Monday, July 4, 2011

Arsenal's Transfer Inactivity: Criticism or Concern?

In recent weeks the blogsphere has been inundated with a flood of reports, comments, allegations, and outright abuse of the manager of Arsenal Arsene Wenger, and the club's board. It is particularly noticeable that he has been targeted by armchair web critics who have only now discovered, according to some of them, that he's not the same tactician who held the nation's number one sport sway a mere decade ago. However, many of the postings on the web suggest that this upsurge in critical commentary against the Professor might also be influenced by his failure to bolster the squad -a view that is unanimously shared by all and sundry. In most of the articles that I've come across, the failure of the club to win any significant silverware is continually alluded to, and in some of the most bitter pieces it has been alleged that the club is not prepared to reinvest surplus returns generated from the incessant hike in ticket prices on projects (most notably players and team physiotherapists), focusing their attention only on the profit aspect of the business, while neglecting the North London outfit's production capacity constraints.

It will be difficult for any objective observer to debunk such allegations given the club's not so encouraging 'groom and not buy policy'. One of the most often heard criticisms, especially from some of us who regret his refusal to spend freely, is that he has reversed our perception of profligate spending that other well-funded teams are known for. In the same vein ignoring the basic developmental needs of the club. This is untrue but the web has become a source of opinions and comments that need hardly be checked for either accuracy or intent as long as they are sensational enough to attract attention. It is now becoming increasingly clear that this build up of anti-Arsenal web commentary is based on a concerted attempt to undermine our achievements as a club rather than on an objective critical study of our performance over the last six seasons. The news articles we have seen is uniformly negative in its content and cannot be regarded as being either objective or properly researched to be the basis upon which we are to be judged.

This exposes the fundamental flaws of social networking on the web. It can hardly be doubted, based on the content of the material distributed through web postings that it is high time the club took it upon itself to improve on its public relations department as a means of fighting this growing menace. The growth of television based criticism against Wenger coming at this time is clearly linked to the approach of the upcoming season as the interests of both his supporters and opponents come into play. Unfortunately for now it appears that the weight of contributions concerning his performance of his duties is falling overwhelmingly on the side of the detractors but we the supporters of this great club know that this is unfair. It is usual that in developing such objectives that he's saddled with there will be some resistance from various interest groups, it is clear that the club is prepared to work towards overcoming such resistance.

Many of the sentiments being expressed in opposition to the operations of his leadership sound like personal disenchantment rather than genuine criticism. It is certain that any defence of Arsene Wenger and his stringent wage policy against his cyber community antagonists will attract vehement responses from the noise-makers of the web. They have no obligation to deploy objective content or decent language in their contributions. Very often the allegation that they have made against the manager includes falsehoods that cannot be denied by the official organs of the club without giving the impression of defensive reaction. However, a study of the reports shows that many of those who claim to be monitoring the club's activities in the Premier League are reluctant to see any good at all in the club's progress. They are unable to judge these initiatives objectively and are unwilling to admit that they are worthy of consideration as being useful efforts in the process of building the club.

As a result most of this information that we have seen tend to encourage dissent rather than cooperation. This encourages the assumption that most of these postings are meant to undermine the achievements of the club rather than to advise it and promote its agenda, which most of the trouble-makers claim to be their intention. It is difficult not to conclude that the club is moving in the right direction and those who think otherwise know what to do.