Arsenal’s Season So Far Has Turned Believer Into Skeptic

Posted: February 21, 2012 in Arsenal FC
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I am not a fickle supporter. I will start with that. I am very much a staunch supporter in fact, I bleed Arsenal. I have a long history amongst my dear friends and family for supporting teams that have long languished in mediocrity. I am a Cincinnati Bengals fan, that in itself, should you follow american football, should say enough. I also support the Cleveland Indians, who haven’t won a World Series since 1948. So basically Gunners, I am loyal supporter,I have stuck with the Arsenal through thick and thin since 1991. I have seen the downs, ups and now downs again. I have cheered and cried with you all, but enough is enough.

We have all seen that the recent profitable years have been largely based on the sales of our best players. The wages for some players, who are mediocre at best, is down right larcenous. All of this smoke and mirrors have made for a feel good spirit surrounding our beloved club. The feeling that we were doing it “the right way”. In essence, it seems we are all unwilling participants in a Ponzi scheme and the reality of the situation is just now being made clear right before the collapse. Check that, right in the thick of the collapse.

I understand that sports franchises go through ups and downs. I wrote a piece on that very subject last summer; here. I also understand that the professionals know better than us on how to run our club, or they should know better, as documented here. The reality is that the club’s so-called self-sustaining model is based on a number of factors that could change year in and year out; players sales, contract renegotiation, and tournament qualifications and/or progress. At the end of the day, our on field play will determine everything. At the moment, the football on display is dreadful, and simply can’t continue if we are to get back to where this club deserves to be. Better yet, to where we, the fans, deserve it to be. The highest ticket prices in the EPL being raised an additional 6%+ after a monumental collapse at the end of last year is rather ridiculous; combined with year after year of surplus in the bank to spend on much-needed talent going untapped. All this leads to the horrible realization that somewhere in this dream of 49 straight unbeaten, 15 consecutive years of CL football, and the building of the Emirates; the wool has been pulled, ever so slowly, over our collective eyes.

For every loyal Gunner there are countless more fair weather fans that will go and support another team when the shine wears off the cannon, be it ever so brief. That means we must be competitive, we must improve and we must get back to winning ways or quite simply lose the appeal for everyone except the die-hard, and that simply won’t do in this day and age of short attention spans. Is this the right way to function? It doesn’t matter what you or I think, it’s the reality of sports now. Supporters jump off one bandwagon to jump unto another, it’s the way of the world now. The new breed of sports fan is that brittle. We must adapt as a club or mentally prepare to endure many years as a mid table team. That’s the reality and it absolutely is astonishing how we got here.


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