Warning signs flashing at Amateurish Arsenal

Last updated : 08 July 2003 By Jason Hogan
Dennis - Deserves respect
This year, having already left ourselves open to ridicule in the press and the media after throwing away our title on the pitch, the club seem to be determined to make us a laughing stock off it.

I'm sure that I wasn't the only Arsenal fan who bought the News of the World on Sunday and saw perhaps the two words that were like music to the ears – “Vieira Signs”.

I was tempted on Sunday morning (though it was early even for me) to crack open a beer and celebrate but I wanted to wait and see if the club would come out with official confirmation.

Sure enough, confirmation on the Vieira “signing” did come out from the club via the official website later that afternoon and out came the beer.

However if I knew then what I know now, the chances are I would have been spitting out my beer in an apoplectic fit because Vieira then came out on our official website yesterday and categorically denied signing anything.

Now, I don't know if there are members of the Arsenal board squirming with embarrassment out there right now but I tell you what, they bloody well should be.

To me, the ongoing Vieira saga is developing into a fiasco and if any Arsenal fan needed proof that we seem to have a bunch of amateurs running our club all of a sudden then this is it.

Haven't the club brought enough shame on themselves lately? Look at the way they are handling (or more to the point NOT handling) Bergkamp. Okay, the fact that Bergkamp's agent happens to be bleating away to anyone that will listen about his client's situation doesn't help matters but the fact is the club should have never allowed things to get that far.

We're not talking about some fly by night Arsenal player of the past here. We're talking about a guy that has genuinely been one of the truly world class players of the last 25-30 years and someone who has given our club eight years of service. Yet, the club have allowed his contract with us to expire and they do not seem to be in any hurry to make any serious decision either way to keep him or let him go. Can any Arsenal fan honestly say that this doesn't reek of poor management on the club's part? It wouldn't be a surprise if the Iceman himself had a few choice words to describe how the club is treating him right now.

It was also interesting to read in last night's Evening Standard that Arsenal were allegedly having to fend off a £50 million bid from the Russian outfit based in West London. In reply, an Arsenal “spokesman” was quoted as saying that “Arsenal are not in the business of selling their best players, we are trying to buy players”.

The first thing to note from that quote is that in terms of buying players there was no mention of words like “good or world-class” attached to it. Mind you given the fact that we haven't signed anybody of ANY description I suppose you could say that I'm splitting hairs here.

Ultimately, it's action and not cheap rhetoric that Arsenal fans need from the club now. If they carry on dragging their heels on various issues (I haven't even mentioned the ongoing contract wrangles with Wiltord and Pires) then any chance of glory this season could disappear before a ball has even been kicked.