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I was Wenger Out before it was cool

OPINION: The Arsene Knows Best brigade had to wait until the Ostersunds debacle to realise things aren’t going to get better – but will the people in power take any notice?

01 March, 2018 — By Richard Osley

WENGER In!

No, not really, but now you’ve all come around to the view that Arsenal needs a change in management, being in the majority isn’t as exciting.

It’s not as rebellious, there’s no adventure in it. It’s now a given: Meet an Arsenal fan, and they are bound to be ‘Wenger Out’. It’s like the time I liked that band you never knew about, and then they got famous, and I was right.

I’m not saying I was the first, but some of the Arsene Knows Best brigade had to wait until the Ostersunds debacle to realise things aren’t going to get better as they are.

That all said, the manager, the club, major shareholders, the people in power, whoever they are, seem to take no notice of the Wenger Out placards, wherever they may pop up. The protests seem more likely to stir them on to carry on regardless.

The manager himself comes across as stubbornly contrarian in so many aspects. If everybody screams: It’s never going to work with Granit Xhaka, the response is to play him in every single match.

And what do those fans know about Alex Iwobi, anyway?

There were players who seemed like they could have offered more for the club – Podolski, Joel Campbell and so on – who didn’t get a fair chance, and others who never got the pulse racing but were persevered with for years. The more people said you can’t win the league with Olivier Giroud, the more eager he seemed to field him.

The more people said buy a tougher midfielder, the more fairy-toed creatives were brought in.

And the more everyone – from fans, to pundits, to anybody sitting next to you on the bus while you’re reading this – suggested that what Arsenal really needed was some decent central defenders, the more Wenger resisted. Instead, he tried unproven hopefuls, like Calum Chambers and Rob Holding, promoted too soon, given the stature of the club and its apparent ambitions.

Given this, maybe the best thing that Arsenal fans frustrated at the rather embarrassing collapse in the League Cup Final can do is to actually chant Wenger In.

Wenger in, Wenger in, WENGER IN.

Nobody thinks a top-level club can be run as a fanocracy, where the supporters decide the fate of managers and players from one week to another, on the flip of a tweet. But the way things appear to work in this awkward club-supporter relationship, if everybody can keep screaming, tweeting it, singing it – Wenger In – around the Emirates Stadium, the contrarians may call for a change in the manager’s chair. It’s sad, but… WENGER IN.

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