Arsenal – how you lost my love

Credits: Red City
Credits: Red City

In all my four years of blogging, I must confess this is the most personal I may have gotten with you.

When Arsenal lost 3-1 to Liverpool on Saturday, my instincts told me it was not worth blogging over. I had, after all, made a promise to refrain from blogging unless my heart urged me to, and my heart was as dead as the Tin-Man. My impulses were drained, too defeated to comment over the same old.

But then, in my commute on the way home, I happened to listen to most of the weekly Arsecast Extra by Arseblog and Gunnerblog. It was a mammoth hour and 26 minutes, so I couldn’t finish it, but suffice to say, the message went through to me [P.S. if you’re not a fan of podcasts I beg you make an exception, for this is one of the finest commentaries I’ve heard on Arsenal Football Club lately].

It visibly hurt me, and in an attempt to find some sympathy over the situation, I chatted with someone who doesn’t know a thing about Arsenal. And in trying to explain why exactly I was sad, I wounded up ranting about the absolute shit sandwich that has been this club for half an hour.

I don’t promise this post will deliver any new information. I can’t even promise the content is well thought-of, mild, coherent or balanced. I just wanted to share.

Chat is below. Thanks for reading.

[8:23 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: It’s so…

[8:23 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: I saw this coming.

[8:23 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Like, others did too.

[8:23 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: But they were in the minority at the time. 10%. 5%.

[8:24 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: So this Wenger guy was probably the best manager in the world between 1996-2006.

[8:24 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Cult legend.

[8:24 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: And then shit happened. Arsenal became more corporate I guess?

[8:25 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Modern football happened and Wenger couldn’t deal with it. Football became global and the markets he knew were suddenly markets everyone knew. Newer clubs surpassed him.

[8:25 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Chelsea and Manchester City types.

[8:25 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: But this came at a time when Arsenal were moving to a new, fancier stadium with a huge capacity.

[8:25 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: 4th or 5th biggest in Europe I think.

[8:26 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: It was a massive deal. A step in becoming the next Barcelona or something.

[8:26 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: And stuff slowed down. The manager, the board said that they couldn’t spend money on players because they spent so much on the Emirates Stadium.

[8:26 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: This was the excuse ringed out for not winning anything for nine years.

[8:27 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Nine years no trophy. No nothing.

[8:27 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: And so many fucking idiots believed it.

[8:27 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: The stadium costs around 500m, but Arsenal only spend 20m per year for this.

[8:27 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Till 2028 or something.

[8:27 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: It’s not thattttt huge in football.

[8:27 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: But this was used as the excuse for Wenger to remain in power.

[8:28 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: And, fuck. Things got so stale.

[8:28 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: They still are.

[8:28 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: He basically has 100% autonomy to do whatever.

[8:29 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: As long as he gets into top four (because getting in the top four gets you some added monetary bonuses from some footballing organizations).

[8:29 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Which shouldn’t be hard for a club like Arsenal.

[8:29 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: But between 2011-2013 it became really hard because the club was going backwards over time and no one wanted to admit it.

[8:29 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Literally clung on to fourth. Not even sure why. Didn’t even need the money that badly.

[8:30 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: The money came in at 2013, most of these dumbfucks thought that would mean we would win stuff and become like Bayern Munich.

[8:30 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Despite buying Ozil and Sanchez and Cech and all that lot, we’re in the same spot as before. Surprise surprise.

[8:30 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: That’s not even the problem.

[8:31 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Everyone knows by now Wenger has to go, but things happen after a legacy manager like him leaves.

[8:31 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: All the structures at the club, at the moment, suit Arsene Wenger.

[8:31 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: All the facilities, the backroom staff, the consultants.

[8:31 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: It’s all 100% tailor-made to his specifications.

[8:32 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: The board don’t know shit about football. They are all a bunch of old corporate players who invest into Arsenal because we spend less and earn a lot.

[8:32 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: So they don’t want Wenger to leave, because they don’t want top-4 to be under threat and their paychecks to be hurt.

[8:33 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Plus. There’s this whole sentiment thing attached to Wenger because he’s such a big name. He’s almost synonymous to Arsenal.

[8:33 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Like. Not many think he’s the right man for the job anymore, but there’s this whole “oooh he brought the club where it is” and stuff like that.

[8:33 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: But the thing is.

[8:34 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Power has made him such an arrogant fucktard…

[8:34 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: I can’t even express.

[8:34 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: It reaches betrayal levels.

[8:34 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Someone whom you love and look up to so much get so corrupted with absolute autonomy and everything else.

[8:35 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: He doesn’t want to leave Arsenal because he has no personal life. He had some marital problems and his wife left him or something.

[8:35 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: He’s just clinging on because after Arsenal he’s utterly irrelevant.

[8:35 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: The board don’t care about the club winning trophies. All they want is money and Wenger is getting them that

[8:35 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: .

[8:35 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: And this has been going on for 3 years?

[8:35 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: All this sameness.

[8:35 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: No competing.

[8:36 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Losing against easy teams.

[8:36 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Letting relegation fodder like Leicester City win the league last season.

[8:36 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: It’s so embarrassing.

[8:36 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: And it has utterly ruined the fans.

[8:36 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: It’s so hard to talk to an Arsenal fan because you won’t know where they stand with Arsene Wenger.

[8:37 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: My cousin gets very aggressive over the topic because he’s a huge Wenger supporter and I’m not.

[8:37 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: You can understand that, because Wenger is someone every Arsenal fan is emotionally invested in.

[8:37 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: But it’s just.

[8:37 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: So much fights and feud over football.

[8:37 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: There’s this fuckall opportunist YouTube channel called Arsenal Fan TV.

[8:38 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: They take post-match reactions from the most polarized of Arsenal supporters and make all Arsenal fans look insane.

[8:38 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: One of these guys because of repeated media coverage tried committing suicide twice.

[8:39 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: This club is fucking ridiculous dude.

[8:39 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: There are so many more dimensions to talk about.

[8:39 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: There are 3-4 months left on Wenger’s contract.

[8:39 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: The board are too scared to offer him an extension because they don’t know how the fans will react.

[8:40 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Wenger doesn’t know if he should extend because while he doesn’t have anything after Arsenal, he must know he’s utterly incompetent for the job (although I’m not sure).

[8:40 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: And in the meantime, Ozil and Sanchez are looking at this circus and wondering why they’re part of it.

[8:40 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: They’re such good players. Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern would kill for them.

[8:40 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: We actually bought Ozil from Madrid and Sanchez from Barcelona.

[8:41 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: They’re insanely good, but because our fanbase is so confused over everything it just gets into a pile of mess.

[8:41 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Even the manager.

[8:41 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: On Saturday, when Arsenal were playing Liverpool.

[8:41 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Wenger benched Alexis Sanchez.

[8:42 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Just because he is like this utterly driven player who wants to win and is irritated by this comfort-zone attitude at Arsenal.

[8:42 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: At least that’s what the reason looked like. There are a lot of other interpretations.

[8:42 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: It’s just

[8:42 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: .

[8:43 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: So many politics. Fans getting split over everything.

[8:43 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Even a Wenger vs Alexis subplot stirred over this.

[8:44 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Some were saying “if Alexis is causing disharmony in the dressing room he has to go” and some were saying “if Wenger doesn’t cultivate a squad that can live up to a winner he has to go.”

[8:44 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: And in the meantime shit is hitting the fan.

[8:44 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: We’re fifth. Top 4 is under threat (not that it matters).

[8:44 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: The players don’t play well because they don’t know who they’re playing for (and also because Wenger is utterly shit at management now).

[8:45 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: The fans are divided into everything.

[8:45 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: They’ve become parodies of themselves.

[8:45 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: AKB and WOB and other shitbox acronyms that pedophiles use to label and generalize any person are being caught by the mainstream media.

[8:46 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Oh, and on the off-chance Wenger fucks off from the club this summer.

[8:46 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: The board has NO footballing expertise.

[8:46 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Only Ivan Gazidis does.

[8:46 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: You can’t even trust them to appoint a good enough successor, forget install backroom staff and facilities for him to succeed.

[8:47 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: There’s a fair chance they’ll make Wenger Director of Football of the club and trust him to appoint the successor.

[8:47 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: And Wenger will appoint a yes-man to do his bidding from above.

[8:47 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: This club is in terrible hands.

[8:47 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: The only way it does good is on the bank balances.

[8:48 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Highest revenue earning football club in the world.

[8:48 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: More than Spanish clubs.

[8:48 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: But it doesn’t matter because after Wenger leaves, there’s a good chance Arsenal fall below the fourth placed purgatory.

[8:49 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: A manager succeeding Arsene Wenger, with half the fanbase secretly rooting for you to fail? That’s fucking intimidating.

[8:50 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Manchester United were in a wonderful place when Sir Alex Ferguson quit in 2013, after 27 years of management.

[8:50 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: They had just won the league.

[8:50 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Next season they finished seventh. They still haven’t recovered from it.

[8:50 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: They’re sixth right now or something. Unable to propel.

[8:50 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Arsenal – we have everything. Pretty club in London, some excellent marketable players.

[8:51 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Superb stadium, facilities, etc etc.

[8:51 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: All that potential, weasted.

[8:51 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Wasted.

[8:51 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: I have no clue what’s gonna follow.

[8:51 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: If Wenger leaves I’ll be excited, because at least it’ll be a change.

[8:52 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Right now the club are so same. Same kind of football, same way of losing games, same bar set, same mediocre targets met. The static nature of it all is hell.

[8:52 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: A regimen everyone is too scared to break.

[8:53 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Once it’s broken, at least there’ll be some hope, some way out of this sameness, this apath.

[8:53 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: *apathy

[8:53 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: But still.

[8:53 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Fuck this club.

[8:53 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: No other club deals with such a complicated managerial, boardroom and fan situation.

[8:54 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: No one says being an Arsenal fan is different lightly.

[8:54 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: It’s actually so different.

[8:54 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Other clubs is just – win matches, lose matches, fire coaches, hire them, etc etc.

[8:54 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Arsenal is so…

[8:54 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: So fucking complicated.

[8:55 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Dude you need to listen to that podcast if you get the time.

[8:55 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: I’m not sure I’m getting the message through.

[8:55 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: There are millions of variables controlling this and the story has been evolving for decades.

[8:55 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: And the worst thing of it all is that football is not even supposed to be taken that seriously.

[8:56 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Football is an escape from real life.

[8:56 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: But fucking corporate reality even entered football.

[8:56 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: It’s globalised itself into a massive pile of turd.

[8:56 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure this is the reason I dislike Economics so much.

[8:57 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: It ruined football.

[8:57 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: 10 years ago the board was filled with people with dreams, passions and courage.

[8:57 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: They would have fired Arsene Wenger because they want what’s right for the club from a footballing point of view.

[8:58 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: But they weren’t rich enough and were bought by American moneybags who are in it for the money.

[8:58 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: FFS how long have I being typing this.

[8:58 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: I’m so sorry.

[8:58 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: 35 minutes!

[8:58 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: Fucking hell.

[8:59 PM, 3/7/2017] Freddy Dennis: I’m probably going to go listen to the end of the podcast. 😓

Right, that’s that. Hope I didn’t bum you out, but that’s just where I feel we are with this football club. Let’s see if things change, but I’m not keeping much hope.

Much love. Take care.

 

-Santi [Follow me on Twitter @ArsenalBlogz ]

Freddy Dennis

Gooner, blogger, France follower, Santi Cazorla lover.

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