Over the course of this season, where many have been quick to jump on the bandwagon, I have tended to take a more objective approach, perhaps instilled by my father. When hearing fierce criticism about the manager, from Arsenal fans in particular, I react defensively. This is simply because I love the man. His successes far outweigh his failures and despite the obvious lack of trophies (I was 9 years old the last time we won something), he has done an incomparably good job.
By creating this 'self-sufficient model', The Arsenal are almost guaranteed a consistent, sustainable future in the Premiership. One that in the next decade or two, teams around us at the moment will envy. In ten, fifteen years, we will still be in the upper quartile of the league. Will Chelsea? Will Liverpool? Will Tottenham? Dare I say the Manchester clubs?
Our objective of financial fair play and self-sustainability means the boss is reluctant to spend £20 million on a wonderkid. Sign Hazard! Sign Gotze! Instead, we have to settle for some unknown two-bob teenagers like Oxlade-Chamberlain. What a load of bollocks he's been.
In life, there is always a trade-off. This may sound a bit rich coming from a sixteen year old, and by the fact I learnt this term in my economics class, but the fact is, Arsene's deep lying love for this club has been his biggest downfall. He has opted to ensure future sustainability as a business and, perhaps more importantly, as a Football Club.
But at what expense? "TROPHIES!" I hear you cry, and yes, you are spot on. But in the grand scheme of things, what would you rather; an instant piece of silverware or a club that in 10 years will be stable, free of excessive debt? Perhaps the fans more in it for the trophies will choose the former, but the real Gooners - the ones who want what's best for the future of the club - will choose the latter. Well that's how I feel, although I'm sure some will disagree. But seriously, all teams go through transitional periods. Look at Liverpool for Bergkamp's sake! The best team of the '80s have not won a league title for twenty odd years, despite spending obscene sums of money, especially over the past year or two. Back to our club though.
To those who don't know, in the 1980s, Spurs finished above us about 5 years out of 7. Sincearriving in 1996, Arsene Wenger's Arsenal have never finished below Spurs in the league. Although St Totteringham day may have to be put on hold this year - unless 'Operation Dodgy Lasagne II' is launched - you can hardly say the boss has let us down in terms of bragging rights. Moreover, just to add a little more perspective, in 1995, the year I was introduced into the world, we finished 12th (TWELTH!). No, not 5th, 12th! Things must have been pretty bollocks back then. Thankfully for me, I was more or less born into the glory years.
I am by no means an 'Arsene Knows Best' - a term many fans mindlessly direct towards those who don't vociferously criticise the boss. I acknowledge his shortcomings - and there have been many - but my appreciation of what he has done overall - and the fact we are still there or there about's - mean I am reserving my judgements, and keeping the faith, until the end of the season at least. Even if we succumb to 5th place this year, and have a season in the
mickey mouse prestigious Europa League (provided we qualify!), I will not be calling for Arsene's head. I'll let him decide when it's time to call it a day, and providing his adoration of the club, I'm sure he will decide accordingly. I will still follow my team over land and sea, as will many of the Arsenal fans I've come across - even if it means a summer holiday in Rubin Kazan! One thing's for sure- we'll soon find out who the real supporters are.