Answers Needed

The most divided fanbase is unquestionably Arsenal. For once though, i’m not entirely sure why? At the beginning of the season, in the transfer window we bought exactly what the Wenger Out fans have been screaming for. A strong CDM (Xhaka) who wasn’t cheap (Wenger Out fans cry about Arsene not spending), a world class CB (Mustafi) who wasn’t cheap either and finally a Striker (Lucas Perez) who even though he hasn’t featured much, has shown every time he’s on the pitch that he was worth every penny. Now to me, Arsene answered all the critics in this respect, by ‘splashing the cash’ and buying in every position that needed strengthening. I genuinely thought we had a chance to fight for all the trophies going this season and as a fan you have to believe that, otherwise you aren’t truly supporting your team. After a disappointing first game of the season, we then went 17/18 games unbeaten (I think). We then lost back to back games. Firstly, against Ronald Koeman’s Everton, who were well organised and every manager has a bogey manager, Koeman is Wenger’s as everyone knows. We then went away to City who have according to some, the best manager in world football and we only lost 2-1, away from home. Following that we went unbeaten in UCL group stage, even against PSG who have just showed Barcelona up.

Currently we are off the pace by 10 points in the league, which yes is an issue but it’s definitely not over. Bearing in mind we beat Chelsea and they beat us cancelling each other out, so nothing was lost at Stamford bridge which I think fans are forgetting. I understand that to win the league you have to beat the big teams, I don’t believe in excuses but Bellerin was knocked out, if that goal doesn’t go in then what might have happened you never know, the complexion of the game would have been completely different. Admittedly, Chelsea are good at home and we would have been lucky to get a win but to think we couldn’t have got at least a draw is disrespectful to our players.

We are still in a winnable FA Cup. The media are trying to downplay Arsenal’s chances and angling for a giant killing, especially in the wake of the defeat at Bayern but why are people stacking up the pressure against one of the most successful managers in the FA Cup full stop? Yes Sutton have home advantage and a shitty 3G pitch, poor facilities and low ticket allocation for away fans. Yet we will put out a 80% strength squad, probably close to the team that smashed Southampton 5-0. I have noticed so much non-news recently in regards to Arsenal and Arsene, it’s almost like the media is out to get us constantly and will make a story out of nothing.

Now in regards to the question that is floating around at the moment, should Arsene go? This poses a very difficult question for me being a Wenger In fan. In short I don’t think he should leave. Not right now, I think he should go at the end of next season. There are so many different factors involved to make a snap decision like the media and Wenger Out fans want. It’s reactionary and unnecessary, especially when it all hinged on a single game. I hear and understand fans frustrations, i’m a fan too. But do you really think destabilising the club at a time like this will help in any way? If anything we need to be together at the moment with important run ins coming up, the only thing that matters at the moment is a full stadium and to get behind the players so that we get back to winning ways.

The way it needs to go is at the end of the season Arsene Wenger sits down with the board and sets out a plan of devolution. It’s not as simple to just bring in a new manager. Arsene basically runs so many different bits of the club, a new manager coming in can’t take over every single aspect of his job as he’s been there for so long, there needs to be a transition period where Arsene slowly delegates his many jobs to other people. Get the right people in place to run the club so that he can purely focus on his final season as just a manager. Then at the end of the season hand over the reigns to another manager with the club in the best possible shape so the new managers job is easier and can take the club onto the next level. As I believe the end goal is for Arsenal to become a Supergiant, it has to be the long term goal. They wouldn’t have put so much effort, time and money into creating Arsenal the brand. We have a huge stadium, the 7th highest revenue in the world, one of the biggest fanbases in the world and a team capable of getting into the UCL every year. The only place left to go is get another world class manager, buy world class players in every position and go for the Champions League, not just once but prolonged success. That is the business model I believe they will aim for.

This takes me onto the next part, who could come in and make that transition work? Me personally, don’t laugh but on a 3 year contract I think we should go for Mancini. The simple reason why is that he 1. Has Premier League experience and has won it. 2. Has some Champions League experience. 3. Knows what it takes to juggle the two (most foreign managers can’t grasp the winter period e.g Pep & Klopp) 4. Has a great win percentage and record. 5. Plays an attractive style of football (which is imperative to appease fans). Now I know no one will share my view so let’s assess the other options out there.

  1. Diego Simeone – The logical choice. Fighting off Real & Barcelona every year takes a lot, especially when they won La Liga. Sustained attacks in Europe, winning Europa League and getting to the final of UCL twice in 3 years, an amazing win percentage and also has a backbone and wouldn’t think twice about shaking the team up with some emotion. The downsides – He has no experience of the Premier League, a poor defensive style of play that i’m not sure that fans will trade attractive football for trophies (winning ugly), there’s only so many times you can shout at players to provoke a response. If we were to get him I believe it should only be on a three year contract.
  2.  Thomas Tuchel – This is a strange one for me, he’s come out as favourite pretty much and I can’t see why? Sure he’s manager of a big club like Dortmund, he’s got them scoring but if you couldn’t get Reus & Aubameyang to score then you shouldn’t be a manager! He’s not excatly setting the Bundesliga on fire and hasn’t even won half of his games. He got to the Quarters of the Europa League and is through to the Last 16 of UCL this year. He had one good season last year and has a different approach to tactics which are his only good traits.
  3. Joachim Low – He plays amazing football with the German national team, he’s got a good win percentage overall, however if you look at his domestic record it’s not amazing, he won the Austrian League the same year as our Invincibles and took Stuttgart to 4th twice in the late 90s. Yes he’s won the World Cup but it’s a different ball game (excuse the pun) in the leagues. This would be a massive gamble plus he likes smelling his own balls!
  4.  Eddie Howe – I understand this one, yet it won’t work. He gets the most out of Bournemouth because of the structure in place at the club and he runs the club with 4 or 5 ex-players as his backroom staff. He plays some attractive football and has achieved well whilst having restraints in regards to players. Yes he’s English and it would be good to see an Englishman in a top job in England! I’m all for giving opportunities but you should get in on merit and Eddie’s record doesn’t speak for itself.
  5. Max Allegri – He’s had it so easy, he inherited an AC Milan team he did well with and then took over Juventus with unlimited amounts of money, he’s won 3 league titles in his time in management but his style of football is dull running a 3-5-2 system. He’s been through to the Last 16 in UCL just as many times as Wenger, even though he reached the Final his first season with Juventus. The club would be much the same under Allegri and wouldn’t be seen as making a step forward.
  6. Leonardo Jardim – Only in his early 40s, he’s travelled around a bit, though he’s got a good point percentage overall and plays quite nice football, his European record isn’t amazing. Although saying that I reckon with the structure and resources that Arsenal will have in place, he could excel. Probably my my 2nd or 3rd choice, it wouldn’t be a bad move for Arsenal.
  7. Roger Schmidt – Finally, low down on the list with having only won an Austrian Title and Austrian Cup. Stable Top 4 finishes with Leverkusen and through to the Last 16 2 out of 3 seasons, not exactly the profile of someone a club of Arsenal’s stature should be looking at in my honest opinion, yet he’s been ‘shortlisted’ or linked with the club so I included him.

Whatever the outcome at the end of the season whether he stays or goes, no manager that comes in should be expected to create instant success and should be given time to adapt and build their own squad. We should all be patient and give anyone the time to progress. I’m in two minds as to whether Arsene should stay at the club in the background as sometimes it can be a distraction, as the new manager is always compared to the outgoing manager and doesn’t help if he’s still around (e.g Ferguson). Ideally if he does stay, i’d like  him to become director of football and oversee the youth academy as his true talent lies in developing young players and making them ready for the first team.

Thank you for reading!

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The Beginning of The Journey

So, here we are. Where is it, you may ask we are? We are still in a cloudy patch of history that will be remembered as well as the Phoney War in 1939. Not very well I can tell you. Yet that was the beginning of a journey our country started on. To overcome a dangerous threat and enemy, who at the time seemed to be more powerful, faster and larger than ourselves. I feel we are in a similar predicament at this exact moment in time. We’re up against an opponent with vast amounts of money, carries the sway of 27 nations and they have a bit between their teeth. They’re led by an ignorant power hungry man with Authoritarian views. They try their hardest to stifle free thinking and opinions that vary from their own. Such narrow mindedness that will eventually be their downfall.

I’m of course talking about that soon to be defeated Supranational Union of European States. Or EU for short… We have created the building blocks for the resistance to EU rule. We have re-ignited the wick of a burnt out, eternal candle that died out in 1975. Self determination was the catalyst. We are the leading light out of the darkness. We give hope to countries that are one their knees, that there is a way out of this. It may not be immediate, much like World War 2 but we can form an alliance to go up against the would be ‘Axis Powers’. The first of these will be a France under the leadership of Marine Le Pen. Much like Trump, I don’t agree with everything she’s put on the table. Yet she has the same vision and end goal. To take on the EU and have a self ruling France. It’s a larger task than ours as they’re a fully paid up member of the EU, but we will stand with them. There are a whole host of nations outside of the EU that want to do business and are extending olive branches even now. It would also be very advantageous for us to have an ally on mainland Europe outside of the EU, who we can trade freely with and create our own bloc to combat the monopoly of goods & services the EU has over Europe. Two great nations such as ours and France working together to create a new Europe of self rule and opportunity. Great things can be achieved between two giants of Europe who refuse to lay down. We’ll see where all the money comes from when we officially leave. That will be left at Germany’s door, who will be the final obstacle to overcome.

Of course others will follow us like Spain, Greece, Italy & Portugal, as their chances going out on their own are far greater out of the monetary union that has bankrupted them. The Dutch are certain to follow if Wilders wins this year. Germany will be the toughest nut to crack, purely down to history. We stirred up a feeling of national pride and used the tool of harking back to a bygone era of prosperity and dominance to get where we are now. The danger of sparking the fire of national pride inside every German might be counter productive to our cause, as it’s because of them we were stuck with the EU in the first place. They just couldn’t be trusted not to keep starting wars in Europe and picking on their neighbour the majority of the time. So between them and France they came up with a Union to end all wars in Europe, by literally taking away the powers of the nation. Basically they were put on the naughty step of world politics, and we paid the price for their poor behaviour. Whilst I sympathise with some nationalistic views myself, there is a huge under current of the extreme views flowing just underneath the surface all across Europe. We could, in the metaphorical sense, let the animal out of the cage by stirring up national pride in Germany to try and destroy the remnants of the EU. What we would be left with would make the journey we’re on, a wasted one.

Image result for german and french fight

However, the journey whilst it will have some dark and difficult times, twists and turns, trials and tribulations, it is a necessary one. Whether you like it or not we have set off already and there is no looking back. The clock is already ticking down. What we really need is the mental strength and resilience to fight the EU. We need to unify under the banner of the UK. Yet I still see the Remain side, sabotaging and slowing the fight down. We cannot fight a war with enemies inside our own walls. It’s time to get onside and fight for our country. In a world of snakes and ladders, it’s time to be a mongoose. MPs have a duty to their country, above that of their constituency. Their country voted to leave and now they try to debilitate the Government in adding amendments to the bill, that shouldn’t even be in parliament. I keep hearing from voices on the Remain side defending their tactics, that the government doesn’t have a mandate to make the decisions and negotiations regarding Brexit. Well I don’t know about you but  I seem to remember that they were given a clear majority in the last election and have a mandate to rule the country until the next election. I’m pretty sure that is a mandate the last time I checked. I personally think that they’re jealous that they aren’t at the negotiating table and that the ones on the Labour side of things are too busy destroying their own party and fighting amongst themselves as they can’t create an opposition capable of holding the government to account.

Finally, i’d like to say that even though I didn’t agree with the decision to have a PM who was a Remainer, Theresa May has done a good job so far. The rhetoric that has come from her camp has been worthy of recognition. She understands that this is the direction the country has to go in and she’d rather be in control than stand back and complain. I think every single Remainer in this country can learn from her. She’s sending out the right message of just getting on with it and not making a hash of it. Now if a leader of a country who doesn’t agree with what she has to do, can accept and understand what needs to happen next, then there’s no reason the rest of you can’t. Even coming out with the notion that hard Brexit is better than no Brexit, she endeared herself to me. It was refreshing and a step in the direction. Remainers need to put their energy and concentration into the future. Formulate a vision of what you want a Post-Brexit UK to look like. Look passed the present and shake off the loss. Quite literally, you win some, you lose some.