The beautiful game is Arsene’s fantasy
Playing the beautiful game the right way has been Arsene Wenger’s fantasy for the best part of his career as a football manager.
The operation to build a footballing institution that would be very much youth orientated and, most importantly, played the Arsenal way was conceived upon Arsene’s arrival at Highbury in 1996.
This operation has been centred on a principled observance of his philosophy which is, quite simply, a commitment to the creative artistry of passing football.
Confidence on the ball, dynamic movement and precise short passing were all principles that he would so carefully integrate into his teams.
The squad Arsene inherited was built on experience and strength at the back, with that infamous back four, but Arsene’s cleansing mission would quickly switch the focus to offense and turn the ideology of the club around. ‘Boring, Boring Arsenal’ would never be the same again.
As Wenger began to rake in the silverware he also, evidently, earned the license to take his fantasy to the next level. He proceeded to usher out the old heads and seamlessly blend in his exquisitely talented youngsters into the first team.
This would soon see Arsene develop a new generation which would be made up of some of the best young footballers in Europe including; Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie, Jack Wilshere and, most recently, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
However, this also marked the beginning of the drought and the sickening order that has seen Arsene generously feed clubs such as Barcelona and Manchester City with his freshly matured superstars.
Loyalty to the great man’s vision has wavered to say the least and with the continual loss of the club’s top players, Arsene has to again start from scratch.
The unprecedented success Arsene amassed during his early days at Highbury has allowed him the freedom and security to duly implement his philosophy with no resistance coming from the hierarchical quarters of the club whatsoever. Why would there be, when the big boys are fattening up, right?
Well excuse me but surely seven years of irrelevance could not possibly be masked by financial gain.
It begs the rational enquiry; why is Arsene still around? In theory, it is not unreasonable to suppose that the success of FC Barcelona in the past few years has allowed Arsene more time at the helm.
Allow me to explain: The Catalan giants have revolutionised an age with their extraordinary exploits under former manager Pep Guardiola, with many hailing their squad of two seasons ago as the greatest of all time. They have done so with the flamboyance and style Arsene Wenger has been trying so tirelessly to capture for years.
Henceforth, the world has been dazzled by the god-like powers that the mastery of this philosophy can unlock, as FC Barcelona have so thoroughly proved.
It is with this in mind, in my view, the Arsenal faithful maintain the hope and belief that Arsene’s fantasy is most certainly achievable and the utopia associated with the fruition of this purist mentality may indeed reap massive rewards.
To be blunt, however, Arsenal have not earned the right to be considered in the same class as Barcelona in any measure of comparison apart from their shared football philosophy. It’s a sobering fact Barcelona have won nearly 20 trophies since Arsenal last tasted a piece of silverware.
Arsene Wenger has built this club with a long-term vision. The desire is to be financially accountable and forward-thinking. He has along the way inspired his long line of admirers and also fuelled the boastfulness of his doubters.
There are seemingly a vast number of people who would argue that Arsenal Football Club is succeeding on all fronts apart from silverware, thus making the club a success. If this is deemed a reasonable argument then football has officially gone nuts. The very essence of its founding principles are engraved in the sheer will and pursuit of silverware!
It is time for Arsene to redeem himself to those who have donned the ‘In Arsene We Trust’ mantra for all these years. Indeed the defining moment of this project has yet to arrive but something’s gotta give!
This glorious fantasy must pay dividends or risk slipping through the ever maligned grasp of Arsene’s fingers.
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