This week’s Arsenal controversies… let’s see.. I could list them all out, I could even link to them all, but the thing with fire is that it needs oxygen to survive. So, I’m not even going to mention them.
The bottom line is that Arsenal are top of the table and playing good football. The dressing room seems settled and the players and manager are happy. More importantly, the team and the fans have a really good connection and lots of fans who have been upset at the style of football – and missteps in transfers – over the last two years are enjoying this new brand of football.
This upsets pretty much everyone. My maxim is “there’s a right way, a wrong way, and the Arsenal way.” Because we don’t always do things the so-called “right way” we often get a lot of stick from conservative football fans. The right way would have been, I dunno, hire Allegri or something. The wrong way would have been to fire every manager after an 8th place finish. The Arsenal way has been to stick with a young manager who was learning on the job, to spend heavily to support that manager, and to believe that in the end it will turn out good. Not many clubs would have done that. Not many clubs would have stuck with Wenger for 22 years. We are an unusual club in a lot of ways. But the important thing is that it looks like the decision to stick with Arteta and back him at every turn is turning good. Arsenal are top of the table. This is deeply upsetting to some people and they are lashing out at anything they can get their hands on, including the decision to play a 15 year old.
This is the inevitable byproduct of Arsenal being good at football again. Unlike other clubs, like Spurs, when Arsenal are good at football people lose their fucking minds. It’s because we are iconoclasts. And because we are different and do things differently we are going to get a lot of angry people who want to tear us down.
I’m not saying Arsenal are going to win the League. Man City are too strong for that right now. Plus, we will get our inevitable blip and when we do, we need to see how the club, players, and management react. That blip will be the really telling part for this club this season. That’s what I’m waiting to see because it will be something new, hopefully!
One last thing that happens during these, the good times: some fans like to use this moment to “score points” on people they disagreed with in the past. Fair enough, get your digs in once or twice. More than fair to have a go at people who maybe were a bit over the top with their criticism or maybe were overly heated in their arguments. But like I say, once or twice. Saying the same thing over and over again in the comments sections here or on twitter, bringing up old arguments and trying to shame people for having a different opinion than you in the past is actually part of the same impulse that fuels the shitheads at Talksport. On twitter I block and mute people who do that crap. I’m not interested in reading those arguments or having arguments with tedious people. And I’m even less interested in reading that tedium here.
There are a TON of things we could be talking about instead of “scoring points” or continuously dragging up old arguments. Also, we don’t even need to talk about the manufactured controversies from Talksport, the Sun, the Daily Mail or any of the other supposed “news” outlets.
For example, we all can see that Arteta changed his system in the last 9 months. The most obvious beneficiary of that has been Granit Xhaka as this article lays out. See? PLENTY to talk about!
So, that’s my assignment and yours. Talk about something new. And if you cannot? Well that’s fine, but please go to twitter, reddit, or somewhere else and don’t do it here. Cool?