Arsenal are a team in chaos. Mustafi is set to be loaned to Inter. Ramsey was dropped at half-time in yesterday’s match. Wenger keeps switching the team from a back three to a back four. Kolasinac is benched. Mertesacker, the club captain, hasn’t played in 105 League games. Ox is set to leave. Alexis is set to leave. No one wants to sign a new deal with the club. There are rumors that the players were fighting in the dressing room before the Liverpool match. Players are being played out of position constantly. Lacazette was dropped. Wenger isn’t fielding his best team. There are strong indications that Arsene Wenger, who just signed a new 2-year deal, is at war with someone on the board. And Arsenal just lost 4-0 to Liverpool with a performance that was easily one of the worst I’ve seen.
The players have given up on Arsenal. They are jumping ship. And with just three days left in the transfer window Arsenal are in no position to replace all of the players that they are about to lose. And it feels like the season is over already on August 28th. So, what do we do?
When I say we, I mean we the club. We are the club. Us supporters are the club. Stan Kroenke is not the club. Arsene Wenger has been a long-time servant but he is not the club. Alexis Sanchez is not the club. We are the club. All of them are replaceable. We are the ones who aren’t replaceable. So, what do we do?
First, let your voice be heard. I don’t like to shout at people, I will if it’s important, but generally you can accomplish the same thing by simply refusing to play along with people. So, I choose to use my economic voice. I haven’t bought anything from the club store now for three years. I haven’t bought anything with an Arsenal logo on it. I gave up my red level membership. I was on the season ticket waiting list. They contacted me last year. I gave that up as well.
Most hurtful to myself is that I have also given up going to games. I only get to go once a year and see maybe three games if I plan well. But I gave that up as well. There is no way I’m taking my daughter to England to see the Arsenal in their current state. I’d much rather take her to Hawaii.
But the big thing that we can do as Arsenal supporters is to voice our displeasure by refusing to watch games. Imagine how powerful it would be if all the people on twitter, if all the writers, if all the fans boycotted watching Arsenal, tweeting about Arsenal, writing about Arsenal for the next match. I don’t feel like this will ever happen. But #ADayWithoutArsenal would send a powerful message to the management and owners of this club.
The only thing I’m asking for is for the board to fire Wenger. I’ve been very gentle about this since November 2014. At that time, I said “Wenger should announce that this is his last season and take a farewell lap.” I was joined in 2015 by other big name bloggers and I think many many fans wanted Wenger to go out on a high this Spring. It was the perfect way to end our relationship with the greatest manager who has ever been in charge at Arsenal.
At some point the club has to make a transition. We are not going to have Arsene Wenger forever. And as you can see from the chaos that the club is in right now, someone will have to come in and be the fall guy. The common question I get when I call for Wenger’s retirement is “yeah but who will replace him”? It literally doesn’t matter. None of the very top managers are going to take Arsenal in this condition. The insane contract situations, the toxic dressing room, player recruitment is a mess, the Arsenal Academy is a mess, defensive organization is non-existent and Arsenal have a ton of players under contract who are happy to just collect a paycheck.
Top managers are recruited with promises of big cash spending and the ability to build a team who can challenge for the top trophies. It’s laughable that Arsenal supporters thought that Guardiola would come to this club. It’s not laughable that you had such a high regard for your club, that’s laudable. But the laughable part is that this club has been so expert at fooling fans into believing that we are a top club.
We don’t need a manager with a better record than Arsene Wenger. We need a transition: someone to come in and set the club straight. My expectations for Arsene Wenger right now are a top 10 finish. I think nearly any manager could achieve that with this club. If they can make the club into a title contender, which I think we have the players to do and which I know that we have the money to do, then that’s a bonus.
But top 10 and stop the rot. That’s all I ask. Unless the board fires Wenger now, this chaos is going to continue. This will get worse, not better. They might as well start the transition now.