Losing my faith in Arsene Wenger has hit me pretty hard.
After Arsenal lost 4-0 to Liverpool on 27 August, I was mildly embarrassed. But not surprised.
When we came back with a string of wins, I was unfazed. In fact, I didn’t really care, because we were always going to come crashing down again.
I love Wenger and I always will. But now I realise that not only do I want him to leave Arsenal, I’m actually bored with him being in charge. I want change and while I’m not going to be parading around the Emirates with an A4 sign any time soon, I’m becoming less tolerant to those who don’t think he should go.
I no longer celebrate goals or grit my teeth over loses. When Watford won 2-1 on Saturday, I simply said ‘oh’ internally and then got on with cooking dinner.
It was at that moment that I realised that I had reached the fifth and final stage of grief: acceptance.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross reckons there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
It look me a long time to get to that last one.
8-2 away at Old Trafford in August 2011.
I couldn’t believe that Arsenal had been humiliated to that degree. I’d not felt that level of hopelessness while watching a football match. I couldn’t even see out the end of the match.
However, we had a load of injuries and it was a one-off. Wenger couldn’t have done anything, it was the PLAYERS. The PLAYERS were the ones to blame. Not Wenger.
Skip forward to May 2015.
I stayed in denial for a long time. Until Swansea came to town and we lost 1-0 on our own turf.
I could no longer excuse what was happening. This was a different group of players but our tactics were the same.
It was Wenger who was the problem.
If we could just win that third FA Cup against Chelsea, it would be a successful season, right? Despite finishing in fifth and playing like sh**e. If we won that, I could sort of forgive the rest of the campaign. Maybe.
We’d one three FA Cups in four years. Wow! That’s an achievement, right? That means Wenger’s still the right man for the job? Maybe?
I wasn’t even looking forward to this season starting, which was unusual for me. I just felt completely apathetic towards the club and it didn’t get much better after that 4-0 Liverpool loss.
I suspected that Wenger could maybe turn it around for a few games but not long-term.
And here we are.
I sometimes fall back into the depression stage but I’m pretty secure in my acceptance that I no longer have faith in Wenger.
Will I keep supporting the team, however? Of bloody course.