|20 Aug||3:00 PM||P||Liverpool (H)||0||2||Lost|
With the assumption that you saw the Arsenal v Liverpool match, and that you saw the same things the rest of us did, I'll spare you an armchair analysis or a recounting of the horror show that was a 2-0 loss to a decidedly unambitious bunch of visitors. When I saw that Suarez was withheld at the beginning, I pondered just what it was that Dalglish was at. And until Frimpong's dismissal, it appeared he was setting his team out for an away point. Perhaps he hadn't heard: This is not your father's, or George Graham's, Arsenal.
I think I'm not alone in stating that I have a very real issue with the way Arsenal are being run. And I think it's time to gather everyone in the spacious drawing room of a country manor and let one of literature's great detectives solve the mystery of why in the bloody hell the Club aren't buying any experienced players!
It's as though the body of the victim is stretched out on the floor with the knife sticking out his back, but since nobody came or went over the course of this weekend, we know ze killer is in zis room!
Agatha Christie wrote these words for Hercule Poirot: "For in the long run, either through a lie, or through truth, people were bound to give themselves away." And someone here, someone with motive, is lying, lying to the Arsenal supporters about the crime committed of destroying this football club. Is it you, Silent Stan, the business man? Businesses are run for profit, not for glory, not for trophies, not for "customers" or "consumers." Which is what we are, after all, it seems - purchasers of a product sitting on a shelf in the shop of football. Silent Stan saw a "market" in which he could purchase a "franchise" to expand his business holdings. So is it in his interest to keep the wage bill down, the transfer money locked away, and lie to his "customers" so that we'll keep purchasing shirts, tickets, match day programmes, website subscriptions, etc.?
Or is it the remaining members of the Arsenal Board? Is it Ivan the Terrible Executive? Is it Arsène Wenger himself, protecting someone else, taking the blame, going from revered sage to hate figure by making it appear that he alone is responsible for the Club's ludicrous behaviour in the transfer market?
One of you is the killer.
In America, the most widely viewed morning programme is the "Today" show. It is broadcast from the first floor of the National Broadcasting System studios. Behind the interview area, there is a large floor-to-ceiling window, behind which stand many stupid people who wave hand-made placards that declare many stupid things, things like "Today is my birthday!" or "My father is a drunkard!" or "Piers Morgan hacked my phone!" Why can't we have a moment like that featuring Ivan the Terrible Executive or Arsène holding a large placard that says "We F***ing Lied! We Have No Money!" behind some worldwide broadcast? Instead of constantly lying to us and pretending Arsenal are still a big club, why not tell us the truth? "No Club Without a Sugar Daddy Can Win S*it!" Hold up that sign and be honest for once!
The constant drumbeat of "We have money and we will spend it" is the one thing above all others that has caused this horrible mood around the club. It has turned the supporters into detractors and the sycophantic journos into sceptics. Most of all, it has made the cult of "Arsène Knows" into a lynch mob, carrying pitchforks and torches (the burning kind) to London Colney, seeking the head of the very man who changed the course of English football.
If you read my last post (and thanks if you did), you read the quote I posted from Arsène back when the move to the Grove was planned. He claimed that he'd made an assumption, that the way Arsenal would become a self-sustaining club was to (and I despise writing this) essentially copy what is now the Barcelona model of bringing up a generation of footballers together and knowing that that would subvert the inflated transfer market by creating a sense of loyalty to the club - young players would always want to play the "Arsenal way" and eschew the overtures of Sheikh Moneybags and Roman IBoughtaBitch due to club loyalty.
I say that Arsène claimed to make that assumption because I do not for one second believe that a grown man who had made the transfer deals he had would actually say such a thing. I think he was under the cosh. You can dispute that and call him all sorts of names, but that's my opinion.
If you listen to the brilliant podcast by Arseblogger, you heard Amy Lawrence talk about how "unlucky" Arsenal are as a footballing entity because, when the move to the Grove was planned, the only thought was matchday turnover and how doubling the revenue from Highbury was going to position Arsenal on level footing with the only other true rival for the title, Manchester United. Now, she says, wages for top players are set by clubs with rich owners. Rich owners who answer to nobody. Rich owners who use football clubs as vanity projects. Poor Arsenal. You cocked it up. Better you had stayed at Highbury and sought a vain foreign t*at to pay the inflated wages of the superstars you now can't afford.
Somebody at the Arsenal Football Club is lying to us. Somebody is hiding the fact that Arsenal have no money, or that this club cannot spend the money it has. I just cannot believe that a man with the self-awareness of Arsène Wenger, who has been elevated to the highest pedestal in the game, is willing to be made a complete fool of and hooted down by supporters of a club he dearly loves. The body lies on the rug, and the murderer lies to us.
Most of all, I feel that we as supporters, if we knew the truth, would have much more tolerance and sympathy, much more willingness to tolerate what we're seeing, if any of the guilty parties would simply be honest with us. What if, instead of the constant drone of "We have money and we're gonna use it," we heard "We're f***ing broke and we won't do any buying unless we do selling. We used to act like a big club, but we're not one. We're run by misers who don't want to spend any money, and what we're going to do is be 'West Ham Mark 2,' a club that develops talented young players to play pretty football but we can't keep them and we can't buy big-time match winners, so we'll just bring our young stars along until we have to sell them.'" The true Academy of Football!
Be honest, Arsenal Football Club. Tell us the truth. Our anger stems 100% from the notion that you can "SPEND SOME F***ING MONEY!" but you don't. What if Silent Stan, Ivan the Terrible, and Arsène just turned out their pockets when questioned by Poirot and said, "It was not me. I did not do it" rather than bleat on and on about how much cash they have on hand? Clubs that have cash spend it. Clubs that don't act like Arsenal.
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