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What We Stand For? – An opinion, a way of Arsenal

When the last season ended, there was a certain amount of nervousness amongst the Arsenal supporters. But they were confident that we would land some huge players like we did the previous year, prior to the “traitor’s” departure. Higuain was just meant to come. But the deal never happened. What more? Arsenal lost 17 players. They were not good enough for us. It seemed right, it is right. I think it was good to have that amount of salaries to not pay to players who will never play. Moreover, about 10 more are on loan. The Arsenal team looks threadbare. Bendtner is another player who might be just getting his wages, sitting around at the club. Wenger doesn’t want this guy to leave, it seems.

Except a young talent, Yaya Sanogo, no other player has been signed by Arsenal. Other clubs have had lesser amounts or more amounts to spend, but they have made atleast some signings. These clubs look stronger. But, a club stronger on paper doesn’t necessarily means that they will win the match or the league. Take for example, the match we played against ManCity, a week before the EPL started. Obviously, we outplayed them, even though they had made marquee signings.

What I am trying to get at, with all this talk of players leaving, you might ask? Well, I am trying to understand and know what Wenger does. I am trying to make you understand why he does that. It will take just a few more sentences to get there. Stay with me.

Match against Aston Villa. Season opener. Fans discussing the prospects of a heavy win. It is likely to happen given they just gave ManCity a run for their money. Good start, bad ending. Game lost. Arsenal fans go crazy with spend money chants and new groups of “Wenger Out” and black scarf movement resurfaced. Piers Morgan did annoy me again with his insulting and deriding tweet about the manager and what the club now stands for. New blogs and posts came up asking for change. Asking for something else, anything else. Wenger’s last year at the helm (that is until he refuses to sign the new contract), would be dark. Wenger should resign, he should be chucked out, he should be sacked are the cries of many fans. One thing that I can say is, that these cries are not mine. And neither are they of Shane Sircar’s, a dear friend who has similar opinions. A gooner with whom I discuss Arsenal, current club topics and everything related and more. And, I believe that a larger portion of gooners might agree with me on this one.

I spent that last week in research before coming up with any argument to refute the mass opinion. I have talked with many a number of football followers, both gooners and otherwise, read other’s blogs, a lot of them, formed my own theories, thought hard and even listened to a lot of critics.

What I found?
Barring a section of Arsenal fans, everybody thinks that Arsene Wenger should sign the contract and remain at Arsenal. It would be better for Arsenal.
Everyone thinks that there should be signings. Atleast 4 of them.
Arsenal are right in developing a youth academy.
Arsenal should retain their stars and it is time for them to win trophies.

What I think?
I believe that Arsenal do need some signings since the squad is so thin, that they might not be able to even compete for the whole year. One or two will be enough. Also, for the first time in years, we have not had a player who has forced a move. It means that they are willing to fight for the club and go above everything else for the club. All of them. The squad depth is unknown to a lot of fans, not me. We have enough players to last us but to be extra comfortable. I will list out the players (available to play) to you, barring everybody who has been sent out to loan and can be called back, should things get too desperate…

Szczesny, Fabianski, Jenkinson, Sagna, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Monreal, Walcott, Wilshere, Ramsey, Cazorla, Rosicky, Podolski, Giroud, Bendtner, Gnabry, Akpom, Sanogo, Zelalem, Frimpong, Miyaichi, Hayden, Yennaris, Eisfeld, Afobe, Ansah, Bellerin.

Soon to be back:
Koscielny (1 week), Vermaelen (potentially 2-3 weeks to get to match-fitness levels)

Arteta, Chamberlain, Diaby

Now ask yourselves, do we really, really need more players? I believe no. Because if you watch those Reserves’ matches, you know the quality that they bring to the team (The last 5 players I named). Maybe, you would argue that we could do better with probably one or two more signings. Well, the transfer window is still open. As Wenger replied after the Villa game, “Could we have won the game with the players that were on the pitch today? That’s for me the real question. And I say yes. After that, if we do not spend the money, it’s because we do not find the players.”

The club has long maintained its stand on finance, youth academy, the way it functions and the way they play football. “A football team is like a beautiful woman. When you do not tell her, she forgets she is beautiful.” Anybody who saw them play yesterday against Fener, would agree with me the this style of play is unmatched. Not even Barcelona, yes, even they can’t replicate that. So strong is the movement in the midfield and so fluid that players are with their movements. Arsenal stands for integrity, self-sustainability, harmony and fast, effortless and fluent football. I still see that from their feet, and I choose to stand by the club and Arsene Wenger in their endeavours.

What Wenger is trying to prove?
Arsene Wenger is not thinking short term. He does not work like that. He has built us a new stadium, a new team, of grit and determined nature, and has now built us a successful youth academy. His shrewdness in the market is unmatched and everyone knows how much debt we have cleared with the extra money, while keeping the club in contention for trophies and at the very top level. Mind you, being in the top four is not easy. Look at the spurs for a moment, long have they got a team squad deadlier than ours, but they still end up below us. You should be able to respect that and you should be able to acknowledge the hard work of the club. Wenger is not just about trophies and mind you, this is one of many theories, that I have come up with.

Arsene Wenger is trying to prove to the world, that he can make a club self-sustainable. In terms, of players, money, brain-drain and new training equipment. He is challenging his rivals, to splash the cash, to do whatever they like and that in the end, it won’t matter as he will still have quality players to defeat the teams put together by his rivals. I agree with him, totally, absolutely. If you have a bank account, why would you want it to be zero. You would want it to grow, forever. Never be zero and certainly, never be on the negative side. Wenger is doing that. He is protecting the future, but he is not letting go of the present. He is certainly keeping the current squad in check and working on them. He is maintaining a top top finish every year. He is doing this, so that the next time, we need to expand our stadium, we won’t have to go out for loans. I think, he is one hell of a manager, who thinks beyond a current squad. He is the one. After all, not everybody has an asteroid named after themselves.

To conclude, let us just say that we are not the managers of Arsenal. Even if we were to be, we won’t be able to run it this efficiently. He knows what is happening inside and outside. He knows how the things work. And in a few years, we would see what he has done for us. So, I say, we stick together; close. Very very close. We support Arsene Wenger and we support the club. After all, the club needs us more than ever.


About Kritin Vij

I love to play football and I love the way Arsenal play. I love playing football and programming stuff. I am currently a student at university of Washington and I love programming in C++.

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