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And That was 2014 – Arsenal

by SimonSEEZ

*dusts cobwebs off the blog*

Howdy Howdy Howdy!!! Compliments of the season as we like to say in my country, I always grew up thinking that was a very safe way to greet during this period because in a heavily mixed religious country like mine you couldn’t possibly tell which religion a person belonged to just by looking at them so rather than saying Merry Christmas to a muslim, we just go Compliments of the Season which sort of covers everything inclusive of the new year celebrations. I was shocked however when I got a mail at work with the greeting “Compliments of the hour” and I thought, does this mean this fella doesn’t want me to enjoy his “compliments” for more than an hour? Oh well! To every man his own….

I’m pretty sure you didn’t visit to be lectured on my opinion on Festive season greetings so I apologize, I guess it’s a fallout of having not written anything here for a while due to extremely demanding end of year activities at work and just the mere fact that Arsenal weren’t playing very well and my vocabulary is really limited when Arsenal isn’t winning. Regular visitors of the site know already that I just can’t write when Arsenal loses. Maybe that would change in the New Year and by that I am hoping Arsenal win a whole lot more not that I’m hoping we lose just so I can test my ability to write about Arsenal defeats.

So it’s the end of the year and a time when we all reminisce on the events of the passing year, see were we have succeeded or failed, and make promises to change in the New Year which we end up breaking anyways. From a footballing perspective unlike other sports, it’s somewhat harder to review a clubs performance using the calendar year as one calendar year technically has separate bits of two football seasons and two transfer windows.

For instance, if the FA Cup final match was played sometime around the weekend of December 21st and we won it like we did earlier in the year, it would not only exponentially increase our joys during the Christmas period, many would think of 2014 as a successful year just by remembering how it ended.

Time flies by pretty quickly and with it memories disappear especially in a world like ours were people have memories that fade faster than a Twitter Timeline using Tweetdeck. I saw a tweet on my timeline recently that had the words “One Direction is a better band compared to ColdPlay” , I’m Really!!  Blasphemy Blasphemy I screamed and you had to pity my Mrs. who had to deal with my near one hour rant on how modern society has so brainwashed memories and we can’t even call ColdPlay a memory because they are still making hits. Anyways, yet again I digress.

Or did I”? We live in world were you play one good season and someone starts to call you a Legend, a few good matches and you are the next Paul Gascoigne. Whatever became of Ravel Morrison, scored a couple of goals last season and the media tried so hard to convince us on how his development might have even eclipsed Jack Wilsheres’. Remember Andros Townsend, the shit Spurs player that nearly went to Brazil on the back of one spectacular performance for England in a friendly and all he really does have to his name is One goal in the Premier League from last season.

So if you had to describe Arsenal in 2014 in one word, which word would you use? I’ll leave you to ponder on that.

However, at this time last year the club was at the position were all fans wanted us to be, challenging seriously for the Premier League on the back of a massive run of weeks leading the league.  However by May we ended 7 points behind the eventual winners even though we had led the league for the longest consecutive period during the season.  We ended up with the FA Cup trophy and finally got the trophy less monkey off our backs , we quickly picked up the Community Shield afterwards and it seemed the club was finally getting back into contention for some major honours.

Six months after that triumphant win and the amazing bus parade, one of the largest London has ever seen, we are booing the Manager and players at a Train Station in Stoke.  Such contrasting events in such a short space of time? Or is 6 months really such a short space in today’s world where everything is so fast? Wenger always says appraise me at the end of the season, isn’t it on this basis that the statement “form is temporary and class is permanent “ used by Arsenal fans many times hinges on?

Wenger like every human has his faults, the problem however is that his faults are mostly self-inflicted and the effects are far reaching. Everyone is a better coach with hindsight but the chances are that we might have reviewed a year where we might have won more than one trophy and still be in contention for the Premier League title if Wenger had signed well in January when he got only Kim Kallstrom or if he resolved the issues with our defence in August by the bodies we needed there.

Arsenal is a mega club, trophy cabinet in recent years might not reflect that but in truth we are. Top three most followed Football Club in the world only topped by Real Madrid and Barca. Compare our years of “nothingness” to the amount of success that the clubs ahead of us have had, we signed an amazing sponsorship deal with Puma even before we won the FA Cup which shows how marketable we are, despite increasing an already extremely high ticket price we continue to fill the Emirates Stadium and take up almost 100% of tickets when we go to away games.

In my country Nigeria, where it has to be one of the harshest environment to be an Arsenal fan considering the number of Chelsea and United fans here, Arsenal Jerseys are still the highest number of Jerseys sold on Nigeria’s biggest online shopping retailer. All these are off the pitch successes which is in stark contrast to our on the pitch performances but the point I am trying to make is that Arsenal is a huge brand whose whole philosophy of operations should not be totally determined by the thoughts of one man, Arsene Wenger.

This is no Wenger Out campaign, it’s more a WengerIn with less “Wenger Influence” on some facets of the club where modern clubs have advanced on.  The problems with Arsenal are visible and they are recurrent, lack of decisiveness in the transfer market, perpetual injury crisis, continual losses to the big teams in the league and a level of tactical naivety. Generally in life no other profit seeking or making venture would allow such a long spell of making the same mistakes.

One of my best quotes is “fire the guy who never makes mistakes and fire the guy who makes the same mistakes twice”, I can’t remember who said it or where I read it, if you can please help me but the sense in there is that the guy who never makes mistakes is not creative or lacks intuition.

If there is something you can’t accuse Wenger of, it is lacking intuition or unwillingness to take risks, however he has made the same mistakes for too long and someone higher up in the clubs hierarchy needs to be reining him in.

The thing with the current football calendar as is, is that we almost already know that our best chance of winning a trophy in 2015 is if we are able to retain the FA Cup as we have crashed out of the Capital One Cup, too far off in the league and we not good enough to win the Champions League. So it looks somewhat bleak and by this time next year we might not even be writing about a trophy.

Arsenal needs to correct that, and transfer window 2015 which opens on the 1st of January is a perfect place to start.  2014 might be a year for endless moaning for Arsenal fans but this is how I will remember the year. This video captures what it really feels like to a supporter of Arsenal Football Club, the greatest football club the World HAS EVER SEEN.

Happy New Year Friends. Interact with us on the comments section below or on Twitter on @canoncrested. If you live in Nigeria, support the site by shopping for authentic Arsenal Merchandise from our store. Click HERE


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Phillip Ajifowobaje January 1, 2015 - 1:16 pm

Wao! this write up is very spot on, very well articulated and thought through. For me i believe the club will need to change its philosophy around renumeration and transfer dealings for us to be able to compete for honors.
Arsene Wenger has been an asset for the club owing to his remarkable achievements in nearly two decades, building and moving to a new stadium during a global economic meltdown is one feat all fans will be eternally grateful for. The invincible team is still a delight of football pundits till date, qalifying for the UCL consustently on a very low budget for eighteen years, paying off the clubs debt and making arsenal one of the most profitable clubs is quite remarkable, however it goes without saying that Wenger seems to have lost his midas touch or perhaps lost touch with modern trend in world football. Arsenal FC has been a laughing stock to her rivals and football pundits around the globe.
It will be unfair to put all the blames on Arsene Wenger but rather to objectively analyse the issues and suggest satisfactory solutions. The board of the club need to set its priorites. Do we want to be a second class club in the EPL and UCL?. To acknowledge your point, Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs on the planet with a huge fan base. It is time the management of Arsenal take the desires of the fans more seriously and put arsenal in the First class league of clubs where it belongs.

SimonSEEZ January 2, 2015 - 5:41 am

Thanks a lot Phillip, at some point we hope the guys that run the club take the decisions that are necessary to ensure we are successful again…Like you said First Class League!

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