I'm sorry, Arsenal fans, you're wrong to protest

By Avenell Dave

Do I like the thought of having to pay more money for a season ticket I can already barely afford?

Do I look forward to the the prospect of Cesc Fabregas leaving in the summer?

Do I get excited by the fact that our biggest signings this summer may be in the commercial department while the team is bolstered by free transfers, has-beens and nobodies?

Do I want to go through another season of winning nothing when a little bit of forethought could have brought us trophies?

Do I want to see X, Y or Z ever play for Arsenal again?

Do I want to be told to be quiet by supposed fans when all I want to do is sing my heart out (yes, it HAS happened!)

Do I want to see Arsene Wenger leave and a new manager (I know, Pep Guardiola, everybody!) come in and take his place?

Do I want to get suckered in to the transfer speculation that will litter every page of every sports section from now until August 31 and beyond?

The answer to all these questions is NO.

I'm not happy.

I'm positively morose at what has happened this season, not only for its pitiful predictability but because of the hope that somehow things will change.

Yes, we've seen players such as Alex Song and Mathieu Flamini go from chumps to champs in terms of their level of performance and you can see why Wenger wants to persevere with others, even though I suspect his patience has worn out with some of the under-achievers.

I want the team to compete and I can point to two turning points that have been our undoing.

Letting a good run in the Champions League slip so that we finished as runners-up and faced Barca was a big mistake.

The error which allowed Birmingham to score the winner in the Carling Cup final was the sort of once-in-a-lifetime error you simply cannot prepare for.

Of course there were other low points - T*tt*nh*m at home, Newcastle away, Barca away...

But the fact is, we're competing at the top level and in time, when the UEFA rules ahve permanently kicked in, we will be sitting pretty. I'm convinced of that.

For now, Wenger has to make do with scraps and I hope that the board give him the funds to bolster the team where it needs it most.

We have gone through long long spells without winning anything yet while Liverpool have won the odd FA Cup and the Champions League, they haven't won the title for 21 years. No one mentions that.

The expectation will always be higher now because we have a new stadium and we had such a sustained period of success in Wenger's early years.

Oligarchs and Sheikhs have distorted the competition and we have to combat that, but spending money alone will not suffice. If it did, we wouldn't even have finished in the top four over the past seven seasons.

Yes, fans have the right to protest over the potential problems at the club, from ticket prices to their feelings about the Chairman or unassigned seating areas.

But I've had conversations with a handful of fans since Sunday who will join the Black Scarf marches to call for Wenger's head, regardless of what the organisers have said.

They think he has done his time, run out of ideas, become too stubborn, run out of ideas.

When the media and rival fans are looking to see us in meltdown, any protest is just going to give more credence to that and put more pressure on the Club and the very people we are supposed to support.

Surely the time to protest is when we're in the bottom three, the stadium is half-empty and our biggest signing is a has-been aged 35?

T*tt*nh*m are praised for their great season despite finishing lower than us and not making any cup finals. It's all about relative values.

So come on Addicts, let's make a hell of a noise on Sunday against M*nure.

Let's get behind this team and try and help them restore fragile confidence.

Let's show the players and the outside world that we are The Arsenal and that when the chips are down, we come out fighting. Together.

Victory through harmony.