Arsenal fans may be dismayed to know that Unai Emery is “100% the man for the club” according to the board. But at least we know where things stand.
If you were upset by the board’s resounding endorsement of Unai Emery, you weren’t alone. Plenty of Arsenal fans let out a collective wail of dismay when the statement was released following yet another spineless 2-0 loss to Leicester City.
It’s an interesting situation for the club. Here we have a manager that is by all standards worse than last year. He is urging patience from fans, and the fans naturally aren’t willing to grant him that while a club ripe with stars continues to put up pallid displays week after week.
The club, instead of putting pressure on Emery and the players to perform, has opted for the opposite tactic and completely endorsed Emery, saying that he is the man for the club and that they are 100% behind him. Essentially, there’s no chance he gets fired.
Call it positive reinforcement instead of negative reinforcement, but as for me, I’m at least happy that we know where things stand. And maybe those things change if matches continue to go poorly, but for now, we know.
That means that we, as fans, have a decision to make. We can continue to be angry, disgruntled, vile and nasty and rail against our players and our manager and our board and our mascot and our whatever. Or we can band together and try what the board tried—a little positive reinforcement.
So much of the culture of the club comes down to the fans and their reception of tough times. Of course fans have the right to be angry, they’re paying for the tickets and the merch and all that stuff. But they also have the choice to be supportive. Sometimes this is like asking a bear to fly, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask for fans to accept what the board has said, accept that this is the state of the club, and try to lift up the mood around the club.
Maybe some fans feel like that’s the job of the players, but it doesn’t have to be.
Again, this may be futile. But the club is what it is. If you think you have the power to be so nasty that the board will change it’s mind, then you absolutely have the power to be so positive that the players actually feel supported.