It was only this summer gone that Arsenal were a club in disarray, a failure to spend and with it a perceived lack of ambition left many Gunners fans on the cusp of revolution.
How then only a couple of months on have the fortunes of the Premier League club changed so remarkably, where have the ‘Wenger out’ banners gone or the hordes marching on the boardroom?
Many Arsenal fans will harp on about how the Mesut Ozil transfer deal was enough to convince them of the club’s new level of ambition, in reality though very little has changed. A single marquee signing doesn’t change the habit of a lifetime, and fans would do well to realise that.
I don’t condemn Arsenal fans for holding their club to account this summer, in all honesty more fans should act upon their beliefs if they feel passionately about them. The problem as I see it is with those that are as quick to take up arms as they are to fall silent as soon as results start becoming more appetising.
By spending the money on Ozil, Gazidis and his cronies have clearly got away with it, the heat is off and they will live to fight another day.
So were Arsenal fans ever really that concerned with the conduct of both manager and board, or was the main issue just over the disappointing results on the pitch?
I would be naïve to suggest that football wasn’t a results-based business, clearly everyone is judged on their performances on the pitch and everything else comes as something as afterthought. That said I cannot help but think Arsenal fans are suffering a case of horrible short-termism, caught up in their own impressive start to date they have been all too quick to forget the endemic problems that still exist.
Arsene Wenger is still the same stubborn dinosaur that is so set in his ways that he is unlikely to bow down to anyone, Gazidis still remains the money spinning tycoon that is all too happy to drain fans own pockets but seemingly averse to spending any of his own.
Arsenal have one of the toughest months imaginable coming up, a double header against Borussia Dortmund as well as encounters with Chelsea, Liverpool and United; it is unlikely to be quite as smooth sailing as before. My worry is that the only thing this early season form has done is simply mask the many shortcomings that are still readily concerning at Arsenal, a slump in form and who knows we could go full circle back to where we were back in August.
Wenger sees things differently. At odds with many peoples urge to spend, he thinks Arsenal are a stronger team because they have matured over the past couple of seasons where other sides have undergone vast changes. Speaking ahead of the Champions League tie with Dortmund he had the following to say:
“I believe we are much better. Our young players have gained experience and maturity,” Wenger said.
“The consistency of our results since January shows that. We are capable to be consistent and that is always a sign of quality, especially in the Premier League.”
I am actually inclined to agree with Wenger, I think the club’s stability over their nearest rivals is a definite reason why they have started so quickly this term. Yet this wasn’t the kind of rhetoric being used the many aggravated Arsenal fans last summer, instead it was the cries of ‘spend, spend, spend’.
I’m not having a dig at Arsenal fans for thinking that way, people are entitled to their opinions, the issue is that too many have begun to believe their own hype and been too quick to throw down arms.
If football really has become this solely results based game then I think it is really sad. Who cares if a drug lord or shady dictatorial power runs your club, it is points on the board that matter right?
Buoyant Arsenal fans have been caught up in the moment, they have lost all sight of what they stood for only last summer. Football is a game with short-horizons on the pitch, but that doesn’t mean that fans who spend their whole lives following one club should be so flippant in the way that they view things.
A couple of defeats and we will see if this apparent Wenger revolution is quite as marked as so many Arsenal fans would have you believe.