Arsenal: The guns have gone silent - Part One (The philosophy)
While, as an institution, Arsenal has grown considerably and is today a recognisable global brand, on the footballing side though, the team has seen steady erosion of quality and character. Now, as results on the pitch matter most, the trepidation amongst fans is understandable.
Results in the past few years have cast a strong doubt even amongst the diehard about the future of the club. The consistent deterioration of team personnel has bolstered the paranoia that all is not well in the red half of north London. As a follower from a distant land, I share these concerns while remaining optimistic about our future.
To explore further into the present state of Arsenal we need to ask a simple question. Why do we like The Arsenal? And why do we support the club?
The answer to this might provide a clue as to the club’s growing support base despite the lack of silverware (proverbial metric for success).
I for one fell in love with Arsenal during the early Wenger years because of the sleek and incisive football. It was an adrenaline rush each time I saw the team come out. There was a raw intensity and an edge to the team. Those years were joyous as the likes of Bergkamp, Viera, Pires, and Henry strolled past most opponents imperiously.
However, since those heady days, there has been a multitude of change in the club both as an institution and a football team. Such sweeping changes, prompted mostly by external factors, have on one hand made the 60,000-seater Emirates stadium possible while on the other have left the fans with seven barren seasons. So I come back to my first question, is the club still on the right track?
My answer is ‘yes’. As a fall out from the ever changing dynamics of the football world Arsenal has been able to trudge along through one of its most tumultuous periods by pursuing a long-term objective. I say this because, like most successful organisations which are built to last, philosophy is the key and Arsenal has a clear philosophy; to conduct all maters with dignity and sustainability. And I am proud that, with Wenger as the pivot, the club has stuck with it through thick and thin. With the right ideology in place, long-term strategies become easier.
The club has stood firm on this premise and prioritised its future by building a strong foundation. Today Arsenal has excellent infrastructure, a relatively competent team and of course 150 million fans globally. Not many clubs can boast of such riches. All that is needed is proper execution of the strategy, belief and patience.
Football fans these days behave like equity market punters; wanting instant success like quarter on quarter profits. Nothing less will suffice. But one must remember; Rome wasn’t built in a day and iconic companies like SONY has been making losses for consecutive years. With such myopia I wonder how fans of so called lesser clubs feel each year about their clubs and its chances.
I firmly believe success is around the corner and the effort put in thus far will bear fruits. Subtle tweaking of the football team and commercial income will get the club to its deserved place amongst the elite. I am sure true faithful fans feel the same way and are willing to bide their time until silverware arrives. Until then let’s be hopeful and just enjoy the good football.
Article by Shubham Chatterjee
Calling all Arsenal fans. Do you agree with Shubham? Are Arsenal still on the right track or do you believe they need to try a different path for success? How confident are you that silverware can be achieved this season? Do you still have faith in Arsene Wenger? Whatever your views we'd love to hear from you.