.
If they refuse to act individually or collectively, it is now incumbent on every supporter to defend the principles of Arsenal Football Club and look to remove this collective of spongers.
Win, lose or draw, supporters need to make sure these last remaining games are a living hell for a manager that has lost the plot, but worse, has the temerity to pour scorn on those that rightfully criticise him while exploiting the ignorant naivety of those that continue to excuse the inexcusable.
Wenger can win the league for all I care, changes nothing, and while I see little hope of vast swathes of supporters making his tenure unbearable, I do see it as my duty to try to influence it.
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