Friday, September 29, 2006

Arsene reaches his anniversary.

Sorry for the lack of recent updates. Has been a busy week and I've been incommunicado, or at least internet incommunicado, for much of it.

However, this week is Arsene's tenth anniversary and my blog really wouldn't be up to much if I failed to comment on this.

I started supporting Arsenal back in 1990 when I was just a little lad. England had just been knocked out of the world cup on penalties - a perhaps unauspicious start to my life as a supporter - and I needed a club. I saw the Cannons, Tony Adams and the rest, as they say, est histoire.

The first few years of me watching the Arse saw us play with an all English team in a semi-delapidated stadium. Still, I love Georgie G and I do disagree with the way that the club has tried to erase him from history a little bit. He won trophies, even if he did take a bung and consider Chris Kiwomya a world class player. But he left the club in a state of near meltdown. All our players seemed to be hooked on booze, drugs, gambling, women etc., and we'd been beaten in the last minute of the ECWC final by an ex-Spurs player with the most ridiculous goal of all time. That game still hurts me to this day.

And then along came Arsene. Or 'Arsene who?' as the wonderfully erudite Evening Standard put it. That would be Arsene 'I'll sign Patrick Vieira for £3.5m in one of my first deals' Wenger. I remember seeing Paddy play for the first time and it was like watching a completely new type of football. George's Arsenal had been 'boring, boring' Arsenal, '1-0 to the Arsenal'. Arsene turned our team into the most attractive - in terms of our footballing style - team in the league. I remember one season we scored in almost every game.

He's bought so many players on the cheap and turned them into world class players, there'd be too many to list. I think his net spending is something ridiculous like £45m in ten years. He modernised the club. The Emirates Stadium is his permanent legacy, a monument to his vision, yet so are the world class training facilities at London Colney. He turned the squad into a professional football team, not just a bunch of boozers who played footy on the weekends. Without Arsene, the premiership would not boast the hoardes of incredibly talented foreign players and managers, who have improved the league, and also helped cosmopolitanise [is that a word?] British culture.

But, and most importantly, he bought us success. 3 league titles and four FA cups. He produced the greatest side in the modern English game who went 49 games unbeaten. He deserved at least one of the European trophies, and had our players been able to convert penalties, or had Manny Almunia been able to defend his near post, he would have done. Now we've finally broken our hoodoo in the CL, I expect us to win it under Arsene. To see him leave the club without a CL trophy to his name would be an utter, unacceptable tragedy. I have a feeling this year, though, that we're definitiely going to exceed people's expectations.

So, I'm not sure how many other managers can boast success to a level of not just trophies, but of helping their club, and the league their club is in, postively progress forward. Anyone with any sense would recognise that, even if his an opponent, he is a truly great man. He has a job for life at Arsenal and I really hope he sees it through. It's a further measure of the man, however, that he has openly expressed his desire to go and coach kids in Africa as he still feels he needs to put something back into the game.

Merci Beaucoup Arsene, please stay until you retire.


永远的米兰 said...

happy to see you here.Arsenal is a good team .
but I'm Milan!

lase said...

"...he bought us success." really?? i expect that on a chavski's site about the a-brown-bitch. or you meant he brought us success?

Goonerboy said...

oops. Typo.