Monday, 26 May 2014

Tough at the Top

It's the age old tale of the perils of leadership.

After a period of unparalleled success not seen for decades, things start going wrong. A series of campaigns fall short of the mark and you see yourself being overtaken by upstarts with huge amounts of overseas money backing them and unlimited resources.

Still, a combination of talented individuals and collective resilience keeps everything together with the effect of punching well above your weight.

However, it's not long before the seeds of discontent are sown. Key team members with an overinflated opinion about themselves start talking about leaving because they can see no hope of future success and the press eagerly join in on the feeding frenzy because they've never liked you anyway.

Then just when you think you have weathered the storm, you are faced with a massive set back. A bad defeat gets the tongues wagging and commentators start talking openly about you not being able to even finish in fourth position.

So what to do? Panic!

The leader must go. Things must change before it was too late. Time to abandon the principles that got you to where you are now and throw the baby out with the bath water and start again.

That's because when things go wrong and it is all too easy an option to blame the man in charge.

But enough bleating on about Arsenal. It turned out nice in the end. Champions League football and the FA Cup. Maybe not all we could have got, but if you can't sink another oil well or fraudulently set up a sponsorship deal to pay for the team, what did anyone expect? If you think you are doing it right, keep calm and carry on.

I suspect that most fans now think that siren calls for Wenger to go after the Villa game were premature and precipitous. Sure the defeats to City, Chelsea and Liverpool were embarrassing but the chants of "one Arsène Wenger" during the victory parade, showed we're back in love with our often frustrating and stubborn boss. It's up to him to learn the lessons and get on with it next season.

The lesson for Arsenal fans is that the long game is what it is all about. Change is often not the answer. Just ask Cardiff, Norwich, Fulham... and United! And from now on, I'll refuse to entertain the opinion of someone who is not prepared to state exactly who they want to replace the manager with before treating it as a valid arguement.

In other news: Baron "ICM" Oakeshott is an Arsenal fan. He should jolly well know better.

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