Arsenal are currently 10th in the league table and we are nearly at the half-way point of the season. This has been the worst start for the Gunners since Arsene Wenger took over at the club in 1996.
Last night they suffered their fourth defeat of the season against an efficient Swansea side. But more than the defeats or current league position, it is the way Arsenal have performed that has concerned the fans.
In yesteryear, Arsenal would dominate matches, create lots of chances (without finishing them), play eye-catching football and would yet lose at times with teams hitting them on a break. In yesteryear, most of the victories for their opponents had some element of luck involved.
With alarming regularity Arsenal have put up performances which lacked cohesiveness, cutting edge or the silky football we have come to expect from them – the performance against Manchester United being the lowest point.
The fans were out on the streets of Emirates before the match protesting against the board and Arsene Wenger. The team was booed off the pitch during the half-time and at the end of the match.
BSM (Black Scarf Movement), an Arsenal fan protest group, carried placards with “What the f*** do you do?” and “Let’s kick greed out of football” onto the streets.
The fans protested against the board members, specifically Chief Executive Ivan Gazidis, the price hike in tickets (Arsenal have one of the most costliest matchday tickets in England) and in general how the club is being run.
Kelvin Meadows, Spokesman of BSM, clarified that despite their protest ahead of the match, they continue to support the team, but they demand some answers from the board.
Meadows was quoted in press:
‘We are doing this walk to highlight a few concerns, but when we reach the end at the stadium we will get all our flags out to show we are 100 per cent behind the team.
‘But we want to know a few things with regard to what’s going on at the club.
‘If there is money for the manager to spend why isn’t he spending it or why isn’t anyone telling him to spend it?
‘If there’s no money to spend then where on earth has our money gone?
‘We’ve got some of the most expensive ticket prices, yet where is the expenditure on the players?
‘My personal point of view is that I think Wenger is partly responsible. But I think to a degree he has been left working with his hands tied behind his back.
‘But the one thing we are trying to make clear is that it’s not about Wenger, but the way the club is run. That’s what we have to stay focused on.’
Arsene Wenger in his post match press conference was defiant as usual. He is sure that his team will turn things around. He even shrugged of questions regarding his future and the protest from the fans and left it for the share holders to deal with. But sooner or later he will have to address the concerns.
The club has slipped to mediocrity, instead of challenging the likes of United, City and Chelsea; Arsenal are currently battling Stoke City and West Ham; how the mighty have fallen.