Nicolas Al Ferzly
After Arsenal’s brilliant display against West Ham on Wednesday night, we cannot but wonder why the London-based club does not perform this way on a consistent basis. Led by its talismanic duo of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, Arsenal tore apart West Ham with remarkably good displays from the underperforming Granit Xhaka and third choice keeper Emiliano Martinez.
This satisfying win comes as a great boost of confidence for a team that is scraping through troubled times, with Arsenal’s recent record of only three wins in its last eight games testifying to how poorly the team has been performing in 2017.
This season is only a bleak remainder of what Arsenal fans had to endure for the past seasons. Arsene Wenger has only managed to bring two FA cups to the club’s trophy room since 2004, a woeful statistic for a club of the stature of Arsenal.
Since 2004, Arsenal has repeatedly failed to challenge for the title. Arsenal has only managed to record three wins against the top six from 2012 until today, causing disillusion within the most important component of a football club: fans.
In fact, the vast majority of Arsenal fans are asking for radical change in the club, arguing that the coaching and executive board of the club miserably failed in delivering.
For the first time in years, fans have organized protests to voice their disapproval of Arsenal’s status quo. We have witnessed major fights between “gunners,” turning the atmosphere around the Emirates and the club extremely toxic. This season has been marred by controversies and we might very well be assisting to the end of a long-lasting era of disappointments.
In a football club where nothing seems to work since the departure of club legends such as Thierry Henry, the club must work on an effective transition into a new era and increase its expectations to more than just the top four.
It is clear that Arsenal’s board suffices with the top four and consistent Champions League qualification, which may explain why Arsene Wenger has lasted as Arsenal’s coach for so long.
However, the fans are hungry for more and they definitely have a say in the future of their club. Professional football has become an extremely ruthless sport and the club’s management must imperatively adapt to this new reality if they ever hope to challenge for the Premier League or Champions League titles.
It is obvious that there is a core of very talented players in this Arsenal squad and there might be a glimpse of hope in for the future, if the club builds a stable team around its world-class players. While Wenger has continuously claimed that he wants to take his club to the “next level” over the years, he should consider that stepping out as a club legend might be what takes Arsenal to its former glory.