The sense of entitlement of some football supporters is sometimes beyond parody. Take Arsenal (please). Having finished in and around the top four of the Premier League since God was a child and winning the FA Cup on a regular basis, it is hard for many to stomach the bleeding heart whinging from the posh boys and girls at the Emirates stadium. Being one of the top clubs in the land is not good enough for the twee middle classes of Arsenal: Wenger has to go.
Putting my cards on the table, I have no feelings about Arsenal, other than they are yet another foreign-owned club with primarily foreign players supported by Nick Hornby types. With Arsenal spluttering this season and “only” winning the FA Cup, the knives and light aircraft have been out in force for Arsene Wenger. Do these loyal Gooners have no sense of irony at all?
At various times today, various members of “independent supporters club” were all over the radio airwaves expressing disquiet with the misery the poor loves are suffering. Imagine how ghastly it must be for them to “only” be in the Europa League. “Don’t they know who we are? Because we are Arsenal, we should be presented the Premier League trophy by right. Anything else, well, it’s a disgrace.”
Don’t worry about the supporters of, for example, of Leyton Orient who have been royally shafted by their owner, or Coventry City or Torquay United. Poor old Arsenal fans, quaffing their trendy craft beers in the chic gastro pubs of North London. Can you not see how they have suffered?
I feel no great love for Wenger, either. For all his alleged footballing science genius, he still comes across as little better than Mourinho when it comes to showing a lack of class. The supporters moan at the lack of spending by Arsenal but compare the Gunners with Liverpool who last summer turned over a profit on transfers and still qualified for the Champions League.
Some woman from one of the myriad of support groups was on 5 Live earlier, despairing at Wenger’s tactical naivety and incompetence, as if she, somehow, could do far better than him despite never having so much as managed a Sunday pub team. Well, pardon me, but whilst Wenger has been known to make the odd blunder from time to time this is usually down to events beyond his control. To be honest, people who have never kicked a ball in anger have always pissed me off when criticising the efforts of those who have kicked a ball and actually done it rather well.
The wish of so many Arsenal fans to get rid of Wenger is also a case of “be careful what you wish for”. A new manager would undoubtedly turn the current squad upside down because the vast majority of Arsenal players have been bought and bred to play his system. This may not immediately occur to the Emirates prawn sandwich brigade, but I can assure that every real football man (and woman) would have twigged it straight away.
Should he stay or should he go? I really couldn’t care less, but the no-nothings who criticise the manager just because they can and because they fancy a change really don’t have a clue. Wenger may be drinking the last of the summer wine but he’s still so much better than anyone else who is available right now. I am not sure many of the supporters deserve him as manager.