Exclusive

Arsenal Fans Deserve What They Get

By John Evans

Time for the fans to wake up and realise it’s game over

Over the last eight seasons or so my relationship with Arsenal FC has changed with each passing season.

Back in the 80’s when my dad first started to take me to matches at Highbury it all felt like a big event. Maybe it had something to do with being a child at the time when things are all fresh and exciting but I loved it each and every time.

Just walking down the road that led up to the old Highbury stadium on match days from Finsbury Park station was fantastic. I used to get excited at the first glimpse of the back of the old north bank stand each and every time. The smell in the air of burgers mixed with onions. Those burgers sure did always smell better than they tasted!

When the seats first got put in to that stadium my dad bought us both season tickets and from memory back then you could get a couple of season tickets in the west lower for around £350. We’re talking early nineties here and just at the beginning of The Premier League.

I simply couldn’t get enough of football in those days and each and every Arsenal FC result was felt right in the heart of the home. If we won my dad would be in a joyous mood for the weekend, lose and it would feel like the dog had died.

To go from that to how I now feel about the club and to be honest the game in general is something of a seismic shift to say the least.

I haven’t had a season ticket since the turn of the century as I simply could not justify the cost anymore. I did however have a membership when we moved to the new stadium and I did start off by attending maybe 8-10 home games each season.

This has recently turned in to only going to one or two games a season to then choosing to cancel my memberships and now to turning off from even watching the games on TV.

I chose to watch the Watford game this weekend but the feeling of any real intensity in the game is long gone. When the penalty was conceded I didn’t blink. When the injury time winner went in against us I didn’t blink either, to be honest I almost found it funny as it was all so predictable.

After the game I came to thinking why this was. Was it all down to the realisation that we simply have no chance of competing under Arsene Wenger years ago? Would my interest come rushing back as it once was if there was a sudden change of manager at the club?

I have come to the conclusion that Arsene for me is more of a symptom of an underlying problem.

It is football in general for me that has been ruined to the point of no return.

I still consume a lot of Arsenal FC related online content. It is part of my day to read online blogs and occasionally listen in to podcasts and such like.

I have come to the conclusion that many of these online sites only give out info that the club itself kind of pre-approves. Many of these sites are so overly loyal to people like Arsene and the club in general that I feel the club must allow them to receive snippets of inside info in return for their ongoing loyalty and support.

With the world moving more and more online this kind of setup in business is commonplace as bloggers really do have a powerful say in how the general support feel about the club. Keep it all a bit upbeat and the club are happy. Speak the truth and you can go spin.

Anyhow I have personally come to the conclusion that even if Arsene was relieved of his duties tomorrow it would not necessarily see any major change in the ethos of the club.

I found it interesting listening to the latest offering of The Gooner podcast where Tim Payton revealed that he spoke with Stan Kroenke in person near the start of his involvement with the ownership of the club. Stan had no real interest in the club whatsoever but got all excited when he started to talk about the media rights in Africa and Asia and how they could boom in years to come.

For me this sums up the whole issue more with modern day football in general rather than just Arsenal FC.

You now have two types of Premier League club owners. The first is the kind you have at Manchester City and Chelsea at present. They have so much money it really doesn’t matter to them what they spend on players. They do not buy the club to make money, they buy the club to create a legitimate looking brand in other parts of the world from where they come from. Many if not all of these buyers have made their fortunes in rather unconventional ways (cough) in their own countries. It is all simply a way for them to legitimise what they do and who they are.

If you are a Man City fan who has seen your club plying its trade in the third tier of English football not too long ago and someone comes in and instantly buys players for your club that Man Utd could only dream of do you give a s*** where that person made their money from? The answer is clearly no.

The second type of owner is what we at Arsenal FC have. Overseas, check. No interest in the sport in general let alone the club itself, check. A shed load of cash but not prepared to spend any of it on the club they own, check. In it for the long haul, check. No need to ever sell the club, check. Only consideration in buying process likely rise in value of asset due to increasing media rights, check.

Once you are the supporter of a club who firmly sits in the second camp as listed above it literally is game over time. You are stuck in a world where Arsene Wenger will make do for the owner (who is the only man that matters) for the next couple of decades.

You have to wake up and smell the coffee here. Change at Arsenal FC is now only as likely as Stan selling up. This is as likely as a landlord choosing to sell a property in an upward market that promises another 100% of capital growth over the next handful of years. If your property is let to a reliable tenant (Arsene Wenger) who always pays your rent on time why would you sell in those circumstances? The answer is that you wouldn’t.

The truth is Stan will only ever consider change at the top if Arsenal are at real risk of falling out of the Premier League’s gravy train. it is no longer about not qualifying for The Champions League. It is now only via relegation to the Championship.

This will not happen as with the budget made available for players wages etc, I could manage Arsenal for the next ten seasons myself and not get relegated. Anyone who doesn’t believe this to be true should simply ask themselves this question: how much impact in terms of motivation and tactics do you think Arsene now has over this squad of players? I would say next to zero.

So girls and guys as depressing as this may seem there is not a lot to bother with at Arsenal FC these days and that will not be changing any time soon.

The club itself has successfully managed to change the current matchday goers expectation levels to such an extent that even when we finish the season 12 points or more behind Spurs, even in a week where Spurs go off to play Real Madrid and we play Red Star Belgrade in the Europa on a Thursday night there will still not even be so much as a murmur of discontent inside the ground on the next ‘matchday experience’.

I have come to the only real conclusion that one can make.

The people that pay in £1200+ a season to enjoy the current offering and lap up the £7 hot dogs and £100 third kits on offer really do deserve Stan Kroenke/Arsene Wenger for the next two decades or more. You deserve to get your arses spanked in a few weeks’ time when Spurs roll into town. I hope you all enjoy the net bulging that you get to witness from another Harry Kane effort on that day as it is simply your own mentality and feeble mindedness that has allowed that outcome to have played out so easily.

17th October 2017 08:36:04

(9/10)

Comments and Reaction

User comments on this article are now closed. If you want to continue the debate, why not do so on the Gooner Forum.

Gaz  9:13am 17th Oct 2017

Great article of which I agree with 95% of. The missing 5% is that results not only don't bother or phase me anymore but I'm happier when we lose as it piles on the pressure onto Wenger and kroenke and for me that's the only hope of ridding the Club of both. - Post No. 110291


Redshirtwhitesleeves  9:14am 17th Oct 2017

John- a very good article and you have summed up in a nutshell my own feelings for both the current game and modern day Arsenal. Like you I remember the excitement and anticipation of going to Highbury as a youngster, the smell, the noise, seeing that beautiful old stadium come into view. Loved it every single time. Unfortunately that stadium and the club that used to play there no longer exist. But then neither does the game as a whole. It's all about money, money, money and it's killed top-flight football in this country. It's just a shame that our club, such as it is, is the greediest of all. - Post No. 110292


David1  9:35am 17th Oct 2017

It may have gone beyond the point when a replacement for Wenger will make any immediate difference. Arsenal have slipped even further down the PL pecking order over the past 15 years, from being in the top two, to the top four, and now probably the weakest of the top 6. Had Zippy been replaced 10 years ago, it might've made a difference, but it would take Usmanov to take over as well as a new manager. - Post No. 110293


MAF  9:42am 17th Oct 2017

one of my Arsenal obsessed buddies who gets Access to the odd London Colney visit says Ozil and Alexis are 100% gone in January. the Club is confidant of a fee on Alexis but presently cant find right buyer for Ozil. Man U definitely sniffed. Arsenal's issues is being seen by the fans to buy in 2 decent replacements in janaury window. Oh hum oh hee just another day at the funny farm of stan Ivan and arsene - Post No. 110294


Paulo75  9:58am 17th Oct 2017

Depressingly accurate article. Like myself, now attending less and less games and struggling to sit through others on TV. Top flight football in England has finally eaten itself. However, I do think replacing Wenger with the correct appointment i.e. someone who is tactically sound and who would remove the comfort zone present in the current underachieving squad, would enable the Clubs fortunes to improve significantly. - Post No. 110295


Gunner Rob  10:10am 17th Oct 2017

great article and your conclusion is what I have been saying for at least 5 years...that however brutal it sounds, the season ticket holders are to blame here. The season ticket holders are Wenger's greatest supporters, you are allowing the managed decline to continue. - Post No. 110296


Exeter Ex  10:18am 17th Oct 2017

This article closely matches my own changing experience of AFC over the years. It's all so predictable and pointless now it's beyond me how anyone still gets any enjoyment out of it. I can only conclude they don't understand what they're watching, cannot see the undeniable truth this article lays out. My only interest in still observing is in wondering how long the farce still has to go on. As the author says, it could be an awfully long time. - Post No. 110297


Yes its Ron  12:06pm 17th Oct 2017

A totally excellent article and it speaks for me and many others who i know too. Wonderfully honest and sad at the same time. Read it well Wengo and Kroenke, note what you've done to so many you rotten pair of stale, blood sucking old cretins and take heed, then move aside ffs! - Post No. 110300


sk-gtfo  12:09pm 17th Oct 2017

Yet I still keep hearing people defending wiggy w*nker and focusing on Wenger!?, as you say Wenger is just a symptom (of the disease that is Wiggy). I wish we never moved to the f*cking Emirates now, horrible atmosphere, overpriced and all it did is attract c*nts like Kroenke. Pretty p*ssed at Dein as well, he made a big error getting Kroenke involved, which he obviously realised since he then sided with Usmanov, it would be nice to hear that from him though, unless we can somehow get wiggy out then we all might as well start finding other things to do, watching Arsenal will be a total waste of time/effort/money, it already is. - Post No. 110301


Guernsey gunner  12:41pm 17th Oct 2017

Great piece and as I have stated numerous times everyone should be boycotting games. I did this after December 2012 and sky and by sport went in August 2015. What else can I do? I wholly agree that the whole epl bull is disappearing up its own rear end. The whole thing needs total reset. The thought of going to the emirates under this regime is a joke, soulless dump over priced and full of hooray Henry types taking Timmy and tabatha for an afternoon at the fawtball although the entire family spend all game on phones and iPads. Joke of a place and beyond me why people would sink their hard earnt into it. Bit like having a season ticket to wimpy burger house stale old ****e served up the same way week after week. - Post No. 110302


Seven Kings Gooner1  13:37pm 17th Oct 2017

Thanks John - great piece. However I disagree on one point, I think if Wenger stays around, say for another 4 years, it's very possible, we could do a Villa. It's starts by not being able to win away from home, we certainly meet that criteria and if your coaching and coaching staff are of the poorest standard in the PL, you are well on the road to the bottom six. We now do not have any second striker or a midfield player capable of 10 plus goals a season, Giroud tends to only appear in the last 20 minutes when we are chasing the game. The clincher for me is the fact that this squad is the most flaky, weak willed bunch of professional footballers ever to don an Arsenal shirt, led by an outdated and past his best manager - IMO relegation is a real possibility unless the fans organize and demand change. The only way to make change happen is to stop attending football matches at The Em*rates. For me, my days of watching Arsenal are over, I have been bought up to spot a scam and to avoid it at all costs, Arsenal are now a scam, a con job on thousands of fans who seriously still think that AFC's mission statement is to challenge for top honours, it is not, it's one aim in life is maximizing every opportunity to make money without too much outlay. You have all been put on notice. - Post No. 110303


Roy  14:06pm 17th Oct 2017

Brilliant article. And doesn't that picture just want to make you throw up ? - Post No. 110304


TonyEvans  15:33pm 17th Oct 2017

John - great article which clearly, and not surprisingly, struck a chord with many on this site. Quite a few of us on here have crossed a line now, which we never thought would ever happen - namely that we just don't care anymore. For me, having spent years desperate to see Wenger leave, full of anger and frustration, I am now so distant from the club I loved and grew up with I can hardly believe it possible. - Post No. 110305


Scruff  16:51pm 17th Oct 2017

Been able to read differing views on other sites lately ( off work for a month ) and 99% have roughly the same view with wanting Wenger and more importantly the Yank removed. That is except one site which amazingly has diverted (twisted,distorted) all focus away from blaming the pathetic display that was on show at Vicarage Rd to corruption from the FA and How refs are given brown envelopes ( apparently this is how Leicester won, sorry cheated their way to winning the title). There is no way real fan's can attempt a coup d'e-tat ( if such thing's still occur) whilst these morons are quite happy and the day trippers keep filling the stadium. Only money can change thing's unfortunately - Post No. 110306


Moscowgooner  17:14pm 17th Oct 2017

I agree with much of this. But the atmosphere at the Emirates is a symptom of the problems rather than part of it; we needed a 60,000 plus capacity stadium. The pricing policies were poorly thought out - as was the architecture of the stadium (one of the problems of being a 'first mover'). All that said, change the manager, change the board and I think we'd forget about those issues. As for MAF's comment about 'being seen by the fans to buy in 2 decent replacements' - do we or they really care any more?? - Post No. 110307


markymark  18:09pm 17th Oct 2017

One or two issues / scenarios . American sports do not relegate therefore 1:) Kronke is currently licking his lips being used to an American model. If however it goes very British and we have a 1975/76 style season you may see Stan panic as his beautiful asset comes massively under threat. 2:) Wenger could be impacted by old age / illness / lack of capacity 3:) Stan and his wife’s outdated retail model could take a further kicking forcing need to raise capital 4:) Asset bubble could deflate a good offer may suddenly sound very attractive. 5:) Josh might take greater control who appears to not align himself with Wenger. Any of the above 5 could happen much as Kronke continues some continuous reign with Wengo running it as a 105 year old. Keep some faith I’d say. - Post No. 110308


Wardy  18:27pm 17th Oct 2017

Bravo to a 100% accurate article, Arsenal FC as a once proud football club is dead and those that part with their cash to buy shirts or whatever else and to watch these "pampered/overpaid/couldn't give a toss" players deserve what they get ..... which will be disappointment and same old failure & which will continue for as long as Kroenke & Wenger stay at the club making their cash ........ tradition, pride and passion died when we moved to that soul less corporate bowl ...... RIP and roll on the greed league going bang ...... which it will (i hope !) ..... i'm supporting Whyteleafe FC these days - Post No. 110309


mbg  19:08pm 17th Oct 2017

No John wrong, Arsenal fans don't deserve what they get, not all of them anyway, wenger fans do, all those ambitious less AKB wengerites, wenger luvvies, and those fans that think the sun shines out of wengers arse do, but decent fans like the majority on here and all over the country with ambition and can see what's wrong and aren't afraid to say it, and call for change, don't. And unlike these other so called blogs and bloggers you mention who cosy up to the club and say all the right things for scrapes, real die hard fans who have given their life and soul to the club (not to mention thousands of pounds) and/with their up and coming sons and daughters who deserve to see the team/club compete and win proper trophies at least try and give it their best shot. No, they/we don't deserve what their/we're getting at the moment, and that is down to one man a weasel of a man an arrogant egoistic old man who is still our manager, they/we don't deserve him at all. Good article though John. wenger out now. - Post No. 110310


RobG  19:24pm 17th Oct 2017

Basically - Yes ! Sadly ☹️☹️☹️ - Post No. 110311


CORNISH GOONER  19:25pm 17th Oct 2017

I have a constructive idea - how about a new sign to be erected outside the Corporate Bowl - "Abandon all hope, you who enter"? (Dante- a medieval Italian who, therefore must have known a bit about football?) He also said "this way for eternal suffering" & "this way to join the lost people". Right on! Well over 60 years of loyal support to finish up with this total **** storm ffs. - Post No. 110312


markymark  20:55pm 17th Oct 2017

MBG - well done, well done , it’s not for us to have to take the blame for it or continually feel miserable about it. Hence my 5 points above . I feel pissed off that I , you and others are being blamed for this. The blame lays with AKB’s the key is they are diminishing. - Post No. 110314


Alsace  21:52pm 17th Oct 2017

You are spot on in your assessment of Stan, but wrong about Wenger. He can be got at. Chillingly he has in fact ignited a war between the fans who want him gone, and the owner who in a fit of pique humiliated the board and then tried to take the club private presumably to rub our noses in it even further. He has made the whole Arsenal experience dull as ditchwater and so far ahead of us will others become that we will no longer be competing for African and Asian audiences. Your analysis has one other flaw. Anyone would be better at it than Wenger. It would be less dull. We go for some fun. It matters who owns the club but not if he stays out of football which Stan does. The only thing that really matters is the end of Wenger. - Post No. 110315


John F  22:30pm 17th Oct 2017

John good article.I would get my passion back if we had a manager who actually made an attempt to fix deficiencies in the side,employed tactics, stopped the barmy team selections and played players in their right positions.If after all that we still finished behind the super rich clubs at least I would think a decent effort was being made to try and bridge the gap.Much as I hate to say it the spuds are doing exactly that. - Post No. 110316


Scruff  22:35pm 17th Oct 2017

The only way to rid us of Wenger is total abuse and it must be total to the point where people start talking and saying we are out of order. Horrible abuse about him and his family his culture his affair his daughter, are people prepared to do this? He is a weak man and total abuse will drive him away but who is ready and willing to break a person? I am! - Post No. 110317


mbg  23:34pm 17th Oct 2017

Paulo75, Alsace, and others, spot on, I can't for the life of me understand why and how these people think changing wenger will not change anything, and unfortunately John thinks this too in his first class article which is disappointing, so what if a new manager doesn't change Kroenkes ethos or the clubs ethos (and that's by no means a given whatsoever) but the new manager will have new ideas, new ways of doing things, new philosophies, new tactics, able to organise a defence, new coaching ideas etc, etc, etc, and as well as that he'll want his own players, his own back room staff, (and who can complain about the back room staff,it's long long long over due) what the fook can be wrong with that compared to where we are now ? we have to start somewhere for fooks sake. Sorry but all this crap about nothing changing if wenger goes is just another excuse from those who are afraid of change. wenger out now. - Post No. 110318


peter wain  8:25am 18th Oct 2017

no guarantee that we could not be relegated in the future. the weakness of the current squad, the unprofessional nature of the manager, coaching staff and board all make this possible. We need a huge amount of investment and a lot of deadwood needs to go. Wenger out now. - Post No. 110319


Bard  9:29am 18th Oct 2017

Bucking the trend a little, I thought the article was ok but didn't say anything I don't already know. As a supporter from the 50's I, like many others on here, have experienced lots of ups and downs. We just happen to be going through a down at the moment. Thats football. Whats new is that we are sticking with a failing manager year after year. I agree that changing the manager won't fix all our ills but I go along with meg. Any one of a number of managers could get a lot more out of the squad we have, not least to inculcate them with a bit of grit and determination. - Post No. 110320


Yes its Ron  9:31am 18th Oct 2017

Wengo leaving would change matters of course. However, he is inextricably linked to SK. Two peas in a pod. SK will seek another lackie who ll buy into the business model and toe his line once Wengo goes. Its as vital to force SK out as it is Wengo in my view. The two are as one. - Post No. 110321


The Man From UNCLE  11:08am 18th Oct 2017

Relegation is a long way away, even with this current side. So I'm afraid we may be stuck with midtable mediocrity for the forseeable future. - Post No. 110322


GoonerRon  11:25am 18th Oct 2017

Really interesting article. Whilst Kroenke needs outing he hasn’t completely strangled the playing side of the club. We’ve spent £200m on players in the last three years so by replacing Wenger and assuming the new manager brings with him better recruitment, tactical awareness and motivation I think we could get more from our spend and wage bill. The challenge is do we have the right owner and board to find this manager who will work under the conditions Wenger is prepared to (which I suspect is turn a transfer profit to cover the shortfall in CL income)? The other thing is I’m not sure an emptier stadium will get Kroenke out. Our two big commercial deals are up soon and will likely cover any reduction in match day income which in totality is less than 25% of our turnover. Plus the likely new entrants into the TV rights bidding will see those deals inflate. I don’t think we’ll see the back of Kroenke until the TV bubble bursts. - Post No. 110324


Seven Kings Gooner1  12:24pm 18th Oct 2017

The man from UNCLE : Villa thought relegation was also a long way away, it's closer than you think. Most people think it could never happen but that is exactly how it does happen, a complacent manager, a impotent board and an owner who, as already suggested on this site, thinks you cannot get relegated from the PL, it's a combination for disaster. For me, the lack of any real star quality in the side, a player who can get you important goals has gone, or will be gone when Sanchez leaves. The team is now full of classic Wenger type players, pass, pass, and pass again, no real change of pace and all traces of the extrovert removed, If AW remains it is a real possibility. - Post No. 110329


The Man From UNCLE  12:40pm 18th Oct 2017

Ron I hear what you say but Villa were lumbered with an owner who couldn't, or wasn't willing to, invest any more into the squad thus MON threw his toys out of the pram and the club went into gradual decline. To me talk of the drop will be more realistic when there's no big money being splashed out. No disrespect to Villa but they are just one of a long line of clubs like Leeds, Newcastle, Blackburn who found out that to play with the big boys you need big toys, and for all our failings there hasn't been any lack of spending - OK to a point anyway. - Post No. 110332


markymark  13:25pm 18th Oct 2017

Yes it’s Ron - only thing I’d say is that the PR side now is so huge a leap in the dark for an unknown is a big big sell . They’d probably go for a custodian I reckon. First question will you accept a DOF, next question will you slate us off in the press. I reckon Carlo Ancelotti and most managers would answer those questions correctly. It would be Mourinho who’d have an issue. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did a short contract for Carlo or Rafa . Unless we’re talking season 2035:( - Post No. 110335


jod  13:36pm 18th Oct 2017

Interesting article but really talking about the top six rather than the Premier League. Even then Spurs don't fall into either of the two types of owner described. Once you go down the pyramid a bit you start seeing one offs like West Ham, now the only state subsidised club in Britain. One other factor in the change in football was the move to all seater stadiums. That really marked the end of football as a working man's game. - Post No. 110336


shu  14:25pm 18th Oct 2017

Good article.We are both about the same age. The problem is they will still sell out for the next home game. We are no better than WBA , Watford , i wouldn't even fancy Newcastle away. Just how far have we fallen. I am not really that bothed V Everton , i want Wenger out for a start but i am losing my love for The Arsenal , hey i even praised Spuds to a workmate today who was gloating , i shut up when i said they had a really good team ! - Post No. 110339


KC38  20:20pm 18th Oct 2017

Some of this article is spot but the disrespect to so many fans is somewhat naive and lacking in understanding football. Many fans support through thick and thin due to their love of the club, many hope change will come it doesn't but people still support with hope. Clubs are generally as good as their manager Spurs are no different to 5 years ago except for one big employee the manager. He spends well manages well and his tactics are sound. We are a victim of both Wenger and the owner but Wenger has had cash it's his football ideology that is the issue, you don't need loads of cash to improve the defensive side while playing good football i.e. Spurs. The other issue missed is that life has moved on across all sport, we are not the only club that thinks money, most of the priemership apart from Utd city and CFC have budgets and strive for fourth place. Our stadium is fantastic it's not the plastic bowl that so many on here slag off, the issue is the team, the football the lack of belief we can compete, if the invinceables played there the place would rock like it did against Barcelona a few years ago. In an ideal world Wenger would walk away with Kronke but if Kronke won't the only hope of things improving is to rid us of Wenger but in the mean time to slag genuine fans that live in hope and many are anti Wenger is sad and pretty arrogant. - Post No. 110349


Issue #267 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

19th November 2017

Arsenal Turn Up on Derby Day

Online Ed: Best performance of the season sees Gunners close gap on Spurs

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