Opinion: Arsenal’s emotional responses creating a mess

At the moment, Arsenal football club is being governed by emotional responses rather than practical analytical decision-making.

Passion, dedication, and ambition are the cornerstones of all successful clubs, including Arsenal. With passion in the stands, dedication on the pitch and ambition in the boardroom clubs can turn lofty projects into reality. One only has to look as far as Liverpool to see what can happen when those three elements of a club combine in unison.

Sometimes, however, when goals aren’t being met and standards drop, passion can boil over into raw emotion. That is exactly where Arsenal finds itself now. The North London club is embroiled in an emotional mess that has given it a black eye in the realm of public perception the likes of which it really has never seen before. It is now time for Arsenal football club to get a grip. From the fans to the manager and players all the way up to the board, emotions must now be put in check.

The manager has allowed his emotion to cloud his judgment on players issues like the Mesut Ozil situation, the Granit Xhaka debacle and the defensiveness he has shown in terms of his own job security and shortcomings on the pitch. It is time for Unai Emery to cut emotion out of his excuses and no longer point to the “atmosphere” around the club as a reason standards have taken a nosedive.

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Players need to show backbone, now more than ever. Granit Xhaka, whether you like him or not, allowed his emotions to govern his actions against Crystal Palace and if reports are to be believed, apparently wants out of London in January. Xhaka needs to set a precedent and show professionalism and return to the pitch in whatever capacity necessary to help the team.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also needs to get a grip on his emotions and not allow himself to be drawn by the media on topics as ridiculous as who he does and does not take pictures with. Both of these “captains” have shown a dearth of leadership and need to restore a sense of class to the position.

The board is not exempt from this either. The higher-ups clearly want to emanate a sense of stability by not bowing to public pressure in terms of the managerial situation. Fair enough, but the verbiage used to describe the current situation was not only tone-deaf but laughably petulant. If fans are supposed to look towards the board for leadership then there is no way the executives can blame off-field relationships for on-field disasters. The need to deflect and protect themselves has been embarrassing and just like Aubameyang and Xhaka, they need to restore professionalism to their station and acknowledge the fans in a cogent, respectful and truthful manner.

Finally, fans need to temper their emotions as well. We are too easily divided on topics that are either out of our control or completely unnecessary, to begin with. Who cares what Patrick Vieira has to say about Granit Xhaka right now? Emery clearly has the backing of the board, suspend the talk about finding a new manager until the topic is valid. Stop forming factions around players and criticize when necessary, as is your right, but most of all—support.

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The current state of Arsenal is honestly embarrassing and it feels as though the entire club is comprised of children arguing over a schoolyard spat. We all need to get a grip and get back on track or this season could have lasting effects on the club’s core values.