The Weird, Wild and Wonderful Place that Is Arsenal Twitter
Arsenal fan Twitter is a weird and wonderful place where everybody wants the same thing (Arsenal to be successful) but nobody can agree on absolutely anything. The internet is not the place for logical opinions but more so for those who believe in only extremes. Everybody seems steadfast in their opinions and no amount of new evidence is going to change their mind.
There are a number of key topics which divide Arsenal supporters who believe one extreme to be the case or the complete opposite. In actuality, as with most arguments, the truth is somewhere in the middle. The key topics which I will discuss in this piece are, Mesut Ozil, Unai Emery/Arsenal’s early season form and Arsene Wenger. These three completely divide opinion and when they are discussed on Twitter it will inevitably end with a series of gifs/memes being exchanged until seemingly, the end of time.
The two schools of Twitter thought on Mesut Ozil are: 1. Ozil is a world-class number 10 who should play week in, week out and is being treated completely unfairly by the manager. Or 2. Ozil is finished, doesn’t offer anything and the club should get out from under his contract while they can.
My opinion on Ozil is that in the early stages of his Arsenal career he was phenomenal. One of the most elegant footballers to have graced the Emirates pitch and at times put in spectacular performances. However, Ozil has not performed consistently for quite a while now. Should be a fixture in the side? No, but to think he cannot offer this Arsenal side, who is massively lacking creativity anything is a ludicrous notion. The last two Premier League games have illustrated this perfectly.
Against United at Old Trafford and Bournemouth at the Emirates last Sunday, Arsenal’s opponents were there for the taking. With Ozil involved in some capacity, even off the bench, Arsenal could have created the chances needed to win both games comfortably. Unai Emery’s treatment of Ozil has been unfair in my opinion and if he is not going to be used then the time is probably right for the German playmaker to leave the club.
The Spaniard has definitely divided opinion since his arrival in England last summer. Most fans gave him the benefit of the doubt last season but this season patience is running out for many with some sections of fans calling for him to be sacked already. Arsenal lying third in the Premier League, only one point behind Man City is encouraging but the performances have not been up to scratch. This has lead to the most heated debates among Arsenal fans.
If you are satisfied with being third at this point in the season you are an “Emery apologist” and if you question the performances, you’re “not a proper Arsenal fan” and you should get behind the team. Why can both not be true?
Would Arsenal fans have settled for this league position at this stage of the season? Any realistic supporter would have. But people who question the performances and set up are right to do so. Arsenal have underperformed on more occasions than they haven’t this season. There has yet to be a game in the Premier League where you could really say that Arsenal looked at their best. The Europa League and League cup performances have actually been far more entertaining than any of the league matches.
The supposed second team has played with far more freedom and that has produced a much more exciting and entertaining brand of football. Again to mention the game at Old Trafford, it looked like Arsenal set up to get a point from the match. In their games either side of Arsenal, United have been beaten by West Ham and Newcastle who both took the game to them. So, when you consider this there is a definite cause for concern regarding Unai Emery’s tactics. I do believe that Emery deserves more time to implement his game-plan, but to this point, it is hard to see what that actually is.
Performances might well pick up with the returns of Kieran Tierney, Rob Holding, Alex Lacazette and Hector Bellerin so time will tell on that but for now, we can be happy with our league position but also be concerned about the level of performances.
Despite leaving the club over a year ago, whether Arsene Wenger should still be in charge is still a hotly debated topic. Again, if you think Arsenal were right to replace Wenger, you are disrespectful to Wenger and if you think he had more to give, you are a “Wenger fanboy”. As a 25-year old, lifelong Arsenal supporter, until 18 months ago, I never knew anything but Arsene Wenger as the manager of Arsenal football club. Because of this, I will never say anything to disrespect the man who has given me some of my best memories, but the time was right for him to leave. You could argue a season earlier after the FA Cup triumph against Chelsea would have been the perfect send-off for him to go out on a high, but I think his time at the club had run its course. Arsene Wenger is possibly the greatest thing to happen to Arsenal Football Club so to disrespect his accomplishments is nonsense but it is completely fair to also believe that it was his time to go.
Basically to summarise this, just because someone’s opinion doesn’t perfectly match your own does not make them a raving lunatic. This is a sentiment that will probably remain lost on football twitter but it is something which should be considered before replying to somebody tweeting their opinion on the club they support.