Editor’s note: technical difficulties meant we could not post this article last Thursday as planned. Luckily, nothing since then has changed as all sports writing focuses on eternal Platonic truths, not the passing whims of fans based on a single result.
I am a fan of Manchester United, but have always respected Arsenal. And not just because of all the celebrity fans. Rather, Arsene Wenger has prudently managed the team’s finances and won some silverware over his 20 year (almost) reign. Talent recognizes and respects talent. Wenger has oozed class and brilliance for years. Yes, the Invincibles’ season seems like an eternity ago, but you don’t just qualify for the Champions League year after year by magic. Or at least that’s what I thought from the outside looking in.
All that changed on Wednesday when Arsenal lost to Olympiakos.
Olympiakos. At home. I’m sorry, but that’s the last straw. As a fan of United I can objectively say that Arsene Wenger must go. Out. Fired. Sacked. In fact, let him go in a sack that is on fire, just to make an example. Arsenal is too proud a club to let itself get beat by a Greece side at home.
Not surprisingly, other true blue Arsenal fans agree. And not just the internet forum trolls who ruin the comments in the Guardian. I’m talking about smart Gunners fans presumably with college degrees who can string together coherent sentences. Lots of them are fed up with the lack of a league or Champions League trophy for so many years. Of course, other fans see the signing of Ozil and Sanchez as signs that Arsene is adapting and spending money wisely. These foolish optimists say this proves he can still recruit top talent and that will right the ship. Then, I ask, why did they lose to Olympiakos? At home?
As a United fan, I am in no way biased. I can look at this objectively. I cannot magically see into the future and say “fire Wenger because it may help United on Sunday.” As of the time of writing, Thursday, I have no clue what will happen on Sunday when the the Red Devils go to the Emirates. Maybe Martial will score a hat-trick? Maybe the teams will tie 4:4 in a thrilling game? The key point is I don’t know what will happen and am not writing this out of selfish motives. I am writing this out of solidarity. Even David Moyes could beat Greek sides in the Champions League. Think about that.
Here is the key stat: three to two. Arsenal lost three to two. They conceded three goals. And the team was from Greece. The same Greece that recently requested a third bailout and accepted really harsh austerity. The Gunners must end this madness immediately and let the first-team coach take the reigns on Sunday against the Red Devils. It’s the only way to salvage the season.
Houston, Texas, Thursday, October 1, 2015.