Has this two week international break come at a good time for Arsenal? For the football club, possibly, but not where the supporters are concerned. It’s a fortnight before the players, rightly condemned for their no-show at the Hawthorns on Saturday, can show they have the ability to bounce back from a dreadful run of form. That is time in which egos can be stroked, and weaknesses tackled behind the closed gates at Shenley.
The break provides an opportunity for the squad, or at least those not called up by their respective countries, to work on rediscovering form, confidence, and most importantly desire. There is a job here for the club captain. Per Mertesacker should pull his squad together and tell them a few home truths about performing for their reputations, and the supporters, if not for the manager.
On Sunday week we will face the first of two matches in April against Manchester City. Lose that one and a top four place could sail away into the distance. Lose the second and the last hope of silverware this season would evaporate.
How unwelcome is this break for those on both extremes of the Wenger in/out argument, and those subjected to their escalating spat on social media. Thankfully I no longer have the time to keep up with all the shenanigans during the working day, but within minutes of getting home this evening there were more virtual wars being waged. If there is one thing more depressing than Arsenal’s form at the moment it is watching groups of like-minded web warriors turning on fellow Gooners who have the nerve to hold views that differ from theirs.
It’s a poisonous atmosphere that infiltrates the grounds where we play now, and may well have an affect on the problems the team are facing right now. Fair enough, everyone has the right to protest, peacefully and with respect. That respect is being shown less and less, however, both in the grounds and online. What’s it all about, Alfie?
I think you are all aware that I have swung round to the view that we should not be offering our greatest ever manager a new contract. That doesn’t mean I think that those who still support the man are all unthinking loons. Far from it. There are good and bad on both sides. I do believe it would do the club a lot of good right now if that announcement were made so as to instantly improve the atmosphere at matches and enable the supporters to unite in appreciation of the job Arsene has done.
Today it seems possible that the contract offer is not only still on the table but may even have been signed already. If either of those happens to be true then it is perfectly understandable that a weak and seemingly powerless board is looking to delay any announcement. All I do know for certain is that nobody on Twitter, or Facebook, or any of the other social platforms knows the truth.
For fellow supporters to be abusing each other over something that isn’t known and hasn’t happened is so utterly pointless. Lots (and I’ll hold my hand up here) have been very good at talking but not listening. Closed minds encourage barbed and uninformed responses, and it all escalates from there.
Whatever happens I will still support Arsenal, albeit differently next season. The season ticket will be the first sacrifice if another groundhog season is on offer. I’ll still be able to pick and choose the matches I want to be at next season in support of the team on the pitch. I’ll still enjoy a few pints with people on both sides of the divide who can debate all things Arsenal without going red-faced with rage.
But that changes the nature of this post to being about me. That is something we all need to consider at the moment. How much of what we are all saying and doing right now is all about us? That’s really worth more than a moment’s consideration, no?
Victoria concordia crescit.