It’s the same old story for us Arsenal fans isn’t it? In the summer, we are excited about the potential incoming prospects, not many of them actually arrive though. We start the season in fashion leaving many supporters and pundits alike asking whether ‘is this the season Arsenal finally gets over the hump?’. But by January, we are so far adrift of the title that we start settling for new goals (usually one of the domestic cups and Champions League qualification). But this season seems to be so much worse than the previous. Many of us have become numb to the continued disappointment that we just shrug it off, but with Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan reportedly on the verge of joining, will these two and a strong second half of the season be enough to quell the disenchanted Arsenal faithful?
After the continuous years of the board and management spewing their same drivel about us competing with the best teams in the world, the Gunners faithful have grown tired with the same tired and sorry excuses about not having the financial stability to compete with the other teams in the league. Surely that’s what we moved to the Emirates for in the first place, right? The cycle of false optimism followed by failed targets has become tiresome and I for one have come to the acceptance that under our current regime, the league is so far out of sight.
Since we last won the league in the 2003-04 season, it seems that every team around us since that time has progressed significantly. Manchester United have always been a force in the league and were our rivals for a prolonged period of time. But in this time frame, Chelsea and Manchester City have won multiple league titles and established themselves as two of Europe’s finest teams. Even Liverpool and Tottenham who were seen as minnows in our period of dominance are in their period of resurgence under youthful and exuberant coaches in Klopp and Pochettino. While these clubs have seen progress on route to their future success, it seems that Arsenal has stagnated and somehow regressed.
So at this point, even if we secure marquee signings in this window, what will constitute a successful season? We are already out of the FA Cup and Champions League qualification looks like a stretch already. So would a Carabao Cup and Europa League trophy be enough to silence the doubters that still exist, I doubt it. We as fans want to be involved in the title race, feel as though there may be a chance, no matter how small that come the end of the season, the title could be hoisted at the Emirates Stadium. But alas, that is nothing but a fantasy at this current point so maybe two trophies might actually make the season a success.
However, after all that being said, there are much larger issues that need to be addressed at the end of the season, and Wenger needs to be held accountable. How is it that after continuously watching our best players get sold to rival teams over the last decade, does Wenger allow so many key players to run down their contract with a scary lack of urgency to get the process done as quickly as possible. A club of this magnitude shouldn’t have dark clouds hovering over its head as to whether their star players will be resigning with the club. A slew of rival clubs have had their stars sign new long-term contracts securing the long-term stability of the club while we as Arsenal fans have to scramble for news to find out whether we will be retaining our players.
All in all, maybe I’m just upset that the team isn’t showing urgency to compete at the highest level and win the biggest trophies. Maybe I’m angry that I’ve seen multiple teams dominate the league and bring home the trophy while my team takes pictures in the dressing room after securing 4th place in the league. So even if we do make a run and have somewhat of a successful season, what’s really going to change in the long-run. It seems like Arsenal are just in a maze right now and we have no idea where we are going.