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So far this season, its incredibly difficult to put your feelings into perspective with recent results, regardless of who you follow or speak to in person, there seems to be a willingness to lose your head amidst disappointment, to say something to gain a reaction, follow the herd, or simply try to make yourself stand out from the extremes by attempting to normalize your rationale.

Given our financial predicament over the last decade, we have been extremely unfortunate in the *hardships* we have faced in attempting to compete with United, Chelsea and now Manchester City.

It feels like you can speak to a person for hours, explaining to them that we choose not to take the route of a sugar daddy, we stuck to our principles and our aims have silently been lower than usual.

We've had to wait and we're just now seeing the benefits of the situation, it would have taken any team 2-3 years (with the availability of players) to go from being a 4th competing squad to a sound title winning squad.

You can come out of that conversation feeling nothing you say will get through, because when a set of bad results happen, people ignore the context of our situation and look at the last 9 years without a trophy as a succession of failure upon failure.

They look at the last 9 years without a trophy as a failure, yet if we win the F.A. Cup this season, it will somehow, still be seen as failure by many due to our late performances in the league and so on.

I've seen a lot of "its the same old, we need a change", but this season hasn't been the same as last, nor the one before it, if we win the Cup, its definitely different to the last 9 years. And a change doesn't always guarantee change, in most cases, with our limited funds compared to oil and energy barons, change in the past might have help guarantee failure.

Of course, its very easy to say something as pseudo intelligent as "something needs to change", in the hope that you've somehow enlightened an entire generation of Buzzfeed users.

That is what it feels like, this is what social gives to you, the charm of some, and the overbearing thoughtlessness and lack of respect of others.

Once again:

"There really does seem to be a cult of critical savagery against national football icons in our country. You almost sense the gleeful zeal as journos mentally mutilate the already confidence deficient. They behave like those despicable parents I recall in my youth who lambasted small children during games for failing to meet their own high expectations/personal fantasies."

"Yet all too often in football a residual serpent's head rears up and exposes a cold dumb brute masculinity: careless, compassionless, unsympathetic and believes it virtuous to crucify in public in the pursuit of a survival of the fittest vision of a football dream team. They care nothing for long term perspective nor former service, they only demand to be instantly gratified with an impatience for anything less than perfection."

No one wants to hear that we were punching above our weight for long strides of the season, no one wants to hear that our injuries, be they training related or simply a lack of luck or player related, that they've had a massive effect on our season.

Fans would rather call Giroud something derogatory than give him support, he didn't need much of it early this season when players were linking up with him and giving him better opportunities to score, he's needed it now and no one is around.

If you can either call a player world class or sh*t, what does it say about your mental finesse or ability to judge anything in football?

Only van Persie and Adebayor, Walcott and Fabregas have scored more than Giroud (24) since 2007 when Thierry left.

The least he deserves is respect.

In fact, when Giroud was fouled this weekend, as he is, nearly every weekend, many fans went to attack him (as you do), they thought he was *pretending*, no one seems to care when Giroud gets fouled because they believe that *the way he falls over isn't nice*, that never will be, and never has been a fair critique of anyone, Luis Suarez can fall down how he likes, as much as he likes but he's a world class player, he can bite you, he can call you a N**** but as long as he scores, well, you get the gist.

If you believe someone is not good enough to play for us, but is realistically the only option until the summer (through fault of many, including AW/Board/Transfer Availability), why would you want to show the world how stupid you are by not standing by him and generally just resulting in insults and repeating mindless nonsense.

Are the insults going to make us buy a striker faster? or not play our best front man? or make his form get any better? or perhaps bring back Ramsey and Ozil and Walcott to help his game? the logic is unsound and unjust.

Arteta was pushed to the floor, taken out and then a rabid rabbit came over in the form of Leighton Baines and shouted at him, then Arteta got a yellow and no one even seemed to defend him, not our fans nor our players.

Suddenly every player has been labelled as sh*t, awful, disastrous, it makes you wonder if they are supporters at all, and if they are, then they're probably terrible human beings, there is no probable about it.

And we saw the same with Ramsey and Theo at times and look how much we value them now.

There is an amount of disrespect that is unbelievable on social media, and it extends to people you would think should know better, it extends to people you know personally.

The change we need is within the fandom too, because no matter who stays or who goes, the fans are still going to be there to argue about things that don't really matter for as long as they can because attention is vital.

Regardless, this season, and mainly this season so far,

I've been absolutely disgusted with five things.

15% refereeing
15% our approach to big games (both player/manager)
40% injuries
15% lack of availability/lack of spending during January
15% fan reaction post games.

If

Giroud


Chamberlain Ozil Walcott


Ramsey Arteta


Gibbs Mertesacker Koscielny Sagna


Szczesny

Had started every game after January, would you really have a problem with the manager? would it have affected our results hugely, enough to make us comfortably 3rd or 2nd, maybe 1st?

Many have said our title charge was an illusion, due to not playing the hardest games till very late, but injuries make such a statement an illusion itself.

We had a title charge for a considerable time and we blew it, we failed to respond to injuries by not loaning or buying more than we thought we needed.
(Jesus Arsenal, how many central midfielders does a team really need?)

We failed to do the same in the summer, but succeeded in many other areas, we were not the only team to fail to buy in areas that were needed this summer, or this winter.

But it is simply a fallacy that we can compete with Chelsea, City, or the other major big clubs in Europe, no fan wants to hear that, how our entire cash reserve can be blown by Chelsea in one window ( and still not buy a world class striker that they actually need) and it does nothing for them, they just start the next window with the same amount.

We just went through a year where we bid £40m for Suarez, £23m for Higuain and the £42m that sealed Ozil, and who knows how many large bids we placed in January that didn't work out.

We are willing to go the extra mile for that special player, even if it hurts us for not buying someone slightly above average to keep a title hunt going.

This is a stubbornness from the manager, stubbornness that has led us to success time and time again, and it is a stubbornness that has led us to have a feeling of discontent from time to time, or as some romantics would call it "failure".

What do we deserve? what do we want? what does Arsene Wenger deserve, what does Arsene Wenger want? what does the club deserve, what does the club want?

If you can answer all those questions and not come at odds with yourself, then you are a much better man than I.

Each player he's sold, he's been hurt in selling, each loss we've suffered, he's been distraught by, Arsene Wenger, he's one of us, he probably earns a lot lot more, but ultimately he's more Arsenal than we could ever imagine.

Judging him in comparison with title winning teams over the last 500 games, its unfair, you know it is, but it strangely feels alright because we're The Arsenal? that doesn't really make sense. Just because we are who we are, it doesn't make us entitled to compete at the very top when heavily outbid and outspent.

The truth is, a lot of fans don't care about our principles, they don't care about representing the club, nor standing by it when things go bad, 4th is seen as a disaster/failure when anyone involved with the club will tell you miracles have been worked to keep us in the CL places over the last decade.

Nor is it fair to expect him to punch this team above its weight after we've just had one year when we've not sold our best player. When the bigger picture suggests its a very good squad, with very good players, there is a core, we have a solid core and a solid base and a wealth of stars. We're not very far away from taking this team from 4th place team to a 1st place team.

Many started this season worrying about Spurs, saying they'd overtake us, after spending £100m, buying Soldado, the striker many wanted. They worried about us finishing 5th, many said they'd be happy with that, but after our title run, 4th is disaster.

4th is disgusting, 4th is just horrible, we don't take it for granted at all, if you want 4th, you're a loser, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th-20th, you're a loser, anyone who isn't 1st is a loser, that's what everyone tells me all the time, loser mentality and all.

Many would have probably been happier if the fixture list was the other way around, if we had started with the difficult games away with tons of injuries, then went past January without signing, getting everyone back from injury and won most if not all of our games, finishing 4th.

We have our best shot at a Cup in years and strangely it doesn't feel like it, recent results have deflated people, and why wouldn't they, it was tough to swallow, supporting a team that has constant bouts of injury and a team that never really gets to realize their full potential is heartbreaking for all of us.

I no longer think Arsene is the only man for the job as we've moved past the era where money is tight, but a new manager who settles for a little bit less quality and overpays to please fans? of course, we can find ourselves with an open realms of possibilities to both address the supposed pros and cons and we'll be here forever.

It'd be quite funny if the next manager is as careful as Arsene, if not more, then again, after all the hard work he's given Arsenal, it does still seem unfair that others will get to spend the money he worked hard to earn for our club.

His reputation will not be tarnished for me.

But for me it is still about trust, love, respect, and honour.

Those are things I find hard to make people understand, I love anyone who represents the club to a certain degree.
I respect everyone who represents the club to a certain degree.
And I honour everyone who respects the club to a certain degree.

I love that man with all of my footballing heart, that won't change, and I still trust him, with all of his faults.
It is not out of blind faith, l I know what he can produce when he has an uninjured first XI and a top finisher, we all do, and we're not far away from that anymore.

Therefore, the respect & love & honour will be there until the end, whenever that is.

Have a wonderful week,

Alex

You can find the exellent Alex on Twitter over at

  • 15 Sep 2015
    So let me stop reminiscing of days gone by and let me focus on our Welsh wonder. Let me start off by saying that I think it is quite obvious that Aaron Ramsey is better in central midfield. His partnership with Mesut Özil, his running from deep and his underrated ball winning ability makes him a ...Read more