The Arsenal Way
Gotta love The Arsenal. I am sure anyone reading this has heard of “The Arsenal way”. No one could actually define the meaning of the statement, or give a true definition of what it actually is, but the very fact that we as a club actually have it, almost provides the explanation. As a football club we just seem to consistently do the right thing. Of course other clubs to the right thing every now and then, but with The Arsenal, it is just a part of our DNA.
In recent years, as in the “Wenger” years, we have even played football the Arsenal way. And of course, in the years after the “Invincible’s” we now have a song that includes the line, “playing football the Arsenal way”. It just seems to reach into everything we do. Wow, now there is pressure.
That is all not to say that as a football club we don’t get things wrong. With our current board, we get things wrong far too often. For the record, I am not a fan of Stan, I just do not see what he has brought to Arsenal. For me he is silent in words and even more silent in action. And as for Alisher, well the best thing that anyone can say about him is that he talks a game, notice I did not say, a good game. Plus he was at the Arsenal before he bought into The Arsenal, so may actually be a fan, and not just an investor. But these two, they do worry me. I wonder about the history, the class and of course, The Arsenal way.
But is it a bad thing that we appear to have a board who are all about the money? Lets be honest, todays football is all about the money, so having people very focused on it should be a good thing. We were once known as “The Bank of England” club, so being a money club is not a new thing. Equally, we all take pride in concept that we “make stars, not buy them”. So maybe the Arsenal way is one where we contradict even ourselves. We want stars, we want success, we want home-grown players, but we also want the best of the best. Maybe that why we love Mr Henry so much, we made him into the star he was. When we bought him, the fanfare was not massive, he was an above average player that had lost his way. Then he became a legend. So maybe Henry is the best (extreme) example of the Arsenal way, when it comes to players. But lets face it, he was a one off, the likes of which we may never see again.
So to be an Arsenal fan you need certain qualities. Patience by the bucket load. A thick skin, we will always get attention. Style and class as it is the Arsenal way. But most of all, you need to be able to get and understand the contradictions of Arsenal football club, and that is not easy.