Words by Max Cowie, Staff writer
The Gunners are shooting themselves in the foot and there seems to be no end in sight for the fans.
Arsenal have had a great struggle with the opening of this season, opening with losses in their first three outings to Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City respectively left them 20th in the league. And, despite winning their following two games, over Norwich and Burnley, who are now placed 19th and 20th within the league, neither of these win’s were comfortable. With Arsenal just squeezing by with one nil victories in statistically close games.
Whilst these victories have been celebrated by the fanbase many still have questions over the current state of the club led by Mikel Arteta. Leading to many putting their final judgment on the team and this season’s hopes as well as Arteta’s managerial position upon the North London derby this Sunday (26/9) between Arsenal and Tottenham. As one of the oldest rivalries within the Premier League, Arsenal vs Tottenham has always been an event. But now more than almost any of the previous encounters, it is seen as the ultimate test for Arsenal to see if they still deserve to be viewed as a big club or should instead be viewed as a mid to low table side instead.
As someone who has grown up in North London, Arsenal is everywhere and means so much to so many within the community that raised me. Throughout my childhood, Arsenal were flying high. I moved to London just as Arsenal were about to embark on their Unbeatables Season 03-04, this momentum that they had gathered during their prime continued throughout my childhood. Which is why it is so agonising to witness their downfall now. Whether it was friends at school, the pub culture of Islington or the many community outreach programmes which were available to me thanks to Arsenal’s sporting and financial success. The club greatly affected the local area and all who relished in their glory. Which is why it is now so disheartening that the club grew up with, seems almost unrecognisable to what has been occurring these past few seasons.
While I can see disappointment from those who are still, with bated breath, hoping for a miracle this current season that I know personally, others can see it through the always popular AFTV (Arsenal Fan TV) Youtube channel. Where after each mediocre match, there are countless videos capturing the many different but quite bleak reactions of beloved Gunners fans and characters. One turning point for the Youtube channel and capturing the reactions of the fanbase, that even die hard fans aren’t shocked anymore. Gone are the days of the channel capturing screaming fans, overreacting to a loss. This has instead been replaced with disheartened sighs and head in hand responses. The mutual feeling is simply that the club is falling short. Arsenal despite their limp results haven’t lacked support however receiving one of the highest cash totals within the most recent transfer window of 142 million pounds. Reminding us all of the powerful and lucrative choices the club still can make, despite its catastrophic past few seasons.
This current, dreary season for the club, is one which many shall be able to relive time and time again, thanks to Amazon Prime finally selecting Arsenal as their focal point team for their documentary series, where a leading club is selected and then captured from all angles. The irony of ‘All of Nothing: Arsenal’ being currently in production is the fact that it is looking remarkable like nothing. Some have even gone so far as to hack Amazon Prime and changed the film genre from a documentary to a comedy. Which says it all really.
The most recent North London derby shall be one to watch, not to see two leading clubs fight it out as bitter rivals. But rather, to see how badly Arsenal shall do when facing Tottenham, or if they may survive with a draw at best. I personally feel hopeless for whatever the result of it shall be. Despite all of this, I still hold Arsenal close to my heart, hoping once again they may rise to the occasion and return to being one of the leading clubs in global football. Whether this is something that will occur in the near future is yet to be seen.