“The Nile”: A Case for Change
*** The Nile, located in the northeast of Africa is generally considered as the longest river on planet Earth.
*** Change is defined as “the act of making or becoming different”.
Many of you are probably wondering what does one have to do with the other. The simple answer is absolutely nothing. However, “The Nile”, when pronounced phonetically, sounds like “Denial”, which according to some definition, is “a refusal to believe or accept something as the truth”. This “Denial” absolutely has everything to do with “Change”, for one can easily refuse to accept change when one is living in a constant state of denial.
I used to be somewhat of a regular on this Arsenal blog (and others) but decided to take a much-needed sabbatical from blogging a couple of years ago when it became apparent to me that my love for Arsenal and my desire for the team to perform well to the highest standards were not been met and were actually starting to cause trouble in my personal life. You see, back then, every time Arsenal played awful and lost, it deeply affected my mood for the day or for the week, and I was inadvertently taking it out on my family. My son (11 years old at the time) pointed this out to me in the most honest way one day after another poor Arsenal performance. All he simply said when my wife and my small daughter came in the room was: “Arsenal just lost again. Here goes our weekend. Papa is very angry and is going to be in a bad mood all weekend.” He is an Arsenal fan just like me, and has been for the past 10 years. When I heard what he said that day, I decided right on the spot to still support Arsenal and Arsene Wenger, but to take a break from blogging, go into a “semi-retirement” and let results of Arsenal matches speak for themselves. Basically, to not let bad results and bad performances dictate my life. I still follow Bergkampesque and read every comment (some I agree with, some I don’t) as much as I can, and it has been quite an experience willing myself to not participate in any given debate.
So, why then am I breaking my silence to write this post? Well, the simple answer is that after much soul searching and internal deliberations, I have come to realize that I was delusional, I was living in total denial, in believing that Arsenal can achieve the utmost success in winning the Premier League and maybe one day, even the Champions League. Meanwhile, teams like Chelsea and Manchester City (granted their unbelievable wealth and financial doping) have surpassed us and left us in their rear-view mirror. And now in the past couple of seasons, teams like Liverpool and Tottenham have done the same, albeit they are not that far ahead at all but still ahead nonetheless. This has led me to wonder what the hell exactly is going on with Arsenal as a football club. How did we allow the team to regress instead of progressing? How did we allow superstars like Sanchez and Ozil to run down their contract to now 5-6 months and now hold the club to ransom?
A few days ago, I asked my son (now 13 years old) if he was excited about the start of the FA Cup and if he thought Arsenal would be able to mount a successful defence of their title. I also asked if he would like to watch the match. His answer shocked me. He said: “why even bother, they are going to lose anyway, against a Championship side because they don’t play well anymore, they are just not good enough anymore. They suck!” That answer both hurt me and woke me up from my fantasy land at the same. Have we become that bad that even a 13-year old diehard Arsenal fan can clearly see it? And if he (and other young fans like him) can see it, why can’t we? Why can’t Wenger? Why can’t Kroenke? Why can’t the B.o.D.? With the vast influx of money now in the Premier League, competition will be fiercer than ever before. Every single team can now attract quality players to complement their squad. Now is not the time to hide. Now is not the time to be in denial. Now is the time to wake up, remain united, and demand accountability from Stan Kroenke, from our B.o.D., from Arsene Wenger, and especially from our players. If we do nothing, we will look up every end of season and see at least 5 teams ahead of us. That is not acceptable. Something’s gotta give one way or the other.
Either Wenger completely remakes the team with a whole bunch of dedicated fighters full of heart and passion for the game (not whinny average primadonnas simply happy to collect their bloated pay checks every week). Or, he calls it quit at the end of this season (waiting until the end of next season when his contract expires might be too late to remove the toxic aroma and negativity surrounding the club, I worry). This is where change, though risky, can be good for the future of the Club. Leaving Arsenal would in no way, size, shape, or form diminish Arsene Wenger’s stature within the Club. He is and will most likely remain one of the best (if not the best) managers Arsenal will ever have. His love, loyalty, and achievements speak for themselves.
Unfortunately for him, we don’t live in the past. We live in the NOW and we hope for the FUTURE. And right now, that future looks pretty bleak and uncertain. This Arsenal ship has been listing badly over the past several years and because of the unbelievable trust, fatherly love, and sound fondness that Arsene Wenger has for his players, he can be totally blind and gets betrayed by his players too often with average performances followed by great performances followed by mediocre performances, etc. Some say Arsenal are so inconsistent. I say that’s wrong. Arsenal are consistent. They are consistently inconsistent. It equally pains me and annoys me whenever I hear match commentators (after a tough loss or a fantastic win) utter the phrase: “Typical Arsenal”, even though I know they are right. We need to somehow reverse this bad trend. In my humble opinion, a new approach is needed, a new direction is needed, new personnel are needed, a new Captain is needed at the helm to right this ship. CHANGE is needed. It will not be easy sailing. It will require our patience, our determination, our total commitment, and our profound support.
Change is the only constant thing in life. We must embrace it, not fear it.
And remember, there are no rewards without risks. I hope our just reward will ultimately be a swift return to the top, as it should be and must be.
As supporters, we all have differing opinions on these very sensitive subject matters. Please attempt to make constructive arguments, and do not belittle or hurl insults at the writer or at a commentator. Let’s share opinions and agree, disagree, or agree to disagree with each other but remain civil.
“Victory Through Harmony”
Written by: Gino92