I don’t want to play up the whole “stages of grief” thing too much because there is real grief and real pain in the world and I do realize that a few fans’ overrreaction to the outcome of a sporting event isn’t nearly as serious as the loss of a loved one. For the record, the grief cycle is just something that’s been on my mind lately (with the death of my friend) and I’m sort of poking fun at myself (and some of you) for taking this loss so seriously. Losing to Fulham is bad, but it’s not the end of the world. Besides, everyone knows that the end of the world happens in 2012; John McCain’s second term of office.
That said, I think a lot of supporters right now are in the bargaining stage. I recognize that and I want to help you to quickly get through this bargaining stage, move on to acceptance, and hopefully find some joy in this season and being an Arsenal fan. Ready?
Arsene Wenger will do what he wants to do. No matter how much we stomp our feet and threaten him or each other and all signs point to him not buying anyone. In fact, he pretty much said so today:
When you lose a game the solution is not always to buy. Did we play at our best? I say no and so we have to look at why? We had problems to win our first few games last year but we won them. This year we did not win – that is the reality. We had 60 minutes to come back on Fulham and we did not do it. Is that down to Fulham’ s quality or the fact we were not good enough? Only the future will tell us that.
And the official line, from the dot com, is that Arsene is looking for replacements in the midfield from within. So you can drop that talking point immediately. I’m in this same boat. I really want Arsene to buy Alonso or someone but given his last outburst, his statement about spirit, and all the talk about how this youth team is his greatest experiment I really think he’s sold himself on trying this for a year.
Besides, do you really think we can bargain with the best manager that Arsenal have ever had? No.
Another thing I hear a lot of is that Wenger has “lost the plot.” When Wenger came to Arsenal he revolutionized football: he brought in dietitians, statistics, workout regimens, banned booze, and stubbed out smoking. It worked, he won. Then he challenged the old boys network by bringing in foreign players. That worked, he won. In his boldest move ever, he wants to do nothing short of revolutionize all of football. Show that the team can overcome the individual. That no matter how much money you spend on a club, a better prepared, hungry team can win it all. Given his success, I think we owe him a chance to try it. He deserves the chance to try whatever he wants for three years far more than we “deserve” silverware.
A little perspective, please, before you start calling for him to be replaced or use terms like “lost the plot.” Gazza has lost the plot: Arsene is trying something radical. Arsene is trying to build the anti-Chelsea and ensure the long term financial fitness of the club. That’s a little bit different than eating raw liver and drunkenly threatening to stab the bellhops whilst swaddled in little more than a hotel bed sheet smeared in your own excrement. Trying out a radical new idea may be uncomfortable to some of you, but it’s not losing any plot. So stop with that, mmmmkay?
The other bargaining point I hear a lot of is “just how bad were Arsenal?” when instead we should be focusing on how well Fulham played. I know what I said yesterday, but I’m taking it back. It’s just plain disrespectful to the team that won for us to focus on how bad we were. So, here’s credit where credit is due, Fulham were the better team and deserved the win. They defended well and scored a great goal. End of story.
It’s one loss.
There are 36 more games to play.
Let’s all just get over it.
Coming in, Arsenal are being linked with Citeh midfielder Michael Johnson. According to the article he’s rated at £6m and makes a “paltry” £9k a week. From a rumor mongering perspective the press is doing a much better job, that’s more like an Arsenal signing if I ever saw one.
Going out, there is a rumor from Italy (I bet it’s from Vincenzo Morabito, Super Agent) that Senderos is going on loan to Milan. This rumor and the one about Djourou going to Rennes are pretty odd if you ask me. It’s pretty clear that Arsenal need cover all over the pitch so why would they loan out two decent players? The pure speculator in me thinks it’s a bookkeeping thing and that Arsenal’s financial’s are far worse than anyone is letting on. That would also explain this new found philosophy of the boss and his reluctance to dip into the market… Oh wait… I’m not bargaining again am I?